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TRAPPER JOHN


Living in a remote forest at the northern edge of Canada, Trapper John made his closest friendship with his faithful German shepherd, Duke. Every few days he and Duke would take the overnight trek to check the traps. Selling animal pelts at the trading post in the distant town sustained their simple life.


Trapper John and Duke had shared each other's company for over 10 years, since he had traded a couple of furs for the puppy. The dog loved the man, often protecting him from wild animals when they were out on their all-night treks to check the traps. Duke even seemed to listen attentively to Trapper John share his feelings as he sat by the campfire. Although it was a lonely existence, Trapper John had chosen it.


On one trip into town to sell his furs and purchase more goods, he met her. New in town, this young woman immediately caught his attention. She worked at the trading post and seemed anxious to engage him in conversation.


They enjoyed dinner together, and after that John started making more frequent trips into town. That spring they married, and she moved her things out to the trapper's cabin in the woods.


Their first child was born the following winter, but tragedy accompanied the birth of their beautiful daughter, for Trapper John's wife died in childbirth. Broken-hearted, he had no choice but to take his baby girl into town to live with a kind family willing to take care of her until she was old enough to return to the cabin.


She was almost a year old when Trapper John brought her back to his cabin in the woods. Now he was faced with the challenge of raising a child while sustaining their existence with trapping.


During his overnight trips, he would leave Duke with the sleeping baby, knowing that he would protect her if she was in any danger. On one such trip tragedy once again visited this small family.


Returning home early in the morning after checking his traps, John came to the top of the hill overlooking his cabin. His heart pounded wildly when he noticed the front door of the cabin pushed open. Throwing down his pelts, he raced to the open door to check on his daughter.


As he entered the cabin, his worst fears were realized. The baby's little bed was covered with blood. In that moment he caught sight of Duke cowering in the corner, covered with blood. Enraged, the man cocked his rifle and pointed it directly at Duke.


"You killed my baby! You killed my baby!" John's anguished roar awoke the baby, who started out of sleep with a little cry from underneath the bloodied blanket. John, his finger on the trigger and his dog in the gunsight, turned his head toward that cry - and with a sweep of his hand, uncovered his unharmed baby.


It was only then that he saw the dead bobcat behind his daughter's bed. In a heartbreaking moment of understanding, he realized that he had almost killed the one who had saved his baby's life.


We jump to conclusions about other people and judge them before we know the whole story.

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