Ring Those Bells

A new bellringer was needed for Notre Dame Cathedral to replace Quasimoto, the hunchback. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up to the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he decided to call it a day when a lone, armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bellringers job. The bishop was incredulous. You have no arms! No matter, said the man, Observe! He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced that he had finally found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo. Suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.

The stunned bishop ran down the long series of steps to the bottom of the cathedral, then rushed out to the mans side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, Bishop, who was this man? I dont know his name, the bishop sadly replied, but his face rings a bell. But wait…theres more!

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist (now theres a trivia word for you!), the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame. The first man to approach him said, Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch who fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty. The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless mans brother stooped to pick up a mallet and began to create the most wonderful sounds to be heard. When he had finished, he turned to the bishop, groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishops cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. What has happened? the first asked breathlessly, Who is this man? I dont know his name, sighed the distraught bishop, but hes a dead ringer for his brother!

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