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!