Arnaud Dumouch, 2005,

Table of the Stories

Translation : Alain Quenneville





I phoned Jeanne some three months later because I had something specific in mind. I wanted, once and for all, put this animal in heaven story to rest. Unfortunately it had been difficult to broach the subject without any sort of reference. I was worried that she’d find my question trivial at best.

What decided me was when my friend’s eight-year-old son lost his dog. If this question, I told myself, isn’t insignificant to a child, then it isn’t insignificant to God.

I approached the subject by narrating to Jeanne a strange text in one of Saint Luke’s Gospel:

« And there was a considerable herd of pigs grazing in the mountain. The demons pleaded Jesus to allow them to enter the pigs. And he allowed them to do so. Leaving the man, the demons entered the pigs and the herd suddenly rushed from the top of the cliff plunged into the lake and drowned. Seeing what had taken place, the herdsmen fled and brought the news back to the city and farms.’’

 I then, asked for her opinion: ‘‘what do you think of this story? How come the demons preferred to possess the pigs rather than go to Hell?’’

Well you know… Jeanne was a pretty sharp old girl. She knew the fate of the demons, their eternal anger and their wish to run and hide, was less important to me theologically, than the undecided fate of the animals. So she told me:

« As far as the demons go, I don’t know anything. But I can tell you that I saw every kind of animals in the afterlife.

- Okay Jeanne! Can you tell me more?  We really need to get the bottom of this …

Aware of my ‘’great’’ expertise in theology, Jeanne asked me what theology had to say about this?

 The Church doesn’t say anything. However the Bible says, « All of Creation waits for the revelation of the sons of God.» Saint Thomas Aquinas is definite: there will be no animals in the afterlife because nothing, nothing corruptible, can remain there. Plants and animals are utterly corruptible. There are some Franciscans who say that, if they are corruptible, God «who counts the feathers on a sparrow» will know how to resurrect and render them incorruptible at the end of the world, at the same time as our bodies …

- And is there a theologian somewhere living or dead, to say that there are animals now in Heaven?

- No Jeanne. I have never heard of any …

- Ouch! Then were off to a bad start… I‘ll try and find out …

- And how do you make inquiries?

- How? I sleep and eat. Then if my angel decides to come calling, well then, I’ll call you …

 I didn’t hear from Jeanne for a year. Then, one evening, I got a call:

Mister theologian, how are you? Do you still want to know what became of that herd of pigs? Yes? Well then, come and see me. We’ll have tea.

 The past of the animals

I sprang to her house. The tea was delightful, beefed up with some rum… [Jeanne was 88 years old by now].

And she told me: ‘‘my angel, the one who flies like an jetliner in the hereafter, came to get me one night, and out of my friendship for you, I never stopped grilling him until he answered all my questions. I told him:

‘’ It’s must be hard being a pig. Not only do we slaughter, depilate, slice, dice and transform them into various cuts of meats and sausages for 80% of humanity, but the 20% who do respects pigs, deny themselves based on their consideration that they are symbols of lustfulness and gluttony… »

I conveyed your request on that Gospel text. So he took me see the herd of pigs. It was an extraordinary trip, spanning the immensity of other world galaxies, planets and solar systems. We ended up settling in a splendidly shaded valley, covered with all types of grasses and trees unknown to me. Those same pigs were there, very much alive. I’m sure they were. They definitely lived up there. They do; they live their pig lives together, in careless indifference. Amongst this herd, was a particularly imposing boar; so imposing, that I nicknamed him ‘’Hambone’’ because he really was humongous.

- But Jeanne, this is impossible! The animals have nothing that can survive death. They don’t have a mind. There nature is strictly animal so when they die, they are dead!

- Oh well! It looks like you’ll need to revise your science on this matter. There seems to be a problem. Because, Hambone was there; and I really saw him, with a real body. Ever since I started talking to you about the other world, haven’t you noticed that it’s a world made up of matter, but not matter, as we know it… So it must be that there is something else to discover in another dimension. The animals have bodies, same as for the men who live up there …

- And these pigs in paradise… they do what?

-          Now… now, don’t get to cheeky on me. Let’s take it from the top. When my angel came, I began by conveying your evangelical request. So…he took me back the past and observe the demonic pig scene as it had occurred. The herd so quiet initially felt the presence of the demons, and then it was seized with an acute collective fright followed by unrestrained panic. They ran anywhere and everywhere. Crazed and driven by the intense fear that held them in its grip, they finally jumped off the cliff and into the lake. Poor Hambone...I saw him drown.

 As time passed, one by one… I saw "ghosts" of pigs coming, out of the lake.

- Ghost Pigs? Well I guess we’re definitely not on the same page here. A pig doesn’t have a soul …

Who’s talking about human souls? Did I say I had seen «spiritual ghosts»? No, they are pigs. That’s all, ghost-pigs. Hambone stayed a boar, with the normal concerns of a boar. He was absolutely dumbfounded by his adventure. You have to put yourself in his place I guess: one minute he’s walking on the water of the lake, then he along with the entire herd carefully regain the shore. They would have liked reaching the top of the cliff right away, but eventually they gathered there one by one, like ‘flying pigs’ one could say. I must tell you, they really didn’t enjoy their flight experience though. Exploring the unknown is alien to a pig. They have small minds and small habits. I could read all their thoughts.

