The Lion and the Lamb
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them
– Isaiah 11:6
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
– Isaiah 65:25
The elm tree in front of St. James church has been a fixture on Main Street, virtually since the laying out of the town of Antigonish. For the majestic spread of its branches, it acted as the focal point for all vistas on Main St. Unfortunately, when it succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease and became a hazard to passersby, it had to be taken down. The magnificent stump was carved into the original Lion and the Lamb. Thus even in death, the tree still functioned in the public space. Sadly, the roots continued to absorb water, and eventually the statue rotted.
Several members of the congregation regretted the necessity of removing the old statue and took steps to see what could be done to restore it or reproduce it. The second Lion and the Lamb was once again made of elm wood from Pictou County. The wood was treated with a preservative, was carved so that the grain was vertical for better drainage. The statue was elevated on a concrete plinth. It was able to withstand the elements for a greater length of time than the original statue did, but not nearly the length of time of the old tree, which was almost 200 years old when it was taken down.