Little brass Christmas tree bell.

Little Bell

Hidden in the back of the tree, deep in the branches, Little Bell hung out of sight. Her brass surface tarnished and scratched after four generations of Christmas. The pretty glass ornaments hung on the outer branches for all to see, but Little Bell was out of sight.

Little Bell looked through the branches. She saw the other ornaments and was sad. She saw the ceramic Santa, with the package in his hands. The package was torn by a little boy, who thought there was a present inside. Santa's head had chips from years of being hung and put away. The Santa ornament was damaged, but still placed near the front of the tree for all to see. Little Bell was way in the back - hidden. All the ornaments Bell hung with through the years, were at the front of the tree, but Bell was alone.

Little Bell remembered when she hung at the front of the tree. Christmas came. Boxes were carried to the living room and opened. The tree was placed in the center the large room. Hands reached into the boxes. Bell, her brass surface shining brightly, would be lifted from a box. The hand would shake her, and she would ring with joy. Her sound brought smiles to those who held her. She'd be placed in the front and center of the tree, for all to admire.

One year, smaller hands held her. They helped the big hands. The little hands hung Bell in the right place, but they could not leave little bell alone. They'd touch Bell to make her ring, but the big hands told them, "No! You might knock the tree down." Bell was hung higher, away from the little hands.

Over the years, the little hands grew larger, and the big hands allowed them to touch her. They placed her on the tree and allowed the smaller hands to move her.

A game began. Bell was moved around the tree. The one who found her, got to hang her in a new place. Bell was hidden in the deepest and darkest places of the tree. She waited patiently, until the smaller hands found her, made her ring, and then moved her to a new spot.

Little Bell was the favorite ornament on the tree. She was proud.

After many years, the little hands got bigger. They hid her on the tree, and Little Bell hung hidden from view - forgotten. The game was over. Bell was sad. She hung alone at the back of the tree.

Years later, one of the big hands handed Little Bell to one of the small hands that had grown. "This is yours. Take Little Bell with you."

The next Christmas, Bell was placed in the front of the tree. Her brass was tarnished, but her ring was pure. She made the hand thing smile. She was happy.

A few Christmas' later, new small hands were putting "Little Bell" on the tree. They played the game bell loved. Bell waited for the little hands to find her. They moved her around the tree. Little Bell loved the game. She was the center of attention again. The other ornaments hung brightly on the tree, but Little Bell, who was hidden, was the one the hands reached for.

Those new little hands grew bigger, and Little Bell was once again placed on the tree, her surface dull and tarnished from years of use. She was placed deep in the tree, hidden from view. The big hands still playing the game, but there were no little hands to look for her.

Little Bell was sad.

One day, a big hand reached out to her, "This is a pretty ornament! Where did it come from?"

The other 'Big Hand' said, "That is the Little Bell. I played with it when I was a kid. My brothers and I hid it on the tree and took turns trying to find it. Mom knew I loved it and gave it to me, so her grandkids could play the game I did.

The new "Big Hand" took Little Bell, polished her brass, and hung her at the front of the tree. Little Bell's brass reflected the lights and glowed with pride. The "Hand" removed ornaments around Little Bell, so she would have her own special spot on the tree. After years of hiding, Bell now hangs in a special spot at the front of the tree, but prays for the day little hands will once again hide her.

~ Michael T. Smith ~

Michael lives in Ohio with his wife Ginny and his stepdaughter's family. You can see a list of Mike's stories here: And you can get his stories emailed to you by signing up here:  Please let Michael know what you think of his story:  Michael T. Smith
[ by: Michael T. Smith Copyright © 2009, ( ) -- {used with permission} ]

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