 See here, your making him to be a philosopher pig… while you’re at it…«I think therefore I am»,

Not at all! A thinking pig doesn’t think in terms of metaphysics. Pigs think in terms of being a pig. Hambone being the realist that he was, tried as much as he could to return to his demonically interrupted meal. Unfortunately he couldn’t grab the carobs in his snout. It was hilarious. It was kind of funny to watch him. He was like a hen out in front of a mirror. He put in a whole day before finally admitting he didn’t really need to eat and…since he couldn’t anymore, he finally got used to the idea

-          And that’s it?

- Yes, the herd re-established itself; in its usual place and as in the past keep its behavior simple.

- But all this is of no interest… What’s the purpose of a pig surviving his own death?

- It’s useful for the pig’s happiness. They certainly don’t complain about it. They deserve it. The fate of a pig isn’t very cheery! They all at our pleasure, the labourer deserves his keep … no?

- And then what, they stayed on earth? Ghosts of animals…there must be an awful lot of them, since time immemorial; there must really be a real bottleneck…

- After a few days Jeanne went on, they had an astounding apparition. At this spectacular sight, they both experienced fascination and joy. It excited all their sensibilities. It was a Prince, explained my Guide.

- A Prince?

- Yes one of the Angels who are held responsible for watching over animals. I was as surprised as you are. I asked my angel how was it possible that a Prince of this stature be in charge of pigs, while men have angels of lower standing at their side. So he explained.

- Men don’t have lower caste angel have at their side, what they have is one who is closest to their mindset. As for The princes, they are charged with the task of preparing other worlds prior to your arrival. It is they who fill this huge world with life that God is preparing for his elect. It is so grandiose a world that they all have jobs. They not only recover animals, but all plants. Animals individually, plants according to their species. They’ve been doing this since whenever. There are Cretaceous worlds, others from the Jurassic period etc.

I was gaping in wonderment. I calculated in my head the number of animals who had had to populate the other world since the beginning of life of Earth. I thought of the billions and billion earthworms… I asked:

- Every earthworm individually, goes to the other world?

Jeanne answered:

- Of course all worms, as soon as they obtain a primitive psychology go to the other world.

- But they are there forever?

- Absolutely.

- And they behold God face to face?

- Definitively not. They have no wish for it. God is Spirit. They don’t have a soul. They are content being fulfilled according to their sentimental wishes.

- And what is the sentimental wish of an earthworm?

- What delights them, it is to turn the earth. They feel the pleasures of earthworm. They will turn earth forever, and for the greater glory of God and for service to mankind.

- They’ll need to feed, as here on earth - No?

-          No, they’ll do it for pleasure …

I was really flabbergasted, even more about the worms than I had been about the pigs. The pigs after all, would have the pleasure of at least seeing light. Jeanne guessed my thought and challenged me:

- This only proves that your psychology is geared closer to pigs than it is to earthworms, congratulations.

She got me there I thought… Jeanne went on:

- My angel said that God created every kind of animal each with its particular nature. He gave them their being, their life, their psychology. And His gifts are without repentance. If the pleasure of an earthworm is to turn the earth, God gives it to him after its death, in reward for the service, which he fulfilled on earth for His glory.

- Objection Jeanne… objection. If the pleasure of a lion is to eat a cow, then all lions will take pleasure in devouring immortal cows in the other world, as the earthworm with the earth …

Oh No! God puts a limit on pleasures. And the limits are not to hinder another life…so lions find other pleasures such as communal life, games, exploration, and especially the contemplation of the beauty of Heaven’s inhabitants who will never cease to visit them. And the lion’s pleasure for meat disappears, as here with the baby’s pleasure, in suckling …

- And reproduction …

- Oh No!! This it is reserved for here on earth. In Heaven, we are immortal. No need to renew generations. And, at the time when God creates the other world, he will resurrect the animals in their flesh.

- God will resurrect earthworms?

- Of course. Like us, they are made to have their body, and God will grant the wish, which he instilled in them,’’ when the sons of man shall reveal themselves’’ 

May I continue my tale asked Jeanne? Have you completed your theological cross-examination?

- Go ahead Jeanne go ahead. You were talking about the Prince.

- Ah yes. A swineherd Prince came searching for the pigs and fascinated by his radiance followed him to the other world. I was able to follow their trip, event if it had been done at lightning speed. They came through the door, death’s threshold, and were herded to this planet, in a valley. Hambone had been subdued just like the others, by the sheer radiance and authority emanating from the Prince who had allocated the valley to this herd and said: ‘‘Stay in this place until someone comes who will be your master and swine herder.’’ The pigs understood and acquiesced. I saw that their valley was swarming with life, luxuriant vegetation as well as animals of all species from the smallest to the largest.

-As matter of fact, if I understood correctly, the Angels are now repeating the garden of Eden process they had initially prepared for man: ‘’ Yahweh, GOD planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he put man whom he had molded in his own image. Yahweh GOD grew from the soil all kind of trees appealing to the eye and good for food’’.

- Except that, this time, they are accumulating living marvels bereft of natural enemies and who are incorruptible. I saw Hambone stretch himself and explore his valley. He walked quietly together with his colleagues, in his new world. And it was amusing to see them happy and calm, pigs sated by life. 

The future of the animals

- And this world, the one where Hambone lives, who is it being readied for?

- This world and others, God is preparing as gifts for his elect who will come to Heaven. Because in the other world they will not only behold God, but without ever leaving Him explore the countless wonders He has prepared for us.

- Luke 8, 32,

-Romans 8, 19,

-Luke 12, 6

- Origin 2, 8 poesie1.htm.