The Devil's Due
St. Peter asks each one applying at the gates of heaven,
Did you ever beat a horse? If the answer is 'yes' -
no further questions. The devil take him.
If the answer is ‘no,’ St. Peter checks the balance
of the person's life. If evil outweighs the good,
the saint asks, Did you ever give water to a thirsty horse?
Did you ever ease his burden? Shelter him?
Salve his wounds? Or keep him from fear?
If the answer is 'no,' the balance remains weighted in the devil's favor.
St. Peter, quite sadly, shakes his head.
If the answer is 'yes,' to any of the questions
St. Peter sweeps the dross from the devil's side of the balance
and leads the person into Paradise, which is full of horses.