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A POLISH LEGEND

THERE IS A POLISH TALE ABOUT THE BELLS ON THE STEEPLE OF A REBUILT
CHURCH IN HEL ON THE BALTIC SEA. THERE LIVED, SO THEY SAY, A GIRL
WHO WAS TOTALLY DEAF, SO ALL SHE COULD DO WAS TO GUARD THE GOATS
IN THE PASTURE. BUT STRANGELY SHE WAS ABLE TO HEAR THOSE BELLS AS
IF THEY CALLED OUT HER NAME, JOANNA. ONE DAY SEVEN BELLS WERE
GONE AND THE GIRL WAS THE FIRST TO NOTICE THE SILENCE. PEOPLE WERE
DISMAYED AND DOWNHEARTED AND THEY BEGAN TO FEAR THAT THEY DID NOT
LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD'S COMMANDMENT, SO THE BELLS LEFT THEM.
ONE DAY THE GIRL WAS WALKING THROUGH THE FOREST AND SHE SEEMED TO
HEAR SOME RINGING.
SEARCHING IN THE GRASS, TO HER GREAT JOY, (SHE FOUND) ALL THE
BELLS. SHE DECIDED TO TAKE THEM BACK BUT THEY WERE HEAVY; SHE
ALMOST CRIED. SUDDENLY SHE HEARD THE BIG BELL SAY, "BIM, BAM,
BUM, TAKE ME FIRST, I AM THE FATHER AND THE OTHERS WILL FOLLOW."
SHE PICKED HIM UP AND FOUND HE WAS LIGHT. SHE MANAGED TO HANG
THEM UP IN THE CHURCH STEEPLE AND WHEN THE PEOPLE CAME TO MASS,
MINDING NOW TO BE ON TIME, SHE PULLED THE ROPE AND THE BELLS
STARTED TO RING. THEY RING TO THIS DAY, REMINDING THE PEOPLE,
MOSTLY FISHERMEN, TO LEAD AN HONEST LIFE SO THE BELLS WOULD NEVER
GO AWAY AND HIDE.

Submitter comment: THIS LEGEND MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW FROM HER CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Holy placeChurchTemple
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 10-28-1967

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