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~The Bridge of Choice~

One day, a man was walking down a country road, holding a leash. At the other end of the leash was a branching lead, holding three ferrets. The ferrets were all sniffing, dooking and bouncing around, happy to be out and about. As the man walked, it suddenly occurred to him that he had died. He remembered having a heart attack, the ambulance, the EMT workers buzzing about and the foggy haze that had settled on him.

He also recalled that he had led a good life and that the three ferrets he had with him had also died at various times, though natural means. He smiled down at them as they turf-surfed and jumped and bounced and generally had a good time. Looking up, he saw a clear blue sky with a warm sun. Birds chirped in the trees alongside the road.

After a time, the man noticed a long, white wall rising out of the grass. The wall grew higher and higher, until it became a huge arch over an opening that led to a long, gold-plated bridge over a roaring, foaming river. At the opening of the arch, was a desk. At the desk, dressed all in white, was a primly dressed woman. The man approached and asked "Can I cross to the other side of the bridge? The countryside at the other end looks quite beautiful."

The woman looked at him and said "Yes, you can enter, but your ferrets will have to remain here." With that, she looked back to her book. The man looked at the woman, then at the bridge. It was indeed a pretty bridge and the land at the other side looked like paradise. The man turned away and continued down the road.

A short distance farther on, the man came to another arch in the wall. Through the arch, the man saw a bridge made of a shiny material that gleamed and changed colors as he watches. It was fascinating to watch. Across the bridge, numerous ferrets, dogs, cats, birds, lizards and all manner of animals, as well as happy people, playing with the animals, could be seen to the far horizon. Smiling, the man walked to the desk at the arch.

"Can I cross the bridge to the land on the other side?" he asked the girl at the desk. The young lady, wearing jeans, a T-shirt and sandals, looked up with a grin and said "Of course! We've been waiting for all of you!" The man looked closely into her eyes and said "You mean I can bring my ferrets, too?" "Yes," said the girl. "This is the Rainbow Bridge. All are welcome! Here, humans and their companions can live forever in happiness and joy!"

With that, she hugged the man, then picked up each ferret and got ferret kisses from each one! The man then turned around and asked the girl "What was that other bridge back down the road?" The girls face clouded over a bit and she said "That's the bridge of loneliness. Those that are willing to leave their beloved companions behind go there, and never know happiness again for all eternity. I'm glad that you didn't cross there." The man looked at his three ferrets, then back at the girl. "I never even considered it." With that, he and his ferrets quickly crossed the Rainbow Bridge, to be greeted by every friend and companion that they had ever known, who had passed before.

author unknown