I spent much of New Year’s Day watching the “Twilight Zone” marathon.
You may think that sounds unproductive, but I consider it a bit of déjà vu therapy.
I did manage to do laundry and clean out my dresser drawers while revisiting the episodes I grew up watching and loving.
One of my favorite episodes is called “The Hunt.”
An old man and his hound dog Rip have a special bond. They love hunting together and viewers sense the loyalty that exists between people and their beloved pets.
The old man is married to a sweet little old woman. While they are eating dinner together, she tells him she has a bad feeling and doesn’t want him to go hunting that night.
You can see the old man’s stubborn nature as he assures her he will be fine, takes his rifle and heads out with Rip.
When Rip sees a raccoon, he takes off after it. The raccoon jumps into the deep creek and Rip follows in after him.
Wasting no time, the old man tears off his jacket and plunges into the water to save his faithful dog.
The next scene is the old man waking up with Rip next to him on the bank of the creek. He seems fine and remarks to his dog how his wife is sure to be mad about them staying out all night.
They walk along and come upon two young men digging a grave and talking about burying Rip.
The old man tries to talk to them, but they can’t hear him. He wanders home only to find his wife dressed in her finest black dress, clearly upset.
A preacher comes in the room and they begin talking about the old man’s death. The old man watches as men carry out the pine box he is presumably buried in.
He wonders who is in the box, but of course we all know.
Next, the old man and Rip find themselves at a gate, greeted by the gate keeper.
After a few questions, the gate keeper asks the old man how he died, to which the old man exclaims he’s not dead.
After helping him remember how he spent the past evening, the old man finally realizes he is dead and standing at what he believes to be the pearly gates of heaven.
Things seem to be going along fine as the gate keeper describes the wonders of heaven. He definitely seems pushy for the old man to enter. But when he says Rip can’t come, the old man refuses to go inside without his beloved companion.
The old man wonders what kind of a place heaven would be without being able to hunt and roam the hills with his dog.
The next and final scene shows a young man approaching the old man and Rip and telling them he is looking for them to lead them to heaven.
He explains that, of course, Rip is welcome and that the old man had just avoided entering hell — not heaven. He said the devil is always looking to trick men into entering hell.
Besides being entertaining, I love the messages “Twilight Zone” episodes send. Some are hilarious, others just amusing. So many, including this one, are thought provoking.
Like my numerous pet-loving friends, I can’t imagine going to heaven and not being greeted by my sweet father, along with other relatives and past pets.
I’m pretty sure I’m in good company, since I know so many readers are true animal lovers.
Please let me know your thoughts on this subject.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.