“You see ladies, two major distinguishing differences between the English and American handbells are their clappers and ability to produce overtones.” Harold whispered to Maureen and Eunice respectively while setting up for their handbell performance in front of the congregation.
“Ohhh.” Maureen politely acknowledged. She tried not to snicker when Eunice, standing on Harold’s other side, ducked her head and signed “zip his lips!”
Oblivious, Harold straightened his shoulders. Slightly cocking his head he continued. “In the UK, English handbells have leather clapper handles and heads, while American handbells use newer materials such as rubber or plastic.”
Failing to notice the conductor waiting in ready position, Harold resounded, “Actually, English handbells don’t refer to the country - England - but rather, to the kind of handbell...”
“Ah –hum,” Eunice elbowed Harold, attempting to quiet him down.
Thinking she sought his advice, he offered, “You might try plucking your clapper when setting your bell on the table. I’ve noticed your timing’s a bit off. I’d be more than happy to give you lessons.”
“Ohhh?” Eunice’s jaw dropped; brows furrowed. Was she imagining or did his face seem puffier?
Harold flexed his chest muscles. “Focus, ladies. He’s ready.” Nodding towards the conductor, he signaled that he, the opening ringer, was ready. Gripping his bells – three in each hand – he determined to give the audience an astounding performance with his coordination. After all, not everyone could play six different notes at once.
Swinging the bells upwards and then through a smooth elliptical shape, Harold relished the moment. Something went askew, however, for the congregation squirmed and covered their ears.
“Ohhh!” People murmured in agony.
Poor Harold didn’t realize his bells sounded like jarring cymbals. If that wasn’t bad enough, he began inflating like a helium balloon. And, within seconds - he began to float!
Eunice and Maureen both grabbed his legs, one on each side. Holding on for their lives, they were caught up in the air!
Now, the rising trio aimed straight for the ceiling fan. A crescendo of “OHHH…” resounded throughout the church auditorium. As if things weren’t bad enough, Harold began sprouting feathers! Iridescent blue-green plumage fanned outward, knocking poor Eunice and Maureen further sideways. His train of feathers boasted a pattern eyes. Except for under the present circumstances, it would have made a stunning picture. Completely unaware, Harold continued ringing his bells - with a grin to boot.
Fortunately, credited to Eunice’s quick thinking, she secured the back of her legs onto a ceiling rafter. Thus, they escaped the whirling fan blades. With all her might, Eunice pulled the other two towards her. Maurice successfully landed beside her friend and pulled Eunice up. Releasing Harold’s evolving slippery bird legs, they managed to straddle the beam.
Only when Harold’s newly formed crest on his head bump into the roof beam did he realize his situation.
“H-ELP!” He called in a woman’s high pitch tone. (It was the only sound that would usher from his mouth.)
Luckily, someone had called 9-1-1. The firemen from next door arrived within minutes. Eunice and Maureen were treated for minor scrapes and bruises. Harold, although unhurt, was transported to the hospital.
“Ohhh,” the doctor sighed. “I’ve seen a fair amount of the likes of you lately.”
After a thorough examination, the doc scribbled his diagnosis: I Corinthians 8:1b, Proverbs 11:2; 12:23; 18:7, 12; 26:12.
Staring through his bifocals, he asked, “Do you want to get well?”
Harold nodded vigorously with his feathered head.
Handing him his prescription, the doc advised, “Chew on I Corinthians 13 daily, and be sure to drink a lot from the Living Water.”
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