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The Baldwin Library
One Ring Circus -
O NE balmy day in June, Peter Funny=
bone was up on top of the straw=stack
listening to the thrush's song and the
hum of bees, which came to him from the
clover patch, back of the barn.
As he lay on his back watching the
lazy cotton clouds drift across the sky
of lue, he suddenly heard a great com=
ntion in the barn=yard below him; the
s outing of men, the tramp of horses,
all mingled with the music of a band.
O\ On looking over the edge of the
-y,^ high stack a most wonderful
^,^ sight was before him of
strange animals and many
people in gay fantastic dress.
Jokes were passed
and laughter rang ou ..
upon the summer ,-
while they al /; --
about, preparing / Y
some great ev
"What you all doing 'ere?" asked
Peter of a clown in gay, baggy clothes,
who stood below him.
"This," said the clown, "is Hunkey
Dorey's Circus, the greatest show on earth.
I am the human programme," and, with
a double sumersault, he was beside the
boy upon the stack.
"Hankey! Pankey! presto, change!" cried
the clown, clapping his hands, and, in a
jiffy, Peter Funnybone and the clown were
whirled high in the air and landed on the
broad back of the great gray elephant that
stood near. He had picked them up in his
long trunk and put them there.
The elephant was guided by a little
brown boy in white, with a red sash, and
he drove right for the big barn doors,
which flew open as they came near, show=
ing beyond, a great circus tent packed
with people, who gave a mighty shout
as the elephant rolled into the ring.
The clown /tood up and shouted in a
/V voice of brass:-
6The elephant now goes 'round,
The band begins to play,
And the boys around the monkey's cage
Had better get out of the way."
The elephant tossed Peter and the
clown onto a high platform, at the other
side of the ring, and took his place at the
head of the grand march, that was enter-
The Queen of Beauty headed the pro=
cession in her golden chariot, drawn by
two white camels of the desert. She ,C .
was followed by a long train of gaily
dressed ladies and brave knights in
armor of gold and silver, bearing banners of
silk on long lances. Following, came Be=
douins on pure white Arabian steeds,
covered with gay trappings of silk and
gems. Nubians followed on coal=black horses;
and after, came people of all foreign lands,
mounted on horses of every color-a gay
and glittering throng.
The bright lights, flashing on the pol=
ished metals and cloths of every shade and
color, made a picture too dazzling to describe.
A trumpet blew and like magic the
ring was cleared. In rushed a crowd of
funny clowns, with trained donkeys, pigs,
cats, and goats.
The antics of the clowns, and the tricks
of the animals, made Peter Funnybone and
the whole, great crowd shout for joy.
Next came the bare=back riders, all
champions of the world; beautiful girls in
gauzy skirts, and brave swarthy men
on wild, fiery, untamed steeds of Tartary,
which they urged to their utmost speed,
while they made airy flights through j
burning hoops or over silken banners
held by clowns and grooms.
The tall ring=master was there, and
funny men by scores, tightrope dancers,
jugglers from far Japan, leapers and vaul=
ters who somersaulted over scores of horses
and elephants, a troupe of trained zebras
with monkeys for riders, and cowboys and
Indians from the wild and woolly west.
Then came the band=master with whiskers,
and the medals on his chest, who was
cheered and cheered again, as the ring=
master pinned another badge upon his
Peter Funnybone was in his glory, for
all of these things were explained to him by
switch its tail about and tickle him in the
AsT.f -a:- T"- _A [. --- '
ear, just as he was enjoying something
very much. He would drive the bird
away, but it always returned.
The music ceased; a bell sounded from
far away; fairy boys and girls all dressed in
yellow, red and green, mounted upon giant
butterflies, were trooping into the ring,
and Peter leaned forward to get a better
Just then, he sat up on the straw=stack,
wide awake, as the cheery voice of his sis=
ter Sue struck his ear.
"Wake up, you lazy boy! I have been
tickling your ear with a straw for the
last five minutes, trying to wake you,
Don't you hear the supper bell?"
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