Chapter 4 The Man with Three Faces

Chapter 4 The Man with Three Faces

A Chapter by John Carver

CHAPTER 4: The Man with Three Faces


“What did you see then, my boy?” the dog asked.


“I saw an old man with three faces and the Eagle called to him and said, ‘Go to a land I will show you and you will sojourn there as a foreigner and I will bless those who bless you but my face will be against those who curse you,’ and though the man was old taking his wife who was barren with him and his nephew and all that he had leaving behind all his kin to go to a strange land.


He came to the land and the Eagle promised him the entire plain saying he would make a great nation of him, but there was famine in the land so he went south to the land of the great king of the earth where there was food. But as he came he realized that that land was corrupt and that the king would kill him to have his wife since she was very beautiful. So he told her that when they got to the land to tell the king he was her brother lest they take her and kill him and it worked. They gave him anything he wanted when they took his wife they thought to be his sister for her sake, him and his nephew who had three faces also.


They stayed a long time with the kind until the Eagle hit the people of the land with diseases among the crops and cattle and the king figured it was a God doing such a thing for what he had done wrong. So he enquired of all the gods he knew and ended with the Eagle who told him that the man’s wife was in fact that and not his brother.


So the king called the man with three faces and his nephew and threw them out of his kingdom with all they had gained in the kingdom which was very great so much the two men with the three faces each could not live together. The man with the three faces got together with his nephew and said, “We are brothers, why should we fight each other for the land? You choose first and whatever way you go I will go the opposite.” The nephew looked at the land and chose the way that had the greenest prairie and chose that way leaving the other way for his uncle and they lived in peace.


Then a famine broke out in the land and the man with three faces went to a kingdom to the south telling his wife to do the same thing and claim she was his sister. It worked again and they took his wife into the palace and treated him well for her sake. But that king was given a dream in Dreamland concerning the man’s wife.


“You are a dead man!” the Eagle screeched at him, “For you have taken another man’s wife!”


But the king who was just a man with a man’s face said, “Where have I done such a thing? It did not know it if I did.” Then he went back to sleep only to be awakened by the same dream except that the Eagle explained it was the latest one he had taken, the man with three faces wife and the Eagle said he would strike the king and his kingdom for what he had done. When he awoke then he summoned his servants and gave them the new and sent the man with three faces away back to where he had come from with even more gain, the famine over.


Then the kings of the north banned together under one king and attacked the kings to the south where the men with three faces lived and conquered them. But after 11 years they rebelled and got their freedom but the king from the north came with a vengeance and conquered them this time carrying off the nephew of the man with three faces and all that he had.


But one got away and told the man with three faces about it and he went out against that king with two of his friends and killed them all losing only one man and bringing back his nephew and all that he had as well as that the king of the rebel city had and they met in a certain valley where there was a priest with three face sometimes looking like an eagle, sometimes a sparrow and sometimes a dove.


Now when the priest set the wine before them and broke bread why the man with three faces said, “I give to you 10% of all that I have gained.”


But the king of the city said, “You keep all the things you have recovered, only let me have the people.”


But the man with three faces said, “I will not. Take all that is yours. For I have lifted my hands to the God of the Eagle and vowed I will not so much as take a shoestring from you. Just let those with me have their share because they deserve it for helping me. We will go away taking only the food we ate in the slaughter.” It was done because the city was very wicked.


Then the man with three faces was sitting under a tree in the heat of the day when he saw three men coming his way. One had the face of an eagle, one the face of a sparrow and the other the face of a dove. He instantly recognized them and set a table before them with a young kid and cakes of grain.


The one with the eagle’s face said to him, “Where is your wife?”


He said, “Inside the tent.”


“She will be blessed with a son about this time when the time of her childbearing is fulfilled,” the one with the eagle’s face said.


But the woman overheard and laughed within herself saying, “Should I have this honor and have a baby now that I am old and well past childbearing age?”


But the one with the eagle face said, “You laugh,” he said calling her by name, “I can do anything. Can I not give you a son?”


She said, “I did not laugh.”


But he said, “Yes, but you did laugh.”


Then they got up to leave and the man asked the eagle faced one, “Is it something God would do to kill the good along with the wicked?” sensing in his soul what was about to happen. “Far be it from you! If there are fifty men there who are like I am, do not destroy the city.”


“Alright for the sake of fifty I will not destroy the city,” the eagle faced one said.


Then the man with three faces worked him all the way down to where he would not destroy the city for even ten men like him and his nephew before they left.


Two of the men, the one with the sparrow face and the one with the dove’s face came walking into the city in the evening when they met a man with three faces, the nephew of the man with three faces and he urged them to come to his place but they said they wanted to sleep alongside the road. But he insisted so strongly in fear that they relented and went to the man with three faces house where he prepared them cakes.


Before they could eat them there was the sound of a crowd outside that called out, “Where are the two men you brought home with you tonight? Bring them out. We want to have sex with them.”


The nephew went to the door and closed it so they could not see in and said, “Don’t do this horrible thing! These men are my guests and what you do reflects on me. Please, just leave them be!”


But the more he insisted the more they shouted him down and they were the entire city so they were so many they pressed upon the door. But the Sparrow reached outside and pulled the man with three faces in and barely got the door closed before he struck them all blind and still they tried to find the door to break in.


“Do you have anyone else in the city?” the Sparrow asked, “If you do go to them and tell them to get out of the city for we will destroy this city and everyone in it. We came to see how bad it really was. We have come. We see.”


