The Bellringer

A bishop advertises a job to ring the bell in his tower. 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 cunning 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: "Okay, show me your plan."

The hunchback runs and jumps at the bell, striking it, full force, with his face. Sure enough, the bell rings. 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.

A policeman arrives and asks the bishop, "Who is this guy?" The bishop replies: "I don't know his name, but his face rings a bell."

The next day...

A man (who has arms) arrives, claiming to be the hunchback's brother. "Hi, I've come to take over my brother's job." The bishop offers his condolences for the loss of his brother, and then escorts him to the tower.

"Your brother used to ring the bell with his face," said the Bishop. "Will you do that, too? Or will you use your arms?" The hunchback's brother replies, "If my brother can ring it with his face, so can I!" So he runs full speed at the bell, glances off it with his face, and falls out the window and to his death in the street below.

The bishop rushes down to see what he can do for the poor man. A crowd gathers. A policeman once again arrives and asks the bishop, "Do you know who this man is?"

The bishop replies, "No, but he's a dead ringer for his brother."



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