In and Out the Pearly Gates

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Turned away from Hell, Brother Jim tries his luck at the door of heaven.

So I turned around and walked on until I came to the door of heaven and I knocked there too.

St. Peter happened to be sitting there, keeping watch at the gate. I knew him right away and thought, There’s my old friend. Now I’ll be all right.

But St. Peter said, “You can’t come in.”

I said, “Let me in, brother. I’ve got to stay somewhere. If they had taken me into hell, I wouldn’t be here.”

St. Peter said, “No! You can’t come in.”

“All right, if you won’t let me in, take your knapsack back. I don’t want anything of yours,” I said.

“Give it to me, then,” said St. Peter. So I pushed the knapsack through the railings into heaven and St. Peter took it and hung it up beside him on his chair.

But I said, “Now I wish myself inside the knapsack.” Whoosh! I was inside. That’s how I got into heaven.

But St. Peter called two big and burly friends, James and John and the three of them gave me the heave-ho, out through the pearly gates.

Si I started to walk back the way I got there but somehow I took a wrong turn. And that’s how I got here to tell you this story.

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

Next time: The story of Ho-ichi and how I became a storyteller!

Wide and Narrow Roads

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After disposing of eight of nine devils from the haunted hotel Brother Jim starts on his travels again.

After that, I wandered the world for a long time. I could tell you many more stories if I had the time. But I finally got old and began to think of my last day. So I went to a holy man known for his wisdom. I said to him, “I’m tired of wandering and want to see about getting into heaven.”

The holy man answered, “There are two paths. One is wide and pleasant and leads to hell; the other is rough and narrow and leads to heaven.”:

Then I’d be a fool, I thought, if I took the rough and narrow path. So I set out, walked the wide and pleasant path, and finally came to a big black gate. It was the gate of hell. I knocked, and the gatekeeper peered out to see who it might be.

But when he saw me he was afraid, for he happened to be the very ninth devil that had been inside the knapsack and got away with a black eye. He quickly locked the gate, ran off to the chief of devils, and said, “There’s a fellow outside with a knapsack who wants to come in. But if you value your life, don’t let him, or he’ll wish all of hell into his knapsack. He once had me horrible hammered in it.”

And so they called to me outside and told me to go away, I couldn’t come in.

If they don’t want me here, I thought, I’ll see if I can find accommodations in heaven. I’ve got to stay somewhere.

So I turned around and walked on until I came to the door of heaven and I knocked there too.

Thursday: In and Out the Pearly Gates

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

Whackin’ dem Devils

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Brother Jim has all the devils from the haunted hotel in his magic knapsack. What’s he going to do with them?

The travel lodge owner and the businesswoman who owned the hotel showed up in the morning to see what had become of me. When they found me well and in good spirits they were amazed and asked, “Didn’t the ghosts bother you?”

“Not at all,” I answered. “I’ve got all nine of them inside my knapsack. You can come back and reopen your hotel. Nobody is going to haunt it any longer..”

The businesswoman thanked me and gave me many presents. She begged me to remain in her service as a “ghostbuster” and promised to provide for me as long as I lived. (I think she took a shine to me!)

“No,” I answered. “I’m used to wandering and need to be on the move.”

So I went on my way, and came upon some carpenters building a house. I laid the knapsack with the nine devils inside it on the ground, and asked two carpenters to hammer the bag. They raised their hammers and started banging away.

The devils screeched piteously. When I opened the knapsack later, eight of them were dead. But one had sat in a fold and was still alive. He slipped out and fled back to hell.

Monday: The Wide and Narrow Roads

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

The Haunted Hotel

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Brother Jim rises to the challenge of spending a night in the haunted hotel. How will he fare?

Soon after lying on the couch in the hotel lobby I was asleep. But in the middle of the night I was roused by a great noise. When I had fully woken up I saw that there were nine hideous devils in the lobby. They had made a ring around me and were dancing all around.

