Schellen-Ursli or a Bell for Ursli

Bildschirmfoto 2013-04-03 um 09.31.17

Schellen-Ursli is a Swiss classic story for children about a Spring celebration in Engadine in Switzerland.

His original name is Uorsin and the author of this Romansch-Swiss picture-book is Selina Chönz and the illustrations are made by the famous Swiss painter Alois Carigiet.

It is a story in rhyme scheme about a little boy named Ursli, who lives in the Swiss Alps. His village is preparing the Chalanda-Marz procession (on the first of March), where Engadine children parade through the towns ringing cowbells to drive out the Winter and welcome the Spring. The boy with the biggest cowbell is supposed to lead the procession.

When he goes to Uncle Gian’s farmhouse with the other boys, he gets the smallest bell of all!  Determined not to be the laughing stock of the village, Ursli treks to his family’s summer hut up in the mountains where he knows that he can find a large cowbell instead. He spends a lonely, scary night. – When he comes back the next morning with the biggest cowbell in the whole village, he is the leader of the procession and everyone is happy that he is back.

Generations of Swiss children have grown up with the delightful story of Ursli (see the english translation: A Bell for Ursli: A Story from the Engadine in Switzerland).


Guarda (Photo credit: lukas.b0)

3 replies »

  1. I named my son after me, and he’s been Ursli ever since. If they can’t pronounce his name here in California he’s called Bear. It was great reading in both Swiss German and English versions at bed time. Guat nacht, Schloff guat.

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