Image: Ferdinand Hodler
When Jimmy Smith in all his nakedness arrived in heaven the host of angels, who greeted his arrival said he could ask one question before he entered eternity.
Jimmy’s question was: “Can I practice bonsai in heaven?”
All six angels, each with a designated role in the workings of eternity looked curiously from one to the other.
Jimmy found the six angels looking from one to the other somewhat disturbing. They all looked alike, facially that is as well as dress, and they each floated the same height above the ground. Added to that two had green feet and that just didn’t seem right to Jimmy. For a moment, he began to wonder just where he had landed.
As they towered above him, a small bonsai plant appeared at his feet, much to his eternal pleasure.
“This you can carry and tend to throughout eternity,” said the angel with the pink flowers in each hand.
Jimmy was soon to learn that the angels had names and the one who gave him the bonsai was Agnes, Angel of Nature, her sister Angel, Agnes of the Flowers held a small single rose which every so often she kissed in a way that made Jimmy feel a bit more uncomfortable.
The angels on the ends were Agnes, Angel of Aerobics 1 and 2 and immediately Jimmy thought of one his favourite TV programs, Bananas in Pyjamas, totally inappropriate he knew but he was after all a child and all this eternity heaven stuff was new to him.
Aerobics 1 and 2 continuously waved their arms about in some sort of exercise fashion, and Jimmy felt he should steer well clear of them.
He looked and saw that Angel 3 the one with a single flower held between her breasts was telling him in the gentlest voice not to be afraid and she and Angel 2, Agnes, Angel of the Mute would take care of him and that if he should need anything to ask. She was, Agnes, Angel of Compassion.
“Can I have some clothes?” asked Jimmy, beginning to feel the cold which he thought odd as if this was heaven and why would I feel cold?
Immediately clothes appeared on his back, and he began to feel much better.
Agnes, Angel of Compassion, held out a hand to him and lifted him to his feet.
“Come,” she said, “Eternity awaits.”
Taking his new bonsai under his arm, he followed Agnes, Angel of Compassion. As he walked along, he could hear the other angels saying: “Don’t mollycoddle him.” “He’ll never learn.” “He has to stand on his own two feet if he is to earn his wings.”
This went on until Agnes, Angel of Compassion turned and holding up two fingers, in what Jimmy took as a thoroughly unangel-like gesture silenced the other angels but did bring a smile to the face of Agnes, Angel of the Mute.
“This is going to be a most interesting place,” thought Jimmy.