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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - Angels Or Eagles
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Peck's Sunshine - Angels Or Eagles Post by :Mikeyf Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :1855

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Peck's Sunshine - Angels Or Eagles

We are told that in the revision of the Bible the passage, "And I beheld an angel flying through the midst of heaven," has been changed to "eagle," and that all allusions to angels have been changed to "eagles." This knocks the everlasting spots out of the angel business, and the poetry of wanting to be an angel, "and with the angels stand," has become the veriest prose.

We have never had any particular desire to stand with angels, not this year, but there was a certain beauty in the idea that we would all be angels when we got through whooping it up down here and went to heaven.

Particularly was this the case with children and women, and old persons, and to have the angel business wiped out by a lot of white chokered revisers is too much. There are many of us that would never make very attractive angels, unless we were altered over a good deal, and made smaller.

Some of us, to pass current among angels, would have to wear wigs. How would a male bald-headed angel, with a red nose, and one eye gone, look flying a match through the blue ethereal space with a trim built girl angel? The other angels would just sit around on the ground, picking pin feathers out of their wings, and laugh so a fellow would want to go off somewhere and get behind a tree and condemn his luck.

There are few men who would be improved by fastening wings on their shoulder blades, and we never believed they could make the thing work, but the preachers have kept pounding it into us until we all got an idea there would be some process that could transform us into angels that would pass in a crowd.

Now, you take Long John Wentworth, of Chicago, a man seven feet high, and weighing four hundred pounds. What kind of an angel would he make? They would have to put wings on him as big as a side show tent, or he never could make any headway. Just imagine John circling around over the New Jerusalem, until he saw a twenty dollar gold piece loose in the pavement of the golden streets. He would cut loose and go down there so quick it would break him all up.

And then suppose angel Storey, of the _Times_, and angel Medill, of the _Tribune_, should have got their eyes on that loose gold piece, and got there about the same time before angel John arrived, and should be quarreling over it? John would knock Storey over onto a hydrant with one wing, and mash angel Medill in the gutter with the other, and take the gold piece in his toes and fly off to where the choir was singing, and break them all up singing, "You'll never miss the water till the well runs dry."

We have never taken a great deal of stock in the angel doctrine, because we knew pretty well what kind of material they would have to be made of, but we had rather be an angel than an eagle. Who the deuce wants to die and be an eagle, like "Old Abe," and eat rats? In a heaven full of eagles there would be the worst clawing that ever was, and the air would be full of feathers. Eagles won't do, and the revisers ought to have known it.

If we have got to be anything let us insist on being angels, via the Bible, and then we can have some fun. With big flocks of angels, and good weather, and nothing to do but to sing praises and browse around to pass away the time, and no rent to pay, and no bills of any kind to keep track of, it does seem as though some of us could think of some tableaux, or picnic, or something to have a good time, but let us strike on being eagles, revisers or no revisers.

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