After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, He deceided
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!" the Bishop proclaimed. "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 rushed down the belfry stairs to his 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 don't know his name," the Bishop sadly
replied, "but his face sure rings a bell."
The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart
due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist,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
that 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 man's brother stooped
to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his
chest and died on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the Bishop's dries of grief at this second tragedy,
rushed up the stairs to his side. "What happened?" the first breathless
monk asked, "Who is this man?" "I don't know his name,"
sighed the distraught Bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother."
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