School Bell

Whenever the school bell rings to mark the end of the period it is interesting to discover how different it sounds and looks each time. Sometimes it is a deafening clang of tuneless quality, sometimes a weak little effort of a tinkle and sometimes it is a steady monotonous drone. Very occasionally the ringing ends in a thundering crash and echoing tones as the bell once again breaks free of its perch, in anger at being screwed to the wall all the time, and crashes to the floor in protest.

There is a family of beetles who live inside the bell and if you are unlucky enough to be standing below the machine when it rings, you can be sure of a slight shower of little black and green beetles down your back which is most uncomfortable. The beetles don't like it much either; when brushed off they swarm up the wall and into the bell again thoroughly annoyed at being disturbed from the cosy dark cover. There is also a big brown spider who shelters in the works of the bell. He must have a very good sense of time because a minute before the unreliable contraption explodes in sound, the spider clambers on to the ledge and scampers to the far end to escape the deafening racket and vibrations. Many other creepy crawlies creep and crawl inside this ancient relic of engineering, but soon all the warmth and comfort of the school bell will disappear for these unfortunate creatures and they will have to move to some other post that appeals to them, because a new inter-class bell system is being installed and the old rusty noise maker will fade into oblivion.

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