"Bong-g-g!" I shook my sleepy head and flexed my whiskers. What had woken me from my nap--curled up in the organ pit? I scrambled up onto the red carpet and strained my large furry ears, listening. Another "bong-g-g" came from up in the balcony at the back of the sanctuary. Curious, I scurried under the pews towards the back as fast as any mouseling could--unless, of course, he was being chased by some ferocious feline beast.
Up the stairs to the balcony I scrambled, gripping the slippery steps with my sharp little claws. I paused on the railing to admire the stained-glass window of the human animals watching Jesus going home to heaven. I rested, lost in the silence of my thoughts. "Bong-g-g!" I turned and saw a partly open door leading into darkness. I scurried toward it. With my keen, bulging eyes, I saw a stairway that looked as if it might reach all the way to heaven. I decided to continue my investigation.
The stairs were so steep that although I was in top mouseling shape--not a gram of fat--my heart was pounding by the time I reached the top. Clouds of dust tickled my nose and I let out a giant "squeak-chew!" Then I heard the excited sounds of human voices. Cautiously, I crawled through another open door and toward more steep stairs. Higher and higher I scurried. I hoped I would not meet any of my batty cousins swooping around in the dark.
Now I knew where I was. This was the old bell tower. A long rope dangled down through a small hole above. I love ropes--their smell and taste make me just quiver with excitement. I scrambled over and grabbed it. With a single paw I hoisted myself up and began my climb. I climbed farther until I reached the floor above and passed through the opening. My bulging eyes adjusted to the thin rays of light shining through the slats in the tower. The sky was grey with dark blue patches--Mother would call it a blue-cheese kind of day. Right above my head was a dark steel dome. I realized I must be hanging onto the rope of a gigantic bell! Then I saw two human creatures--one big and one very small. Because I was in the shadow of the bell, no one noticed me. I heard the man creature say that over one hundred years ago some humans had put this bell in the tower to show their love for God.
The little human asked if he could ring the bell just one more time.
He grabbed a large iron wheel with both hands and pulled as hard as he could. The rope started to move down and I hung on tight. I found myself going through the hole in the floor back into the darkness. Farther and farther down I went, until the boy creature let go of the wheel. Then the rope started to move back up. It picked up speed. I lost my paw-hold and went flying, bat-like, through the darkness, landing in a soft mound of dust. "Plop!" "BONG-G-G!" Every rafter in the tower trembled. Even my special crooked whisker trembled. I wiped the dust from my eyes and looked nose to nose, eye to eye and whisker to whisker into the face of . . . Mother! "Casavant, I'm so glad you're okay. I saw you scurry up here and decided to follow."
As we stood facing each other, dressed in dust, we heard the boy creature say, "Thanks for letting me ring the bell, dad. I am glad that those people loved God. I love God too--He is my best Friend."
Mother looked at me with joy dancing in her eyes. "Imagine, my son, such a little human with so much love. I wish that everyone would love God as much as that. I like the music of that giant bell too . . . but the sweetest sound is the faith in that small human voice. That is the music that makes all heaven rejoice, Casavant," she squeaked.
The happy voices above our heads faded as we scurried down the steep steps to the dim light below. Still, the quiet words of the boy creature made me feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside . . . just like I am on the outside.