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Saint Peter had a terrible cold and fever and didn't think he would last the day minding the Pearly Gates of Heaven. So he phoned Jesus to ask for the day off.
"Why, Peter," Jesus said. "You know your health is my first concern. Take as much time as you need."
As Jesus pondered who he might use to replace Peter, he decided to handle the job himself. It was a very slow day and no one approached the Gates until late in the afternoon, when in the distance, Jesus saw a bent, white-haired old man slowly making his way up the path with the aid of a gnarled cane.
As the man neared, Jesus said, "Good afternoon, sir. How may I help you?"
"Well," replied the man, "I was hoping to enter the Gates of Heaven."
"We would certainly love to have you," said Jesus, "but we do have certain rules as to who can enter Heaven. Tell me, what have you done to deserve such an honor?"
"Actually, I have done nothing so wonderful myself," said the man. "I lived in a small town and led a simple life as a carpenter. But my son," he continued, "now HE was special !"
With pride in his voice he said, "I raised him to be a carpenter like myself and did my best to teach him right from wrong. And when he grew older, an amazing transformation overcame him and to this day he's known throughout the world and loved by all alike."
As Jesus listened to the story, a sense of recognition came to him. With a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye, he threw open his arms and cried, "Father!"
Emotional at this outburst, the old man threw open his arms and yelled, "Pinocchio!"
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