Dinah in Heaven
The Woman in His Life

by Rudyard Kipling

She did not know that she was dead,
But, when the pang was o'er,
Sat down to wait her Master's tread
Upon the Golden Floor,

With ears full-cock and anxious eyes,
Impatiently resigned;
But ignorant that Paradise
Did not admit her kind.

Persons with Haloes, Harps, and Wings
Assembled and reproved;
Or talked to her of Heavenly things,
But Dinah never moved.

There was one step along the Stair
That led to Heaven's Gate;
And, till she heard it, her affair,
Was--she explained--to wait.

And she explained with flattened ear,
Bared lip and milky tooth --
Storming against Ithuriel's Spear
That only proved her truth!

Sudden--far down the Bridge of Ghosts
That anxious spirits clomb--
She caught that step in all the hosts,
And knew that he had come.

She left them wondering what to do,
But not a doubt had she.
Swifter than her own squeal she flew
Across the Glassy Sea;

Flushing the Cherubs everywhere,
And skidding as she ran,
She refuged under Peter's Chair
And waited for her man.

There spoke a Spirit out of the press,
Said: "Have you any here
That saved a fool from drunkeness,
And a coward from his fear?

"That turned a soul from dark to day
When other help was vain;
That snatched it from Wanhope and made
A cur a man again?"

"Enter and look," said Peter then,
And set The Gate ajar.
"If I know aught of women and men
I trow she is not far."

"Neither by virtue, speech nor art
Nor hope of grace to win;
But godless innocence of heart
That never heard of sin:

Neither by beauty nor belief
Nor white example shown.
Something a wanton--more a thief--
But--most of all--mine own."

"Enter and look," said Peter then,
"And send you well to speed;
But, for all that I know of women and men
Your riddle is hard to read."

Then flew Dinah from under the Chair,
Into his arms she flew--
And licked his face from chin to hair
And Peter passed them through!

~ ~ ~

Heaven Without Friends?

A man and his dog were walking along a road.

The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. 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 my friend come in, too?" the traveler asked, gesturing toward his dog.

"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 which led 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 reader. "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 traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate and, sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the 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 waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler 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. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."


~ ~ ~

Heaven Without Friends?

Australian telling of

A man woke up one day, lying beside a country road.

Beside him was his faithful dog. However as the dog had died some years ago, the man concluded that he had died also, and had just passed over.

So the man walked along the country road, his dog beside him, tail wagging furiously. The sun was hot, and the road was long.

Finally the man came to a gate and through the gate he could see fountains, swimming pools, five star hotels, golf courses and all the trimmings of luxury. A nice old chap in long pearly robes with a long white beard stood by the gate - so the man approached him and asked "What is this place?".

"This is heaven" the old chap replied "You look hot - come in and refresh yourself"

"That's fantastic" reckoned the man "Come on girl, lets get a drink"

"I'm sorry" said the old chap regretfully "But dogs arent allowed"

The man looked down at his faithful old dog, who looked at him mournfully. "Thanks anyway, but we're old mates" said the man, and moved on down the country road.

After a while in the sun, he came to another gate. Here too there was a guy with a long white beard, wearing overalls and a straw hat. Through the gate, the man could see some sheep, a windmill and an old fashioned water pump - so he approached the old chap and asked "Excuse me, it's awfully hot - can I bother you for a drink of water?"

"Of course" said the old chap "help yourself"

"Can I bring in my mate here" asked the man, referring to his dog.

"Sure" said the old guy, scratching the dog behind the ears.

Both the man and the dog entered the gate and took their fill of water. They returned to the old chap at the gate and asked "What is this place?"

"This is heaven" said the old guy.

"But that was heaven down the road there!" exclaimed the man.

"No no" said the old dude "That's just Hell"

"Gee, then you must get mad at them claiming to be heaven" reckoned the man.

"Not really" said the old fella "It sorts out the sort of bloke that would leave their best mate behind - and that type isn't welcome here anyway"


~ ~ ~

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

~ Will Rogers

~ ~ ~

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."

~ James Thurber

~ ~ ~

"Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

~ Mark Twain

~ ~ ~