A Bell

A bishop advertises a job to ring the bell in his tower. [1] The only job applicant is a hunchback with no arms. Bishop: “How can you do the job? You can’t pull the rope!” Hunchback: “I have a plan – but we have to go to the top of the tower, where the bell is.” .. So they climb all those stairs to the top of the tower. Bishop: “Ok, show me your plan.”

The hunchback runs and jumps at the bell, striking it with his head. Sure enough, he rings the bell. The bishop asks him, “How did you learn to ring the bell like this?” The hunchback replies, “Actually, I first learned on the guitar,” and walks over to a guitar on the wall and starts banging his head on it, and Lo! Beautiful music comes out.

So despite his misgivings, the bishop hired the hunchback to ring the bell.

Every day the hunchback comes in and rings the bell. One day, the hunchback decides to try to ring the bell louder. He goes to the farthest corner of the tower, and runs as fast as he can toward the bell. When he jumps up and hits it with his head, the bell rings clear and loud. Unfortunately, the hunchback hit the bell so hard he’s a little groggy. He staggers around a bit, and falls out a window to the street below.

A crowd gathers around the hunchback’s mangled body lying in the street; the bishop goes out to investigate the commotion.

The policeman arrives and again asks: “Who is this guy?” The bishop replies: “I don’t know his name, but his face rings a bell.”


Self Reflection in a Bell

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November 2008
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