Thursday, 11 May 2006

Where is Rover now?

A woman I know attempted to comfort a bereaved friend by saying that at last the late lamented had been re-united with the much-loved spaniel who had predeceased him by some twenty years. I did not think it appropriate to point out that this is rank heresy, since nowhere in Holy Writ is there any mention of an after-life for lesser beings than Man.
But, for all except believers, common sense suggests that it is ridiculous to imagine that we are the only beings who qualify. No-one who has ever seen a gorilla cuddling her young or a chimpanzee scratching his bottom can doubt that we are very closely related indeed to them, and that they have the same rights as humans to spend eternity in reasonable comfort, though of course their total lack of interest in the Scriptures disqualifies them for a place anywhere in the vicinity of Jesus.
The same goes for lesser creatures. My own guess is that all of them spend eternity in some sort of heavenly annexe, with accommodation graded from plain but commodious quarters for the primates to smaller establishments for, say, water-voles, down to very tiny cubby-holes for worms and other creepy-crawlies.
After all, Noah made adequate arrangements for all contemporary living creatures, and we must suppose that the Almighty, with far more time and resources at His disposal, has set up something adequate for dead ones, though of course the Ark provided for only two of each whereas the number of dead creatures in residence upstairs must by now be running into zillions, even if you discount insects, bacteria, and others who for one reason or another are not eligible.

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