A boy and his dog were walking along a road. The boy was enjoying
the walk, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead!
He remembered dying and that his dog had died with him. After a while,
came to a high, white marble wall along one side of the road.
At the top of a long hill, the wall was broken by a tall arch that
glowed in the sunlight. In the arch was a magnificent
mother-of-pearl gate, and the street that led to the gate shone
like gold. The boy walked up, and as he got closer, he saw an
attendant at a desk to one side. He called out, "Excuse me, do
you have any water?"
"This is heaven, son," the attendant answered. "And of course we
have water. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right
"The attendant gestured, and the gate swung open.
"Can my friend come in, too?" the boy asked, gesturing toward his
"Oh I'm sorry, son, but we don't accept pets."
The boy thought a moment, and then turned back toward the road,
continuing 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
which led through an open farm gate. As he approached the gate, he
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." The man pointed to a
place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate.
"Come on in."
"How about my friend here?" the boy gestured to the dog.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and there was an old-fashioned hand
pump with a bowl beside it. The boy filled the bowl and put it down
for the dog. While the dog was drinking, he took a long drink directly
from the pump. When they were full, they walked back toward the man
standing by the tree waiting for them.
"It's very nice here. What do you call this place?" the boy asked.
"This is heaven," was the answer.
"Well, that's confusing," the boy 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 really hell."
"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" the
"No. I can see how you might think it's wrong, but it helps them
screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."
....Hey, is this a lesson for you?