Great Story (not wriiten by me)

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by compassman, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. compassman

    compassman

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    The Gates of Heaven

    The old man was so tired; he closed his eyes and dozed off. He began to dream, a vivid dream... "NO" he thought, this is no dream, and yet, what else could it be? He looked down at his arms, they were the arms of a young man, he was no longer old? He was standing beside a dirt road out in the country it was a beautiful day, the hills were covered with emerald green grass and knurled oak trees, it was so beautiful here? Then, seemingly, from out of nowhere, his dog Shep was by his side. But hadn't Shep been a pet of his youth? Then it dawned on him, he must have "crossed over." He must have died in his sleep. If so, all his fears of death had been silly; he felt better than he has ever felt in his life - this was the most beautiful place, the most beautiful day...

    Shep dropped a stick at his feet and backed up excitedly, looking down at the stick then up at him, obviously anxious for him to throw it, anxious to play. He knelt down and took Shep's head between his hands and kissed him on the top of his head, his heart filled with joy, thrilled at what seemed to have occurred, thrilled with this new "reality." He felt better than he had ever felt in life...

    He threw the stick for Shep and watched him bound excitedly after it, bringing it back over and over. He realized Shep was getting thirsty. Looking around he could not see any creek or stream or other place for Shep to get a drink so he decided they should start walking down the road. They hadn't gone very far when they came to a great marble arch with a gold gate and a gold road leading over a small hill. He could see and feel a warm glow coming from over the hill, next to the gate was a large pulpit upon which stood a saintly looking man wearing a white robe and having a long grey beard; very distinguished looking.

    "What is this place?" he asked.

    "Why don't you know? You've reached the Gates of Heaven," replied the man.

    "May I enter?" he asked, in wonder.


    "Hmmm... Let me look in my book." He turned a few pages and appeared to skim the contents. "Why, Yes! Your name is written here. You are welcome to enter." He gestured with one arm.

    "And my dog, he can come in too? He's very thirsty."

    "Sorry, but no. Absolutely not! I'm sorry, but dogs aren't allowed in heaven."

    The man thought about this for a few seconds. "Well, if my dog isn't welcome then I guess I really don't belong here either."

    "Suit yourself, but know this: If you turn your back on this gate you will never get a second chance to enter."

    He turned his back on heaven and continued down the road with Shep by his side. It was odd, all his life he had hoped to enter heaven, now he had turned his back on his only chance to enter. Yet, he felt strangely good about it. In fact, somehow, he could not manage to muster even a slight twinge of regret? In his heart he felt he had done "the right thing." As he walked down the road, the countryside seemed to continue to get more and more beautiful and his sense of well being grew stronger and stronger. He crested another hill and walked down into the most beautiful valley, the most beautiful place, he had ever been. Wildflowers bloomed everywhere, insects buzzed, and gorgeous butterflies he had never seen before flitted from flower to flower.

    By and by, his walk down the road brought him to another gate, just an old rail fence. There was a man standing off to one side. For the most part, he looked like a farmer. He was sitting on the fence. He was wearing denim coveralls and had on an old straw hat. He was idly holding a stem of grass between his lips. Just off the road on the other side of the gate was a well.

    "Hello" he said to the farmer. "May I enter here and get a bucket of water from your well? My dog is awfully thirsty."

    "Of course you may. You and your dog are both welcome here." The farmer smiled.

    So, he walked through the gate and proceeded to lower the bucket into the well. "Where am I?" he asked the farmer.

    "Son, you've reached the gates of heaven." The farmer's smile broadened.

    The man began to notice that the farmer possessed a holy, angelic visage. "Really? Are you sure? A man back there said the other place was the gate of heaven?"

    "Oh, yes. I know who you mean. He tells everyone that. But then you know 'the devil is a liar.'" The holy man smirked and shook his head. "Did you truly think God would ever let anyone pass through the real gates of heaven who was willing to leave his best friend in life alone and thirsty by the side of the road?"
     
  2. Blinky

    Blinky Rocket Surgeon

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  3. goldenlight

    goldenlight

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    I found a very similar story, featuring a cat, many years ago:


    A man loves and cares for his only companion on earth - a scraggly,mangy cat. The cat dies some years before the man and he is distraught at the loss of the only mortal thing that loved him unconditionally.

    When the man dies, he is finally reunited with his beloved cat and he is ecstatic. The cat also seems pleased as punch and purrs constantly while the man gently pets the head he has never forgotten.

    The man & the cat find themselves on a long country road. He sees a sign that says "Heaven - this way". He walks and walks and walks. After a while, he passes a farm. In the distance he can just make out some huge big white glowing gates, and feels that he is finally getting somewhere.
    He eventually gets to the gates, tired and exhausted. The presence of these luminous gates are almost overpowering and he is totally awestruck. The cat is entirely non-plussed by the whole affair, and is also clearly tired and very thirsty.

