Every year at this time(end of October, beginning of November), Dothan puts on The Peanut Festival. It’s a week long celebration with a local fair, rides, farm animals, and other entertainments. It’s a lot of fun. The boys and I go for the circus and seeing the animals. We also get funnel cake, corn on a stick, and the boys get to ride the rides….but not this year. There were so many other things going on in our days that there was no time left over to hit the festival.
So to make up for missing the circus, I promised the boys a story.
“Long, long ago, before there were cell phones and televisions, video games or even electricity, people needed ways to entertain themselves. Now some of these ways you could do all by yourself, and some you could do with a friend or three, but the kind of entertainment we’re talking about is for lots of people all at once! We’re talking about the origin of the circus.
The world is full of so many incomprehensible creatures, including people with amazing skill. The man with incredible strength! The woman with astonishing balance! And so they each headed out into the world to seek their fortune.
Now it so happened that their paths crossed during a great town faire to celebrate the successful harvest. They, like many other street performers, were doing their shows for the coins and handouts the passersby could muster.
But it took the genius of a single man to see that all of them –together- would be truly a sight to see! And so he approached each of the street shows: the comedians, the juggler, the musicians, and spoke to them of his vision.
“For a group that travels together in large numbers is safer than a single person traveling alone. And think of it—we could charge more for admission than all the tips gathered in hats combined!”
His enthusiasm and charisma were so great that he soon convinced everyone to join him. They worked on their best performances and he found a space for them to put on their show.
The day of the grand opening arrived and the performers went out into the streets as a parade to entice the public to follow them back—and follow them they did!
And what greeted them was a loud, exciting, friendly man, “Come one, come all to the world’s First Circus! See amazing feats performed right before your very eyes! View the wonders that grace our world. You will be –amazed-!” And though the price he charged was perhaps a bit more than they’d hoped to pay, they could not resist the siren call of their curiosity.
And so they came, they walked, they sat, and they saw—and truly, they were AMAZED! For each new marvel was surpassed by the next. Things they had never imagined in this world came to life before them.
And as they left, all they could speak of was the marvel of the circus—which of course, brought yet more people to the tent. And when all the people of the town had seen the show, the performers packed up their tents and moved on to a new location to bring wonder and delight to new eyes.
And that, my loves, is the origin of the circus—and as you can see, it works very well, for they continue this tradition even to today!”
“Mom,” my oldest said (and you could tell that he was trying to be tactful), “that wasn’t a very interesting story….could you, maybe… tell us another one?” (with hope and a little bit of worry in his eyes.)
...but -that- story will just have to wait until tomorrow (;