A stiff, flat elaboration on ""black"" themes of the Green Pastures/Porgy and Bess ilk. Jake, a gent who lives ""down the road from a town called Hard Times,"" has a ""crazy,"" ""contrary"" mule named Honeybunch. ""This misbegotten mule will be the death of me someday!"" he grumbles--and so, when Honeybunch lingers on the railroad tracks, it comes to pass. The rest of the book finds Jake squeezing through the Pearly Gates into a jiving, frying-and-feasting musical-comedy Heaven; irking God with some aerial acrobatics (he's grabbed two left wings); then redeeming himself by catching his ""crazy mule""; and, with the now-docile Honeybunch, being given the job of hanging out the moon and putting out the stars. Unfortunate--because it revives stereotypes without rising above them.