Belle Tolze, email

AFTER Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of Notre Dame cathedral needed a new bellringer, and placed an ad for the position in the newspaper. Several people responded to the ad, and the bishop took them up into the belfry so they could demonstrate their skill. Unfortunately, the bishop felt that none of them were up to the task, and was about to call it a day when an armless man approached him and announced he was there to apply for the bell-ringer’s job.

The bishop was incredulous. “But you have no arms!” he said.

“No matter,” the man replied. “Watch this!” And he began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced he had finally found a replacement for Quasimodo.

But 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 bishop ran down to the street to find a great crowd around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only a moment before. As they parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked: “Bishop, who was this man?”

“I didn’t know his name,” the bishop sadly replied, “but his face rang a bell.”