Gateway to the Classics: The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by Clifton Johnson
The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by  Clifton Johnson

The Hiding of the Church Bell

T HE men of Gotham were once greatly scared by a report that enemies were about to invade their country. They were anxious to save as much as they could from falling into the hands of the invaders; and first of all they decided to save their church bell, which they prized more than anything else. After a great deal of trouble they succeeded in getting it down out of the church steeple; but what to do with it then was far from easy to determine.

"Where shall we hide it so the enemy cannot find it?" asked one of another.

At last some one said, "Let us sink it in the deepest part of our pond."

"Agreed!" said his fellows, and they dragged the bell down to the shore of the pond and got it aboard a boat.


Then they rowed out to the middle of the pond and hoisted the bell overboard. After it had disappeared the worthy citizens of Gotham began to think they had been hasty. "The bell is now truly safe from the enemy," said they; "but how are we to find it when the enemy has left us?"

One of them, who was wiser than the rest, sprang up and cried, "That is easy enough. All we have to do is to cut a mark where we dropped it in!"

He snatched a knife from his pocket and cut a deep notch in the side of the boat where the bell had been thrown overboard. "It was right here that we heaved the bell out," said he.

Then the men of Gotham rowed back to the shore, fully assured that they would be able to find their bell by the mark on the side of the boat.


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