Etheric was still a young boy when his parents sent him off to study at Ramsey Abbey and he and three playmates – Athelstan, Eadnoth and Oswald – soon fell foul of the abbey’s strict rules.
Riddle the First is an art song from the Cracked Voices song cycle, set for baritone, clarinet and piano, written by Graham Palmer and Jenni Pinnock.
Was it a dare? Who touched a bell rope first? Egging each other on, they rang harder and harder, the bells rang louder and louder, until – disaster – the great bell cracked.
The monks were furious. They wanted the culprits flogged but the Abbot stopped himself, realising that some good might grow out of the boys’ remorse.