COWBOY AT THE PEARLY GATES
old cowboy was riding his trusty horse, followed
by his faithful dog, along
an unfamiliar road.
The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery,
when he suddenly remembered dying,
and realized the dog beside him
had been dead for years, as had his horse.
Confused, he wondered what was happening,
and where the trail was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high,
white stone wall that looked like fine marble.
At the top of a long hill, the wall
was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden
letter "H" that glittered in the
Within the arch was a magnificent gate
made of mother-of-pearl, and the street
that led past gate seemed to be paved
He rode toward the gate, and as he came closer,
he saw a man at a desk to one side.
and tired out by his journey,
the cowboy called out, "Excuse me, Sir,
where are we?"
"This is Heaven," answered the smiling
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?"
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll
have some ice water brought right up."
As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked,
"Can I bring my partners, too?"
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept
The cowboy thought for a moment,
then turned back to the road and continued
his dog trotting by his side.
After another long ride, at the top
of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading
through a ranch gate that looked
as if it had never been closed. 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?"
"Sure, there's a pump right over there.
"How about my friends here?" the
traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.
"Of course! They look thirsty, too,"
said the man.
The trio went through the gate,
and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned
hand pump with buckets beside it.
The traveler filled a cup and the buckets
with wonderfully cool water and took a long
drink, as did his horse and dog.
When they were full, he walked back
to the man who was still standing
by the tree.
"What do you call this place?"
the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," he answered.
"That's confusing," the traveler
"The man down the road said that was
"Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy,
gold street and fake pearly gates?
. . . . That's hell."
"Doesn't it make you angry when they
your name like that?"
"Not at all...
we're happy they screen out
the folks who would leave their best friends
to all that...
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