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THE TERRIBLE BELL

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”4″]A [/su_dropcap]THIEF had stolen a Bell from the city of Brahmaputra, and was making off with it into the mountains, when he was killed by a Tiger. The Bell lay in the jungle until some Monkeys picked it up, and amused themselves by ringing it all the time. The townspeople found the bones of the man, and heard the sound of the Bell all about the hills; so they gave out that there was a terrible devil in those hills, named Swing-Ear, whose ears rang like bells as he swung them about, and whose great pleasure was to eat up men. The people were so afraid of this devil that they were all leaving the town, when an old peasant woman came to see the Rajah, or ruler of the town, and said to him:

“Your Highness, if you will pay me for it I can settle this devil, Swing-Ear.”

“Can you really?” exclaimed the Rajah.

“I think I can,” repeated the woman.

“Then you shall be paid at once,” said the Rajah.

The old peasant woman accepted the money, and set out for the hills, taking some fruit with her of the kind the Monkeys like. When she had reached the hills, she scattered the fruit up and down in the woods, and then hid herself and sat down to watch. Very soon the Monkeys found the fruit, and started to eat it, first putting down their Bell. The old woman softly stole up, seized the Bell, and took it back to town, where she was ever afterwards held in great honour.

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