Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Circus

I love the circus. Truly I do and for me the very best part are all the animal acts. A circus just isn’t a circus without the animals.

First, I’ll write about the elephants and not just because they were the biggest animals, but also because they have been the center of much unwanted attention by a few malcontents. There was one rather small female who just seemed to be smiling almost all the time. I spotted her during the opening parade. She came out looking just like those in front of her and those behind her. Once in the big ring she appeared to be looking around and then her mouth opened just a bit and the corners of her mouth turned up and she got a bit of spring to her step. It was just enough different that I found myself not just watching her, but actually looking for her every single time the elephants came through the entrance door. Sure enough, she would make it about a quarter of the way around and here would come this really delightful smile and that bit of a spring to her step. She looked like she was having the time of her life, a sort of a “I’m so happy you all could come to my party” look.

The dog acts followed and brought about my only real complaint. Both dog acts were on at the same time in different rings. BOO! HISS! To truly enjoy what the dogs were doing required a person to split into two people and try as I might, I just can’t seem to master the split. The act right in front of us used standard poodles and smooth fox terriers. They were great and cleverly made use of the terrier personality. One little terrier played the ‘naughty’ dog who earned more than one laugh from the audience. Sam and I both found a ‘trick’ or two that we will be teaching some of the dogs around here, just for fun. I liked the idea of having one of the dogs run out and knock the jumps over rather than actually jumping and Sam liked the little ‘dive-bomb’ terrier. So we came away with some stuff to play with on rainy days when everyone is pretty much stuck inside.

As for the other dog act, well all I can say is Sam spotted a Maltese. More than that I really can’t say since we were just too far away to be able to see what they were doing.

I was totally captivated by the Friesian who led the horse act. His coal black and super glossy coat along with a high-stepping trot that showed off his feathers made it almost impossible for me to watch the rest of the horses who followed him. Most of the horses we saw were Fjords and quite lovely. I have to say most because I honestly don’t remember if there were any other horses or not. I did manage to glance at the striking black and dun stripped manes of the Fjords only to find myself going right back to that lovely Friesian. Truth to tell, I don’t honestly know what was going on in the other rings, because I was so enthralled by the horse act.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Nope, these days the circus only has tigers. Of course I can only speak for the show we saw, but is was fine. The tigers all appeared to be about as relaxed and comfortable as big cats ever get.

I realize every circus has much more to it than the animal acts and the human acts were all interesting, entertaining and not animals. What can I say? I just love the circus animals in all their glory and pride of doing a job and doing it not just well, but the very best they can. I love the circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are and always have been my favorite.

The only downside was having to deal with rude adults and uncivilized children. There were the two 9 to 10 year old boys sitting in front of us who never stopped waving brightly lit wands around, except for when they were climbing on the backs of their seats. The urge to strangle was strong. Then poor Sam was crashed into during the intermission and had soda spilled all over her clothes, face, hands and hair. The ‘owners’ of the brat responsible didn’t even bother to acknowledge there might be a problem. On the positive side all the 1st Mainer employees were not just polite and helpful but actually nice about it. Over all, a wonderful, if tiring evening and I look forward to doing it many more times in years to come.


  1. This sounds like a lot of fun! I never been in the circus
    in this country, I should probably find time to do it.
    I used to love circus as a kid and last time I've been
    there just over 10 years ago, it wasn't the same.
    So I guess now I am scared to get dissapointed.
    I am glad you enjoyed it and that you are feeling better
    and posting again.

  2. Sounds like a great time! Thanks for sticking up for the elephants and mentioning the cow who really loved what she was doing! So many people think that elephants are beat to make them work for humans but I know from experience that they are trained with as much operant conditing as possible as I was an elephant handler for a short period of time and for the most part they really enjoy working for their handlers but they, like everyone else, can have off days of course :-D