Epic Tales of
Epic Tale Number
insistent. The fact that the church had no roof,
to speak of, was not her disaster, and no reason
to ignore the problem bell. Esme was quick to
point out that the bell towers roof was
perfectly sound, and the vicar was equally fast
to note that availing himself of that estimable
fact would reduce his congregation to a religious
mountain climbing fanatic who would need to
deliver his own sermon.
But Esme got
her way. She rang a bell technician. So to speak.
"It looks like a bell" had said the
phone call to the campanologist technician.
Apparently, it also hung like one. It gleamed
brassily in the evening, also in a very bell-like
manner. It was high up in a bell tower. Ali had
found all that to be correct; to the cost of a
couple of scuffed shins, as she hyperventilated
at the top of the sadistically psychopathic
spiral stair of the bell tower.
has a proper bell rope hanging from it," had
continued the phone. It was a day or two ago that
she had (unwisely) agreed to inspect the problem
bell. It was a pleasant lady on the end of the
phone called Esme; she almost fell over herself
to be undemanding. "But we can't use it in
the carillon for the Easter service, you see."
Ali didn't see.
describe it, it would appear to be a perfectly
sound bell to me, Esme" (and Ali should know,
being well-qualified in the bell-tech department);
"what makes you think you can't use it?"
Ali waited as the caller obviously struggled with
some extreme embarrassment.
it goes 'moo'."
It was Ali's
turn to wring out a silence.
continued Esme, as there was otherwise no
response at all from the other end "if we do,
do that nice Handel carillon; dong, ding, ding,
dong, moo; well, it just won't work, will it? D'
you see our problem, Miss Bell?"
was plain as a pikestaff. The lady was quite off
her chump. The solution, Ali felt, threatened to
be somewhat more obscure. That then, deals with
the 'why', of why Ali Bell happened be at the top
of a bell tower with scuffed shins. Ali retrieved
her little bell hammer from a distressed tweed
pocket, and reached out to tap the nearest bell.
it went, quite sweetly.
pealed the next one.
went the fifth bell. Ali hung onto the handrail.
She looked over the parapet into the graveyard.
what I mean, Miss Bell," rose the voice of
Esme from the emptiness far below. "You
really can't have the Sunday morning peal with a
'Moo' in it. We have tried, Miss Bell; but
wherever you a put a 'moo' in a peal of bells,
Miss Bell, seems to sound equally ridiculous."
Ali knew all about 'ridiculous' as the whole
situation fell precipitously in the lap of it.
She tentatively unlimbered her little bell hammer
once more and tapped gingerly.
had a vet to it, Miss Bell" called up Esme,
distantly. "But he said it was a job for a
specialist, and seemed very eager to leave. So we
contacted your good self, Miss Bell." Miss
Bell was already three-quarters of the way back
down, with scuffed heels to match her scuffed
shins; and seemed in just as much of a hurry to
leave as the vet had been. "Do you have any
recommendations, Miss Bell?" asked Esme
hopefully, as Ali was jogging past to the car.
She pulled open the driver's door and yelled
across the graveyard.
bloody bell won't speak properly, Esme, I
recommend a bloody speech therapist!" There
was a slamming car door, the sound of a fiercely
revving engine and Miss Bells Robin Reliant
was gone in a cloud of blue smoke.
The vicars excursion into the heady regions
of the building trade had run into difficulties.
There was just nobody around who would work for
peanuts and trouser buttons. It was back to the
drawing board; for which he had a paper clip.
Nevertheless, the bell was put on the speech
therapist's waiting list, and a year later the
appointment came to fruit, with Esme and errant
bell waiting patiently for the speech therapist
to acknowledge that someone had actually entered
the room, marked 'Therese Pist."
she said without raising an eyelid from her
Batman comic, incompetently concealed in a 'Speech
the Church Bell Tower Committee have this problem.
She won't go 'Dong'." Esme patted the bell
to worry about;" said Miss Pist, engrossed
in the Penguin's antics while pulling a string of
gum long enough to be later used to knit up a
sweater, "Little girls don't normally go 'Dong'.
That will be a hundred and fifty pounds. Next!"
Miss Pist, I know little girls don't go 'dong'."
are aware of that, why..?" she looked up.
"Where is the little girly, madam?"
this little chap that has speech problem,"
Esme again patted the bell on her lap, "he
goes 'Moo'." Genuinely intrigued, Miss Pist
leaned over the desk.
demonstrate, madam?" After fishing out the
little hammer, Esme made to hit the bell.
you doing, madam?" said the therapist, with
going to hit the bell, Miss Pist." Esme
exhibited a puzzled frown.
hit anything in here, madam. What is the world
coming to? Goodness me, madam. The very thought
of it. The little chap is obviously suffering
from a psychiatric condition. Might be contagious;
just a second." She turned to push the stop-clock
at her elbow, marked in various currencies. It
seemed to go round very fast, thought Esme.
"That's better. Now, where were we?"
"If I don't
hit it, it won't do anything, Miss Pist."
madam, is a general layperson's misinterpretation.
We will try gentle persuasion." She spoke to
the bell in quiet tones for a good half hour, and
finally admitted that she would call in a second
opinion, so she Pist off to the psychiatrist next
door. His hair walked though the door a foot or
so before he did, and then he pronounced with
"Zis is a
Tyrolean bell. Zey 'ave much trouble in zer Tyrol
wiz zese bells, y' know. It belongs to zer
schizophrenic cow; zer cow goes 'dong' und zer
bell goes 'moo'. Simple."