After the tragic death of Quasimodo, the bishop of Notre Dame found himself in need of a new bell ringer. Since few of the townspeople could actually read, he sent the town crier out to call for applicants.
Five people showed up to try for the job. One by one, the bishop took them up into the bell tower to let them show their skill. But alas, the first four created such a cacophony that the bishop despaired of ever finding a suitable replacement.
As the fifth applicant approached, the bishop did a double-take. There before him stood a man with no arms! What could be going on here?
The bishop addressed the man. “Sir,” he said. “I assume you’re here for the audition.”
“That’s right,” the man replied. “My father taught me the joy of the carillon when I was young, and I’ve been longing to try my hand at it… so to speak.”
“Ah,” said the bishop. “That brings me to my main question. Without arms or hands, how do you expect to perform this job?”
“I know it sounds odd,” said the man, “but I beg you to let me show you what I can do.”
The bishop reluctantly agreed, and the two climbed the tall tower together. No sooner had they reached the top than the man began flinging himself at the huge bells, striking them with his forehead! And oh, what a glorious sound it made. The bishop ventured to guess that such wonderful music had never come from the cathedral’s tower. But just as he was about to offer the man a job, the man slipped and fell out the window, plummeting to the cobblestone streets below.
The bishop rushed down the stairs and ran to the man’s crumpled body, where a crowd was beginning to gather.
“Excellency,” said one of the townspeople, “we were coming to hear the music, but when we arrived, we saw this man falling from the tower. Pray tell, who is he?”
The bishop stared down at the armless figure for a moment before replying, “I don’t know his name… but his face rings a bell.”
The next morning, the bishop was still in a quandary over the bell situation at the cathedral. Suddenly, he heard a loud thumping at his door. When he went to open it, there stood the no-armed man from the day before!
“What???” stammered the bishop. “How can this be? I saw you fall to your death yesterday!”
“Actually, you saw my twin brother,” said the man. “I was hoping you would allow me to honor his memory by auditioning for the job he sought.”
“To be perfectly honest,” said the bishop, “I do need someone to fill the position. You’re welcome to give it a try, but you must promise to be careful.”
The man agreed, and the two climbed the tall tower together. When they arrived at the top, the man gleefully began flinging himself head-first into the bells. The bishop was amazed… if anything, the music was even better than the day before!
As the man finished, the bishop smiled and told him the job was his if he wanted it. The armless man was thrilled at the news, and he began running around the tower in his excitement. But alas, he stepped too close to the window and plummeted to his death in the street below.
Once again, the bishop rushed down the stairs and ran out to the man’s body, where another crowd was gathering.
“Your holiness,” one of the townspeople said, “we heard the music and came to listen, but when we arrived, we found this man on the street. Who is he?”
The bishop looked down at the body for a moment before replying, “I’m not sure… but he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”