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“Morty!” I whispered.
“What is it?”
“A cow?” my husband replied. “But we’re in heaven.”
“Heaven’s front yard, at least.”
There could be no question that we were no longer on earth. The ground beneath us was a cerulean blue; benevolent saints welcomed us atop ephemeral clouds.
I gave one of the saints a friendly wave, mentally doing the math on how many steps separated us from the bovine creature. At this rate, we’d end up standing in line behind it, entering the pearly gates right after. I grabbed my husband’s hand and slowed our pace.
There was only a moment to appreciate the strength of the hand — what a nice change it made from the sun-spotted, arthritic claw I’d been gripping in recent years! — before another man entered the line behind us, suddenly appearing from the universe in a white robe.
I kicked a stray cloud. Now that someone was behind us, we’d have to approach sequentially, right behind the cow.
“What’s the big deal?” Morty whispered. “All dogs go to heaven. Why not cows, too?”
“Do you really have to ask?” I hissed back. “How many of them have you eaten?”
My husband paled, losing all semblance of equanimity. His skin nearly matched his pearly robes.
“But surely that’s OK?” he said. “I mean, everyone does it! They can’t get mad at everyone!”
As the steps between us and the creature narrowed, I gave it a little wave.
“Hello!” I said to the cow. “Er, what am I saying? Moo! Honey, moo at him!”
The cow gave us a look of ineffable pity.
“I’m actually a ‘she,’” the cow responded. “Funny, my udders were all your type seemed to care about on earth.”
“Yeah, sorry,” I mumbled. “We’ve never, you know, met a cow before.”
“Yeah, it’s easier that way, isn’t it?”
Get the audio of the story in episode 13 of the Vocabbett podcast, beginning around 1:40, below!