by Erik Koht

Even though the Fox had already sunk his teeth into the neck of the Rabbit, the Rabbit dared interrupt the course of Nature by asking: "Am I going to Heaven or Hell now?" The Fox had difficulty articulating clearly with a mouth full of food and little patience with a talking dinner, so he replied quickly: "A rabbit in my belly, sounds like Heaven to me!" Fearing further questions, he ate. After dinner he got to wondering. To him questions of Heaven and Hell had never seemed worthy of much consideration. Now he was ready for a bit of clarification. The Fox sought the tree where the Owl slept. He sat down and waited for nightfall for the Owl to wake. Under the rising moon, the Fox spoke:


"Please tell me, esteemed Mrs. Owl, what is this business of Heaven and Hell?"

The Owl let the required minutes of contemplation pass, then replied, "Imagine, that you are chasing a rabbit. The closer you get the skinnier it gets, and just when you catch it, it turns into nothing but skin and bones. That is Hell. Then imagine another rabbit. For every leap you close in on it, it grows fatter and juicer. By the time you bite its neck, it has turned into the rabbit of all your dreams, surpassing even your imagination. That's Heaven."

The Fox thanked the Owl for the explanation and laid down for a nap. St. Peter had been standing all the while at the gateway of the Holy City and overheard the conversation between the Fox and the Owl. He looked around the courtyard of Heaven but didn't see head nor tail of any rabbits, neither skinny ones nor fat ones. He wondered how this nocturnal fowl could express herself with such certainty about places she had never seen.

He put on his mighty guardian-of-the-gate voice and roared down to the Owl perched in the tree: "How can you sit there and utter such utter baloney? I know for a fact you've never been up here nor to that hole down below!"

"I have to answer in a way the Fox will understand," retorted the Owl, unruffled, "I need to stay within the framework of his parameters of reference."

"Is that so? Then I recommend you shut your beak, since you have no inkling what you are talking about," boomed the mighty saint.

"Then why don't you tell me what it's really like up there?" the Owl shot back, still unimpressed by the thunderous voice from above.

"That is not the business of mere mortals, you goggle-eyed, compulsive regurgitator of rodent remains, because the likes of you will never get in here, nor do we let in any scabby foxes or fornicating rabbits, either. Only those that can prove they have relatives already living up here or have been designated saints by the appropriate body are permitted entry." proclaimed St. Peter, brusquely Thus ended the conversation.

"Uh-huh, uh-huh" cried the Owl, finally losing her composure. So distraught was she by this revelation that she tumbled from her perch onto the ground. That's how she discovered that all the animals had gathered beneath her tree and sat listening. One of the animals was a sway-backed white cow.

"Listen to me," said the White Cow. "There is another way to Eternity, it's called reincarnation. I and my friends have used this system all of this aeon. I started off as a fly, died and turned into a dog, died again and became what you now see before you, a holy cow. I wholeheartedly recommend this method."

While the Cow was speaking, the Pink Elephant served refreshments. The ensuing debate was lively, much thanks to those refreshments. Your guess is as good as mine, but I think it unlikely that far-reaching decisions where made that night. But at least the nocturnal carnivores remember the night fondly.

Tilbake til hovedsiden / Back to main page.