    A figure dressed in white flowing robes appears before the man. "Welcome to Heaven" says the figure. The man smiles wearily at the figure, while the cat lies, exhausted, by his feet. "All you ever wanted will be here - every wish will be fulfilled.

    What is your heart's desire?" asked the figure. The man smiled a relieved smile.

    "well, just now I'd like nothing more than some cool water for my cat and I to drink"

    The figure snaps his fingers and an intricately decorated tumbler appears instantaneously. The rainbow reflections that only diamonds have dance within in. With another snap, the tumbler magically fills with ice of the most exquisite shapes. Water follows on top of the ice, which does not melt. A straw and a twist of lemon and lime complete the
    picture.

    "What about my cat?" the man asks

    The figure shakes it head, and says that no animals are allowed in heaven - only humans.

    The man, knowing what a wonderful, caring, companion he had, and knowing that the cat was really the only mortal creature that ever loved him unconditionally says to the figure that he does not want to go be in heaven if they don't allow animals. The figure again shakes his head and says "sorry, but they are the rules".

    The man gathers up the exhausted beast and dejectedly walks back along the road.

    As he passes the farm, an old and grizzled man waves at him. The cat, who had been lying exhausted in the man's arms, looks up and makes a feeble attempt to meow. The farmer greets the man "Ho, stranger, you look tired and thirsty. Would you care for a drink?"

    At this point, the man does not care one way or another where he is, all he knows is that he is terribly thirsty and his beloved cat is getting dangerously dehydrated.

    The man nods, and the farmer leads him to a well. "Sorry, I don't have anything fancy" says the farmer, but dips an
    old and dented tin cup into a well. He hands it to the man, and he drinks deeply. When finished, he notices that the old man has also given his beloved cat a bowl of the same, fresh, cool water. The old man explains "she looked like she needed some too. Beautiful creatures, aren't they?". The man just nods as he downs his second cup.

    The old man smiles to himself "Say, friend, would you like to stay for dinner? We don't have anything fancy but the wife and kids and I would sure like the company".

    The old man winked at the cat, and said conspiritially, "I think I have some milk somewhere for you as well"

    After sitting down to a simple, but satisfying meal, the man smiled contently. The cat was curled up asleep by the fire, and everyone around the table looked happy and peaceful. They chatted casually about their days work, what animals needed tending to, what to sow next season, who needed what help, and what they'd do tomorrow.

    The man felt more content than he had in years, and his dear old moggy was purring in a way that brought tears to his eyes. The old man noticed the look on the man's face and said "Son, why don't you stop a
    while, you look like you need a place to stay. We don't have anything fancy here, but its adequate. You can help my daughters and sons tend the animals and crops, and labor around the farm, while we share with you our simple lodgings. Your cat is more than welcome and can join
    with the rest of the cat troupe. She'll be loved by all of us as you love her.

    The man stayed and worked at the old man's farm and was never happier and more content in his life. His cat became healthy, with a shinycoat and the gleam in her eye that she had in kittenhood returned. Although the farm lacked anything modern, fancy or luxurious, the man was indeed content to stay.

    While working in the fields one day, with his cat chasing the mice around his feet, he suddenly remembered the pearly gates he had been turned away from. With a sudden fear of going to hell, he raced to the old farmer and angrily demanded to know what this place really was and why he had been turned away from heaven.

    The old man smiled patiently, and said "Son, that place was not heaven. Don't let the shiny gates fool you. You did the right thing when you turned away. Do you really think that God would refuse entry to any of his angels?" The man's cat rubbed at his legs and mrrped in agreement.

    The old man asked the young man if he was happy and enjoyed doing the work he was given? The man replied that he'd never been happier in hislife, the work was hard but satisfying, the food simple but good, the accommodation perfectly adequate for his needs. And that he was able to spend the day with his beloved cat who seemed to really like it here
    too.

    And the old man smiled and ancient smile and asked the man "Why do you doubt? Not every thing you want is good for you, your heart desires much that will harm you, and you should be very careful about what you wish for. If you are not happy here, you are free to leave at any time, but I was kind of hoping that you'd like to stay." The man's cat rubbed herself against the old man's legs. "Where do you think you are, anyway?"

    As the old man lifted the cat upon his shoulder to give her a good scritching, the sun shone through the cat's fur. The man thought he could make out a slight halo. A thought dawned in his mind. "Yes," said the old man, "you can now see". The man looked up to see many animals with subtle halos, each one happy to reflect the simple, unconditional
    love that God has for us. "Its the only way I could reach most of you" said the old farmer, "but I'm glad that your angel finally lead you back to me." The old farmer embraced the man warmly. "Your family has missed you, welcome back".

    And the Angel sitting on God's shoulder purred contentedly.
     
  4. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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