He remembered dying and that the dog walking
Beside him had been dead for years.
He wondered where the road was leading them.
After 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 arch
That glowed 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 and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got
Closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out,
“Excuse me, where are we?”
“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.
”Wow! Would you happen to have some water?”
The man asked.
”Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have
Some ice water brought right up.”
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
“Can ,” gesturing toward his dog,
“come in, too?” the traveller asked.
”I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”
The man thought a moment and then turned
Back toward the road and continued the way
He had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another
Long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a
Farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed.
There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside,
Leaning against a tree and reading a book.
”Excuse me!” he called to the man.
“Do you have any water?”
”Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there,
Come on in.”
”How about my friend here?” the traveller
Gestured to the dog.
”There should be a bowl by the pump,” said the man.
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there
Was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveller filled the water bowl and took a long
Drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back
Toward the man who was standing by the tree.
”What do you call this place?” the traveller asked.
“This is Heaven,” he answered.
”Well, that’s confusing,” the traveller said.
”The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’”
”Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly
Gates? Nope. That’s Hell.”
”Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”
”No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would
Leave their best friends behind.”