Description of Figure/Doll

Handcrafted Swiss doll that is a hand puppet. The hands and hat are made from felt, and the head and boots are composite. He is wearing cotton khaki pants, and he has a bell on a ribbon around his neck. There is ample room in the blue cotton shirt for a hand to manipulate the puppet. The tag says “JODECA AG, 8003 Zurich, Switzerland.”

Link to higher resolution images at ClipPix


Location: Europe

Capital: Bern

Main language: German, French

Currency: Swiss franc


Construction: composite, cotton

Height in Centimeters: 41

Height in Inches: 16

Searching for A Bell for Ursli: Children's Classic from Switzerland

Reading Level: 5.10

My name is Ursli, and I live in the mountains in Switzerland. Switzerland is located between Germany, France, and Italy. In fact, the people in northern Switzerland speak German; the people in western Switzerland speak French, and those who live near Italy, communicate in Italian. In my small village, we speak a language called Romansh, which is a combination of German, French, and Italian.

My parents raise cows and goats. In the winter, the animals stay in the barn where it is warm. When spring comes, we put a bell around their necks and let them climb the mountains. The big cows wear big bells and the smaller cows and goats wear small bells. The bells help us to find the animals when it is time to milk them.

Each spring, our village has a Spring Festival to celebrate the end of winter. All of the boys march in the streets, carrying a bell. The big boys lead the parade and carry big bells. The small boys follow with small bells.

Last year, when I was ten years old, I decided that I was big enough to carry a large bell. But, when I went to my uncle’s house to get the bell, the bigger boys took the big bells. The only one left for me was very small, and the boys called me “Tinkle-bell Ursli.” I was so mad—I did not like the other boys laughing at me, and I wanted to carry a big bell!

Then I remembered that we had a very large bell in our summer cabin high up in the Alpine mountains. So, when my parents weren’t looking, I left home and started walking up the mountain. I saw many animals on the way—horned ibex, mountain goats, foxes, hares, and marmots. It was a long walk, but I finally reached the cabin. To my dismay, it was locked! I crawled in through a window and saw the bell hanging on the wall. Then, I was so tired that I fell asleep.

Meanwhile, my parent were very worried. Everyone in town was looking for me and calling my name.

The next morning, I woke up, put the bell around my neck, and walked back to the village. When I reached home, my mother was very happy to see me. She made my favorite meal of alpine cheese, cream, macaroni, and bacon. She was also very mad that I had run away without telling her. (I knew I would be punished after the parade was over.)

The next day I put the large bell around my neck for the Spring Festival. My bell was the biggest, and I got to lead the parade. I was very proud and very happy that I lived in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland.

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