old man and his dog were walking along a country road, enjoying the scenery,
when it suddenly occurred to the man that he had died. He remembered dying,
and realized, too, that the dog had been dead for many years. He wondered
where the road would lead them, and continued onward.
a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road.
It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by
a tall, white arch that gleamed in the sunlight. When he was standing before
it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl,
and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He was pleased
that he had finally arrived at heaven, and the man and his dog walked toward
the gate. As he got closer, he saw someone sitting at a beautifully carved
desk off to one side.
he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, but is this heaven?"
it is, sir," the man answered.
Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.
course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right
up." The gatekeeper gestured to his rear, and the huge gate began to open.
my friend can come in..." the man said, gesturing toward his dog.
the reply was, "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
man thought about it, then thanked the gatekeeper, turned back toward the
road, and continued in the direction he had been going. After another long
walk, he reached the top of another long hill, and he came to a dirt road
which led through a farm gate. There was small wooden fence, and it looked as if
the gate had never been closed, as grass had grown up around it. As he
approached the gate, he saw a man just inside, sitting in the shade of
a tree in a rickety old chair, reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to
the reader. "Do you have any water?"
sure, there's a pump over there," the man said, pointing to a place that
couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in and make yourself at
about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.
welcome too, and there's a bowl by the pump," he said. They walked through
the gate and, sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a
dipper hanging on it and a bowl next to it on the ground. The man filled
the bowl for his dog, and then took a long drink himself.
both were satisfied, he and the dog walked back toward the man, who was
sitting under the tree waiting for them, and asked, "What do you call this
place?" the traveler asked.
is heaven," was the answer.
that's confusing," the traveler said. "It certainly doesn't look like heaven,
and there's another man down the road who said that place was heaven."
you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?"
it was beautiful."
it offend you for them to use the name of heaven like that?"
I can see how you might think so, but it actually saves us a lot of time.
They screen out the people who are willing to leave their best friends