Gideon entered the jail. The jailer, a black dog, handed him a bag. Inside were his crest and some money. Most of the money was spent on vain pleasures oblivious to the hare, and Gideon was a little upset by the lost; however, understanding that his life could have been lost, he quickly praised God for his mercy. The jailer took the hare down a corridor of cells. Gabriel was at the last cell on the left. He was sitting in the corner with his back turned.
“Five minutes,” replied the jailer.
Gideon called out to the young hare, and after taking a sweeping glance, Gabriel returned to his solitary world of abjection.
“I- I know I’m the last creature you want to see,” said Gideon hesitantly.
Gabreil did not reply.
“I talked to the judge,” Gideon said trying to get Gabriel’s attention, “He has changed your verdict.”
This got Gabriel’s attention. He got up from his seat and stood, waiting for Gideon’s next words.
“This is your choice, and I would take it if I were you, instead of the fifty lashes,” he said in a shaky voice, “You can be banished from the Crosslands.”
Gabriel plopped down in his seat, flabbergasted from the changing event.
“B-Banishment!” Gabriel said rolling his eyes, “Some help you are! I thought for a moment that you got me off the hook. Now I’m a worse position than before. Get lost and stay lost.”
“Fine. If you want a taste of fifty lashes upon your back, then you can have it,” replied Gideon sternly, “You’re going to die tomorrow. Think about that as you sleep.”
Gabriel didn’t have to sleep, he was thinking about the punishment every second since he left the courtroom. Despite his overall dislike of Gideon, Gabriel knew he was right. There was no way to avoid the inevitable unless he took Baz’s secondary ruling. Gideon was leaving when Gabriel called out to him.
“All right, I’ll leave the Crosslands, but where will I go? Who will hire me to work? I have no skills.”
Gideon took a deep sigh. The Lord was working on his heart the very moment the verdict was given. It was something Gideon did not want to do, but obedience to God isn’t always easy, but it is right and pleasing to Him. Gideon made a quick glance up to the ceiling and utter the words he thought he would never say.
“You can stay with me for awhile,” Gideon said dropping his head slowly, ” I’ll teach you what I can to make a living. You’ll learn the way of the sword, and the way of God too.”
Gabriel didn’t like the proposal about God, but under the present circumstances, he had no choice but to submit.
“Fine, but I don’t want any rules put on me. I come and go as I please, go it?”
“Are those the conditions?” asked Gideon.
“Yeah!” Gabriel said bobbing his head.
“Then you can stay here,” replied Gideon stepping away, ” I not having a reprobate in my home. Good night, Gabriel.”
Gideon walked down the corridor, but took small steps; for he knew the urgency of aid that would overcome the hares belligerent attitude. Gabriel did as Gideon had thought: the black hare called out to him again in anguish. Gideon came back; Gabriel gritted his teeth.
“You’ve changed your mind,” Gideon replied with a big grin, “I’ll be back tomorrow, enjoy your stay.”
It was raining the next day. All the paper work was finalized, renouncing Gabriel’s citizenship from the Crosslands. Two guards brought him to the dock as Gideon, and the others, waited. He saw that the young hare was chained by the arms. The guards went to unlock him; but Gideon saw in Gabriel’s eyes that once the chains were removed he was going to make a run for it. Gideon told the guards to throw him the key. Gabriel was irate.
“Unchain me, UNCHAIN ME!”
“I’ll do it when we’re out to sea,” stated Gideon.
Gabriel marched on board, hating Gideon even now more than ever. Gideon looked to heaven and gave a short prayer.
“God, you wanted me to do this. I don’t understand it–I really don’t understand it, but You’re going to have to deal with that rabbit.”
Once the boat pulled from the port, Gideon unchained Gabriel. Gabriel did not thank Gideon for keeping his word. The young hare watched the coast of his home disappear over the rainy back drop, lost in his own dreams of the coming days.
“You may want to head below deck, you’ll be soaked and wet if you don’t,” said Gideon.
“Leave me alone,” replied Gabriel.
“Well, once you get tired your cabin number is eleven. Don’t be down. You should count your blessings– better the ship than the whip. Think of this as an adventure.”
Gabriel rolled his eyes from the irony. The young hare stayed in his state of depression as the captain and crew made preparations for the heavy rain.