My little brother Salem was riding one of his bouts of excessive bragging today when he did the unthinkable. It went down like this:
My sister Sasha and I were looking out the window, watching a woodpecker hammer away at a tree when Salem walks up.
“I ate one of those before. They’re pretty good.” He smiles and flicks his paw toward the bird.
“Sure you did,” I roll my eyes. Sasha just stares at him, half smiling, half wondering if it’s true.
Salem straightens up and points a paw right at me, “I did too. It was chewy, but good.”
Feeling superior, well, because I am, I counter, “You know lying is a sin. You could burn in Hell with all the bad dogs.” Sasha gasps.
His eyes narrow, his tail puffs up and poking his paw at me with each word, he says, “I’M. NOT. LYING.”
Then I say it. The big It. “Swear to God?” Sasha’s mouth drops open and even I am stunned to have spoken those words out loud.
Salem gulps. But he doesn’t back down. “I swear.” We all step back. For every creature knows that once those words are uttered, there is no taking them back. No out clause, no back tracking or fine legal print to save you. For we all know that if you swear on a lie, you go straight to Hell. We were taught since kittenhood that God created us and that he did not tolerate creatures who lied. Hell is horrible. It is filled with rabid dogs barking non-stop and even worse: there is no food in Hell.
Beads of sweat trickle down his cheeks. We all glance around in silence waiting to see what would happen. A piece of dust fell to the floor.
After a few minutes Salem takes a deep breath, visually relieved to have not been struck down by lightening right there and then in our human’s living room. His voice quivers, “See,” and he stumbles away on shaky legs.
I’m pretty sure I heard several “Hail Mary’s” under his breath as he tottered off. A very important lesson was learned today: You don’t lie to Suki.