He led the way up the ramp and into the ship. For him the ship was home. In recent
years he hadn"t been able to make the trip as often as he wanted, but every time it was like
For Shem and Achsah, it was going back to the days of the Flood. Many memories, good
and bad, visited their minds.
But for Abram and Helon, it was the most exciting thing they had ever experienced.
Entering the ship, they were immediately enthralled with its size. Outside the ship had
appeared very large, but inside it was huge! They eagerly descended another ramp to the
first floor where they saw large cages that Noah explained once held large animals.
“You see that cage over there? That"s where we kept the Elephants. Right next to that
is the cage for the tigers.”
“And they didn"t fight?” asked Helon.
“Nope. Slept right through the Flood. For over a year. God calls it hibernating.”
“And they hibernate every year now,” added Shem.
Noah motioned to Shem and Achsah to step back and let the boys explore. The minutes
slipped by until they had visited all the cages on the floor. But while they explored, Noah
had Achsah tell of the ladies role.
“First, let me explain what you are seeing,” she began. “Both this deck and the second
deck have thirty rooms. As you will see, each room is filled with cages of varying sizes. On
average, there were probably six cages per room on this deck, while the second deck had
closer to ten cages per room. That is because we kept the larger animals down here and the
smaller ones on the second deck.
“Before the animals ever appeared, we prepared each cage with straw and provender so
that they would be comfortable and well fed. We were going to be alone and on the sea for
a long time, so it was important to keep the animals happy, comfortable and safe.
“If you will look up you can see what Hiram called water tanks, but are really ceramic
urns. Naamah, Hagaba, Bithiah and myself had the responsibility to keep those urns filled
with fresh water. Now, it sounds more difficult than it was. We had plenty of rainwater
that we collected during the flood itself. But after the forty days of rain had stopped, we
had periodic rain throughout the year. Enough to replenish the urns.
“We would make sure that the water tanks on the first and second decks received water
from the main urn on the third deck. Most people wouldn't have thought of such things,
but God used Hiram to make this provision.”
“Let me interrupt,” said Noah. “She is referring to the hoses you see coming from above
the urns. Those were hand-sewn by the women during construction. And they worked
extremely well. In addition, look down at the bottom of the cages. You will notice the floor
is slotted. That was to dispose of their waste.”
“And it made our jobs a whole lot easier,” agreed Achsah. “In fact, Hiram so
constructed the ship that our job was not nearly as hard as you might imagine, especially
since we had so many animals. Those urns above and the slots below simply made our
chores easier. But it was a miracle that really made it possible.”
“A miracle? What kind of miracle?” asked Abram.
“Well, Noah already alluded to it a few moments ago. Remember when he said the
animals slept through the whole time at sea? God calls it hibernating. We women simply
called it sleeping. And let me tell you, caring for a sleeping tiger is a lot easier than one that
“But you should have seen them when they first arrived. It was like a grand parade as
they approached the Ark in pairs in a line that stretched back toward the city. I had never
seen anything like it before and I don"t believe anyone else had either. They came right up
to the ship and would have stopped, but Noah and his sons guided them up the ramp and
into their respective cages. It was almost as if we had put a sign in front of each cage, they
each went to the cage meant for them without any real help from us. I think the men might
have tapped them with a pole, but not much more than that.
“Noah says they were led by the Spirit of God. In any case, the biggest animals stayed
down here and the smaller ones went up to the second deck.”
Abram, who had been examining a cell, stopped where he was and looked back at
“I heard there were lots of people around the Ark. What did they do when they saw the
animals coming? Did they believe?”
“You should have seen the people scatter. The sight of all those animals heading
straight at them scared the daylights out of everyone. But once they realized they weren"t
in any danger, they began wandering back. Of course, they continued to mock us and, in
case you were wondering, they did not help us at all.
“But that"s a good question. You would have thought that seeing the animals come that
way and enter the ship; well, you would have thought they"d been more open to Noah"s
invitation. But they weren"t. If anything, they became even more hostile.”
Noah stepped forward.
“Let"s go up to the second deck.”
He turned and trudged back up the long ramp they had earlier descended. Abram
couldn't help but notice that it was still in excellent shape after hundreds of years. Once
they reached the next level, the boys began exploring and Achsah resumed her narration.
“On this floor all the smaller animals were kept. But not just the animals. In the stern
was kept all our supplies needed to care for the animals, such as hay and provender. It was
on these two decks where we women spent most of our time at the beginning. But once
they all started sleeping, I mean hibernating, it was much easier.
“We had initially worried about how to care for so many animals. But all our fears of
cleaning up after them and feeding them became naught. God had worked another
miracle. And we were thus able to care for our men.”
When the boys were finished exploring, Noah led the way up to the third deck. Abram"s
jaw dropped. While this floor was also divided into rooms, it was far more spacious than
the lower even though actual size was smaller.
Noah took up the narration.
“This is the living quarters. Originally Hiram had planned to build as many rooms as
on the previous decks. But they never got built, because of the lack of people responding to
my preaching. His idea was that we could easily build new rooms as the need arose.
Unfortunately there were only eight of us and the need never arose!
“So, all the wood meant to build as many rooms as needed was never used until after we
landed here. The village down below is built with some of that wood, as was the altar here
and outside my home.
He led them to where he and Naamah had lived. Abram stared. He had always thought
it had been a cramped space, but the rooms were big enough for full sized beds!
“Sorry for the barren look. But after we landed, we needed all our possessions to begin
a new life. So everything was removed. Still, you can see that we had plenty of room.
“Now look up. See the window circling the ship. Just below the window is a platform.
That was Hiram"s idea. Although I suspect God put it in his mind. It enabled us to look
out the window and see what was happening. Plus, it provided a way for us to get out into
the fresh air.
“And those windows provided our only ventilation. The shutters were closed from the
inside, but even with the shutters closed there was a gap running along the top that
provided for air. Occasionally, during the first forty days, rain would come in through the
gap and later through the hoses coming from outside. But a small trough was built into the
platform and the water would drain into it and be taken to the urns. You can see two, one
on the port, that means left, and one on the starboard, the right. It was all very ingenious.”
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