A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Can You Bear It?

An old cowboy with his trusty horse and his faithful dog came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight. . Parched and tired out by his journey, 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 cowboy asked, ‘Can I bring my partners, too?’

‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’

The cowboy turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

He came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. He saw a man inside, ‘Excuse me,’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’

‘Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.’

‘How about my friends here?’ the traveller 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. The traveller 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 ‘What do you call this place?’ the traveller asked.

‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.

‘That’s confusing,’ the traveller said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’

‘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 use your name like that?’

‘Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’



On his first day as a member of the galley crew, the slave remarked to the oarsman beside him that it was a beautiful day to be sculling around the Mediterranean.

“Won’t be tomorrow,” said his mate, “we’re booked to take Anthony and Cleopatra waterskiing”.

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