I said, “”Go ahead and dance all you want, only don’t any of you come too near.” But the devils kept crowding closer and closer and almost stepped on my face with their nasty feet.

“Take it easy there, you devilish ghosts,” I said, but they carried on worse than ever. I got angry and cried, “Now then, I”m going to get me a little peace and quiet here.” Then I grabbed a chair and swung it at them. But nine devils against one soldier are too many, and while I was hitting the ones in the front, the ones behind me grabbed me and pulled me mercilessly by the hair.

“Now I’ve had enough! Just you wait! Into my knapsack, all nine of you!” I cried.

Whoosh! They all went into my knapsack and I buckled it and threw it into a corner. All of a sudden there was quiet. I laid down and slept till the bright morning sun.

Thursday: “Whackin’ dem Devils!”

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

Brother Jim Rises to a Challenge

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With his belly full of steak procured from the bar and grill by way of the magic sack given to him by St. Peter, Brother Jim continues on his wayi.

So I wnet on my way and came to a town. In the middle of the town stood a splendid hotel and not far from it a miserable, run dwon, travel lodge. I went in the travel lodge and asked for a night’s lodging. But the lodge owner turned me away, saying, “There’s no more room. The lodge is full of guests.”

“That’s strange,” I said. “Why do they come here when there’s such a splendid hotel nearby?”

“That would be something,” answered the lodge owner, “to spend the night here! No one who tried has ever come back alive.”

“If others have tried,” I said, “so will I.”

“Let it alone,” said the owner of the travel lodge, “or it will cost you your head.”

“I don’t lose my head so easily,” I said. “Who hasd a key to the hotel?”

“I have a spare key,” said the manager.

“Give me the key and plenty of food and drink to take with me.”

And so the lodge owner gave me the key, and food and drink, and I took it to the hotel with me. I enjoyed a good meal, and when I became sleepy, I laid down on the couch in the lobby because there were no beds in any of the rooms.

Monday: “The Haunted Hotel”

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

The Magic Sack

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St. Peter saved Brother Jim’s (that’s me) hide by bringing the senator’s dead mistress back to life. On the way out of town St. Peter confronted me about what I had in my knapsack.

As I came out of town, St. Peter was standing by the road and said, “Now look, what sort of man are you? Didn’t I forbid you to accept anything and here you’ve got a knapsack full of money.”

“How can I help what someone puts in it?” I answered.

The apostle scowled at me and said, “Don’t you ever do anything like that again or you’ll be in big trouble!”

“Don’t worry, brother,” I said. “Now that I’ve got all this money, why should I spend my life washing bones?”

“Yes,” said St. Peter, “That money will last you a long time! But so that you will not walk in forbidden paths again, “I’ll give you knapsack this magic power: whatever you wish into it shall be in it. Goodbye. You won’t see me again.”

“Goodbye to you too,” I said, and thought, Good riddance, you strange bird! I won’t go running after you, that is for sure!”

As for the power bestowed up on my knapsack, I never gave it a thought.

Monday: Two Steaks in a Sack

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

The “Pete-man” Saves the Day

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Brother Jim tried and failed to bring the Senator’s mistress back to life. But St. Peter saved the day. Here’s how he did it.

I went and stood before the bones of the senator’s mistress that I had arranged the best I could. Just as St. Peter had done with he Mayor’s daughter I said, “In the name of the most Holy Trinity, you who are dead, arise.” I said this three times, but the bones didn’t move. So I said it again three more times in vain. “Arise you silly goose, if you know what’s good for you!” I said.

Just then St. Peter in his former disguise of a sailor suddenly came walking through the window and siad, “You wicked man, what do you think you are doing? How can the dead mistress arise when you have thrown her bones in such a jumble?”

“I did the best I could, old friend,” I answered.

“This time I will help you out of your trouble. But I tell you one thing,” warned St. Peter. “If you ever do anything like this again it will be a bad day’s work for you. And don’t even think about asking for a penny from the senator.

