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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - The Circus Comes To Town - Chapter 1

"Mac! Mac! The circus is coming to town again!" Ian shouted as he climbed the tree. "Mac! Did you hear me?"

Mac was lying, curled up in a ball, sleeping soundly. "What did you say?" he yawned.

"Wake up. I said the circus is coming to town. Remember when we took Molly to the fair? That was fun, wasnít it? Well, this will be even more fun!" Ian reminded.

Mac sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Just how do you know the circus is coming to town?"

"There are signs nailed to the trees at the edge of the woods. One is a big poster with a picture of a tiger on it. Another poster has clowns on it. I love clowns, donít you?" Ian giggled.

"Tigers? Clowns? Sounds like a circus to me. When will it be in town?" Mac asked.

"Tomorrow! I had a wee run into town and the circus people are already there. They are setting up the big tent and all the rides. There are cages with the tigers, lots of dogs and even some big elephants. Wouldnít it be fun to ride on an elephant?" Ian laughed.

"Settle down, Ian. All right, weíll go to the circus!" Mac said.

"Maybe we should go over there now and watch whatís going on! Itís exciting seeing all the animals in their cages. Maybe weíll see a clown too. Can we go, Mac? Can we?" Ian pleaded.

"Let me find something to eat and then weíll head that way. I think we should stay out of the way though, for now," Mac warned. The two raccoons climbed down the tree and Mac looked for some nuts and berries. He popped them into his mouth and mumbled, "Letís go."

They could hear the noise and commotion of the circus from the edge of town. "Thereís the tent! Itís up already!" Ian said, delighted. "Oh, thereís the ferris wheel and the spinning ride. I donít like spinning rides, do you?"

"Not particularly, however, I do like the ferris wheel. Maybe we can have a go on that later," Mac said. He was starting to get excited too.

They were very close to the circus grounds now and hid behind a large rhododendron bush. "Shhhhhh. Letís do this quietly," Mac urged. "I see the cages. Thereís the tiger. It looks mean and hungry."

Just then two men came walking out of a small trailer. "What do you mean the dogs canít perform? Whatís the problem here? You know the show must go on!" It was the Circus Master speaking.

"The dogs are not well. They must have had some bad food," the dog trainer said.

"The show must go on. What will we do now? We need some small animals to do the tricks. All these worries are giving me a headache," the Circus Master said. He turned around and went into his trailer and slammed the door shut behind him. The dog trainer walked away.

"Ian, did you hear that? The dogs are sick. They need small animals. Weíre small animals. I think we could handle some simple tricks. Letís knock on the Circus Masterís door and see what he thinks," Mac suggested.

"Mac! Are you serious? We can really be in the circus? Oh, what fun!" Ian giggled.

The raccoons crept out of the bushes and stood near the front door of the trailer. The Circus Master opened the door when he heard noises. "Whatís this? Raccoons?" Ian and Mac stood quietly, staring up at the man. "Say, howíd you lads like a wee job for a day or two?" Ian and Mac nodded. The Circus Master took them over to the wardrobe trailer. "Fit them with tutus. Theyíre taking the dogís place. Oh, and make sure they get all the peanuts and popcorn they want."

Ian and Mac licked their lips.

"Come on, lads. Tutus? Iím surprised you went along with wearing them," she said, smiling at the raccoons.

"Whatís a tutu?" Ian asked Mac when the wardrobe lady crossed the room.

"I donít know. It must be a costume of some kind. Look at all the clothes!" Mac answered.

The lady came back in with two pink, frilly tutus. "Here you go, lads. Slip them on. Iíll be back in a few minutes." She left them alone.

Mac held the pink tutu up. "What is this? Iím not wearing a pink, lacy tutu. Look how frilly it is."

Ian held his up. "Are they crazy? Iím not wearing it either." Hesitating, he thought for a moment, "but if we donít wear it, then we donít get peanuts and popcorn. Iím hungry. I think maybe we should cooperate. Itís only for a short while, after all."

The lady came back in carrying a large bag filled with peanuts. She dumped them on the ground. "Here you are, lads. Your reward for wearing the outfits," she smiled.

"Look at all those peanuts! Yikes! There are hundreds of them. Come on, Mac. Weíve got to wear the costumes," Ian begged.

"Och, all right, but only for a wee while," Mac agreed.

The raccoons slipped the tutus on. Ian began to giggle when he saw Mac. "You look ridiculous. You look like a bag of pink cotton candy. Itís way too tight on you and look how your tail sticks out. Hee hee hee hee."

"Youíre no radiant beauty yourself, Ian. If you think I look bad, you should look at yourself in the mirror. You look like a marshmallow." Mac laughed and laughed. "I think Iíll have a few peanuts now," he said and nibbled a few.

The lady came back into the room again. "Lads, the circus isnít till tomorrow, but you can stay here with us tonight. Take off the costumes and then come outside. Iíve got to take you over to your trainer, Jock. Heís got a few tricks for you to learn." She went outside.

Ian and Mac slipped off their tutus and tossed them on top of the drawers. "Iím glad to get out of that!" Mac said. He and Ian grabbed a handful of peanuts and then went outside.

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