As you know, minions are terrible humans worth redemption but must first serve angels until they redeem themselves. We are assigned humans who abuse dogs, and it is up to us to determine when they can become angels.
Since I arrived at the Bridge, Cecil has been my top minion. I found him to be diligent and trustworthy. When he was mortal, I was shocked to find out that he left his dog tied to a tree in a blizzard and the poor creature froze to death. He certainly deserved being a minion for a long time. I didn't think I could ever look past his transgressions.
Every year the minions are reviewed to see who should become angels. If I judge that they have exorcised all the traits that made them fail as a living human, I agree to let them go. What I look for is for my minions to tell me what they did was wrong. This is where Cecil failed, insisting what happened to his dog was not his fault.
Cecil's review came up this week. I didn't want to waste time asking questions and pushed forth the most critical inquiry. Was he responsible for what happened to his dog, Max? "No, I am not," he said. I was ready to close the hearing when Cecil had a witness, and Max entered the proceedings.
He introduced himself and asked that I release his father from his duties. I inquired if he was guilty of the charges, and Max admitted that Cecil had left him outside in a storm, and after a harrowing night, the dog shed his mortal coil and arrived at the Bridge.
"But it wasn't his fault," Max insisted.
I asked how if Cecil had left him outside in a storm, he wasn't responsible. "What I mean is he didn't do it intentionally. Sadly, Cecil doesn't know any better."
I told Max that ignorance was no defense of the law.
"Whose law?" he rebutted. "Are we ruled by human law? Or because we are higher beings, are we above their rules?"
I wish I had known Max when I was representing dogs in private practice. He was a first-rate litigator. I asked him how judges like me were supposed to determine if a minion was cruel or ignorant and when their sentence should end.
"You shouldn't," he said confidently. "It should be up to the dog who the minion wrong to decide if they should have forgiven him. Many offenses are so abusive and evil there will never be forgiveness, but this isn't one of them, and I forgive him. "
"But should we leave the perpetrator's fate in the hands of their victims?" I wondered. "If humans did that, every suspected wrongdoer would be sentenced to death."
"That is why I give thanks each day. I am not a human."
I had never heard a case brought forth with such wisdom in all my years of being a judge. I only had one recourse. I put Cecil's fate in Max's paws.
Cecil forgave his dad, and I ended his time as a minion. Cecil suddenly changed into a bald, thin, feeble-minded human. He ran to Max, hugged him, and begged forgiveness for which Max gladly granted, and then together they walked into the setting sun once again, man and dog.
A hearing often concludes with a judge learning something, but this one sure did. I would rely on the wronged dog to decide a minion's fate from this day forward because dogs are the wisest and most forgiving creatures created.
The only downside was that I lost the minion who ironed my robes perfectly. It would take months to train another.
I do suffer for justice.