So St. Pete laid the bones in the right order, said three time, “In the name of the most Holy Trinity, you who are dead, arise,” and the mistress arose and was healthy and beautiful as ever. Then St. Peter went back through the window.

I was glad that everything had turned out so well, but it annoyed me that I was not allowed to take the reward. That fellow must have some sort of bee in his bonnet, I thought; what he gives with one hand he takes away with the other. It doesn’t make any sense.

The senator offered me whatever I wanted, but I couldn’t take anything. Nevertheless, by hints and cunning, I brought it about that the senator had my knapsack filled with one hundred dollar bills from a kickback he’d taken. And I went on my way.

Monday: “The Magic Sack”

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

Let Me Try It

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After splitting up the cash they received from the mayor for healing his daughter, St. Peter and Brother Jim go their separate ways.

And so St. Peter took a different road, but I thought, Just as well he’s trotting off. Saints alive, what a character!

Now I had plenty of money, to be sure, but I’ve never been very thrifty or frugal. I wound up squandering some and giving the rest away. I was flat broke again.

As I walked along I came into a town, went to a corner store, and picked up a copy of The National Enquirer. The head line that day read “Senator in Mourning for his Mistress.”

Hello, I thought,  this is going to be something. I’ll make that girl come back to life and make him pay through the nose. So I went to the senator and offered to bring his mistress back to life.

Now the senator had read in the National Enquirer about a discharged soldier traveling through the state bringing dead people back to life and hadn’t put much stock in the report. But when I showed up offering to raise his honey from the dead he decided he take a chance. What did he have to lose?

So I had them bring me a kettle of water, and made everybody go outside. I cut the mistress into pieces, threw them into the water, and kit a fire under the kettle, just as I watched St. Peter do.

The water began to boil and the flesh fell off the bones. I took the bones out and put them on the table, only I didn’t remember the order in which they went and laid them every which way, back to front.

Then I went and stood before the bones and said, “In the nmae of the most Holy Trinity, you who are dead, aride.” I said this three times, but the bones didn’t move. So I said it three more times in vain. “Arise you silly goose, if you know what’s good for you!” I said.

Monday: “The ‘Pete Man’ Saves the Day!

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

Two for Me. None For You.

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Loaded down with cash after resurrecting the mayor’s dead daughter, brother Jim and St. Peter continue on their journey.

So we went on our way and came to a forest, and Pete said, “Now let’s divide up those fifty dollar bills in your knapsack.”

“Yes, let’s do that,” I answered. So St. Peter divided up the money and divided it into three parts. When I saw him divide it into three parts I thought, There he goes again. He must have a screw loose somewhere, making three parts when there are only two of us. But St. Peter said, “I have divided it exactly, one part for me, one part for you, and one part for the one who ate the heart of the lamb.”

“Oh, that was me,” I answered quickly and swept the money into my pocket. “I ate it, honestly I did.”

“How can that be,” said St. Peter, “When a lamb doesn’t have a heart.”

“Oh, come on, brother, where did you get that idea?! Of course a lamb has a heart, just like every other animal. Why shouldn’t a lamb have one?”

“All right, let it go,” said St. Pete, “and you can keep the money for yourself, only I’m not staying with you any longer. I’ll go on alone.”

“Just as you like, old friend,” I answered. “Take care!”

Thursday: Let Me Try It.

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

The Mayor’s Daughter

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Brother Jim and St. Peter’s journey continues.

So we went on and came to a town where we heard that the mayor’s daughter lay sick to death. “Now then,” I said to St. Peter, here’s a windfall for us! If we cure this one we’ll have it made!”

But Pete didn’t move fast enough for me.

“Come on, shake a leg, old friend,” I said. “We have to get there before it’s too late.”

But my man, Pete, just walked slower, and the more I drove and pushed him, the slower he walked, until in the end we heard that the mayor’s daughter had died.

“There!” I said, “All because of this sleepy way you walk.”

