Author's Notes: I have not been able to find a copy of the book Chirin no Suzu by Takashi Yanase in either Japanese or English. However, I love this cartoon, which quickly turns from cute to dark. I decided to write my written version of the story with no plot changes whatsoever, other than the fact that I am combining the Japanese version with the English version Ringing Bell. And seeing as "no suzu" means "ringing bell," I am aware the "Chirin no suzu" means "ringing bell of Chirin," hence the title I use. For my written edition, I mostly used the Japanese version, which has different (and in my opinion, better) dialogue. Also, there was dialogue added into the English version that I felt was unnecessary. (Seriously, American producers seem to believe that if someone isn't talking every thirty seconds, the kids lose interest.) Sometimes I combine the English dialogue with the Japanese dialogue, and I used the narration from both.
So, without further daily, here is the darkest children's story you may ever hear.
The Ringing Bell of Chirin
A Sanrio Production
Directed by Masami Hata
Based on the novel by Takashi Yanase
Adapted by WhispertheWolf
In the high peaks of the rocky mountains, the snow was falling in a wild blizzard. The rocky peaks were snow-swept and barren. The world was blanketed; the few waterholes were frozen over. The river that ran through the canyon beside the great mountain stood still. Down at the treeline, the pine trees were so covered with snow that they appeared white instead of green. The white pines receded lower down to bare hardwood trees standing strong against the wind and snow.
Down in the meadow, below the mountain and its forests, lay a pasture, fenced off from the rest of the mountains and the plains beyond. A snow-covered shed was nestled in the corner of the pasture. A great, barren hardwood tree stood close by, as if watching over the shed and all its on goings.
And throughout the valley and up to the mountaintop, if one listened closely, from within the wall of white could barely be heard the silvery ringing of a distant bell.