So the man sneaked out and went to the house where his sons and their wives lived and tried to convince them to leave with him telling them the city and all in it would be destroyed. But they thought he was joking and would not listen to him. So he gave up and returned to his house where the Sparrow, the Dove and his wife and two younger daughters that had never known a man were.


“They wouldn’t come!” he announced in despair.


“Get your things together,” the Sparrow said, “For we will take you out of the city!”


But the man and his wife lingered until the Sparrow and the Dove grabbed their hands and just like that they were out in the plain where the Sparrow said, “Run for your lives for we must start soon and don’t look back whatever you do. Run out of the plain! Now!”


But the man said, “I am an old man and something will go wrong for me! See? Here is a little town. Let us go there? It is only a small town.”


The Sparrow decided he had a point and said, “Go! But go quickly!!” and they took off on foot for the small town but his wife looked back and she became a statue made of salt. The rest made it safely.


Then there was thunder and lightning mixed with fireballs and it rained not rain but flaming sulfur from the sky until every tree, every blade of grass and every building in the entire plain were gone except in the tiny town and the three men the one like an eagle, the one like a sparrow and the one like a dove were gone and all that was left was a fine ash of sulfur.


The man and his two daughters went to the high country and found a cave and lived there when the daughters said the older one to younger, “Our father is old and there is no one left to continue his name among our people.” So they cooked up a plan to get their father drunk and then they lay with him the oldest first and then the youngest and they became pregnant and an entire people came from each one, two entire peoples.


But the man with the three faces went out in the morning and saw the smoke from the city and understood hoping his nephew had survived.


The man with three faces went to a land farther south telling his wife to say he was her brother again. But this time the Eagle warned that king that she was his wife before he had her though the Eagle struck the entire staff of the king and all his wives with a constant flow. He warned him twice which meant it was decided that the curse remain with the king, but he relented when the king gave the man with three faces back his wife and issued an edict that anyone who touched her would die.


He planted and received a harvest of what he sowed a hundred times that he sowed. Anytime he sowed he received that much back. So he continued to buy land and soon the king said to him, “You are mightier than we are. Move away from us. We cannot compete with you.” So he moved to the north but still in the same kingdom.


He dug one well after another but the people kept taking it by force as he moved except when finally he was out in the wilderness so far that no one cared to take his well and he said, “At last we have peace!”


But the time for his wife to have a son did not come like they expected for they took it that the Eagle when he said she would have a child had been laughed at and he didn’t do it.


So he and his wife conjured up a plan for him to marry one of his servant girls and she got pregnant even though she was one of the servant he had gotten from the most powerful king in the world the first time he had her claim to be his sister ending with the king throwing him out of the land.


When she got pregnant by the man with three faces she despised her mistress, his wife. The mistress began to beat her and made life miserable so she was in hell in her state of awareness all the time and it ended when she ran away. The Eagle found her lost in the wilderness and said to her, “What are you doing out here?”


So she complained about the way her mistress treated her.


But he said, “Go back to your mistress and always obey her and she will stop beating you.”


She said, “God sees me and called the Eagle by that name.”


When she had her son she kept him away from the mistress who had hoped to raise him as her own son for she thought the man with three faces would give him all he had when he died as an inheritance. But since it did not please her mistress she got mean again. So the servant girl was sent away into the wilderness again into the wilderness for the mistress then said, “That son of my servant will never inherit anything with my son.”


“What did you see, my boy?” said his dog.


“I saw the man with three faces and he was greatly distressed because his wife had insisted he send away his son from the wife that was a servant girl but the Dove told him to go ahead and send him away for he was the son of a lowly servant and would be given no inheritance even in the nation God would give the man, a very wealthy man.


I saw him give her some water and some bread and send her off into the wilderness, but their bread ran out and at last they were out of water and the lad was dying. Finally she laid him by a sagebrush bush and went a ways farther because she could not bear to see her son die. But the boy cried weakly and the Eagle heard it and talked with his mother who had cried and prayed to the God Who Sees Me. In the end of the conversation he told her to open her eyes and look and when she did there was a fountain a short ways away and they survived.”


“You did not see the lad make fun of her when she threw the party for the birth of her son then?” the dog said.


“No,” he replied.


“He did and it made her furious,” the dog said, “That is why she made her husband send him away even though when he was born the Eagle punished them for what they had done since they did not have enough faith in him to believe their own son would be born by a miracle when the old man with three faces was a hundred years olf and she was a very old woman also. Their punishment was that they were circumcised and all their descendants were to be that even though the Eagle promised them through the Sparrow that all nations would be blessed by him when he said, “All families on earth will be blessed by you and from you will come a great nation.


When the old man was old and his own son now a lad the Eagle came to him and told him to sacrifice his son by fire …”


“I saw that!” the boy cut in, “ he took two servants with him and the wood for the sacrifice and loaded it on an animal and when he got to the place he recognized because the Eagle revealed it to him he said to the servants, “You stay here and I and the boy will go up the mountain to worship.”


Once on the mountain he built an altar as the boy said, “Father I see the wood but where is the sheep for the sacrifice?” but he replied the Lord will furnish it.” So then he placed the boy on the altar and tied him there and was about to kill him when the Eagle screeched from heaven calling him by name, “Do not harm the boy! I know now that you would not even deny me your only son.”


When he had cut the boy loose they heard a ram with its horns caught in the brush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it and since he believed the Eagle it was counted to him as righteousness though he never did it for the Eagle had changed his mind.



© 2021 John Carver


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Added on May 9, 2021
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Author

John Carver
John Carver

Bemidji, MN



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