“Don’t worry,” answered St. Peter, “I can do better than make the sick well. I can bring the dead back to life.”

“Well, in that case!” I said. “That’s good enough for me. But it’s got to earn us a half a knapsack full of money at the very least!”

And so we came to city hall, where everyone was in deep mourning for the mayor’s daughter. St. Peter told the mayor he would bring his daughter back to life. At first, the mayor was skeptical of St. Peter’s claim. But with the desperation that fills the heart of every bereaved parent, the mayor finally agreed to let St. Pete have a go at it.

So we were taken to the dead girl and St. Peter said, “Bring me a kettle of water.” When they had brought it, “the Petester” asked everyone to leave and only I was allowed to stay with him.

Then the apostle cut the dead girl into pieces and threw the pieces into the water, lit a fire under the kettle, and boiled them. And when all the flesh had fallen off, he took out the beautiful white bones and laid them on a table and put them into their natural order. When that was done he came and stood before them and said three times, “In the name of the most Holy Trinity, you who are dead, arise.” At the third time the mayor’s daughter rose up alive, healthy, and beautiful.

Now the mayor was overjoyed and said, “Ask for your reward, and if it is half my city, I will give it to you.” But St. Peter said, “I don’t want anything.” Oh, you everlasting fool, I thought to myself. I poked St. Peter in the ribs and said, “Don’t be a blockhead, if you don’t want something, I can certainly do with it..”

St. Peter wouldn’t take anything, but the mayor saw how very much I wanted a reward and had the city treasurer fill my knapsack with fifty dollar bills.

 Monday: “Two for Me. None for You”

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

‘Fess Up!

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Brother Jim cooked the lamb, ate the heart, then lied to St. Peter about eating it. Think he might be in trouble? Let’s find out!

So we went on our way and St. Peter made a great river flow right across our path and we had to cross over. St. Peter said, “You go on ahead.”

“No,” I answered, “you go ahead,” thinking to myself: If the water is too deep for him, I’m staying here.

So St. Peter strode across and the water barely reached to his knees. Then I tried to cross but the river became deeper until it rose to my neck. I cried out, “Brother, help me!”

St Peter said, “Will you confess that you ate the heart of the lamb?”

“No,” I answered, “I didn’t eat it.” And the water became deeper still and rose to my mouth.

“Help me, brother,” I cried again.

And again St. Peter said, “Will you confess that you ate the heart of the lamb?”

“No,” I answered, “I did not.”

St. Peter didn’t want to let me drown, so he made the water fall, and helped me across.

Next time: “The Mayor’s Daughter

What’s Up, Doc?

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Brother Jim has now joined St. Peter in the disguise of a sailor. Their adventure continues…

So St. Peter, disguised as a sailor (yellow glow around his sailor’s cap), and I wlaked down the road. After a while we came to a farm house where we heard a tremendous moaning and crying. So we wnet inside and found a man laying ill and ready to die. The farmer’s wife was weeping and wailing noisly.

“Stop your weeping and wailing,” said St. Peter, “I will make your husband well again.”

“The Petester” took a tube of ointment out of his pocket and cured the sick man in the blink of an eye so that he stood right up perfectly healthy.

“How can we ever repay you? What can we give you?” said the husband and wife in their great joy. But St. Peter would not take anything, and the more the poor people offered, the more he declined.

Well, I nudged St. Peter and said, “Go on, take something, we could use it.” Finally, the farmer’s wife brought a lamb, saying we must take it, but old St. Petey said he did not want it.

I poked St. Peter in the ribs and said, “Take it, you blockhead. We can surely use it.” And so finally St. Peter said, “All right, I’ll take the lamb, but I won’t carry it. If you want it, you carry it.”

“Don’t worry, “I’ll carry it all right,” I said. And I put the lamb across my shoulders.

Thursday: “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole thing!”

The Adventures of Brother Jim based on the story “Brother Gaily” from The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.

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