The bell was waiting for a bell ringer. Townspeople were confident they didn’t need intrusive bell clanging to organize their day. Wasn’t that easy. Shopkeepers stood behind counters waiting for patrons. Teachers waited for their scholars. Ale houses never closed.
Who knew the number of births and deaths; sworn marriage vows; business transactions? No tolling of political news, or the (mis)fortunes of war. The Mayor called a meeting, but none of the townsfolk knew when to come.
Time was now told by position of the sun; when birds sang; rising Venus; colour of clouds, the number of ladybugs in door yards, soap bubbles, sneezes, hamster’s whiskers and cat’s meows.
A frazzled government official finally climbed the 102 steps to the bell ringer’s platform just below the bell. “We capitulate. Despite your femaleness, you are by birth right, the next bell ringer.”
She smiled, bell rope ready in her hands.