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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - The Circus Comes To Town - Chapter 4

"Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and Girls. Letís have a round of applause for our Circus Master," a voice called over the loudspeaker.

A thunder of claps echoed through the big tent as the Circus Master appeared. He walked to the center ring with his arms high in the air. "Thank you. Thank you," he shouted. "Weíve got a show filled with exciting daredevil stunts, elephants, tigers, and many other events. Let the circus begin," he called.

The crowd cheered. A flap opened and in walked the Flying MacKenzies, all dressed in their purple tights and glittery hair. They bowed and walked to the far left ring. The lion tamer entered next with the tiger. A small car was pushing its cage. It headed for the right ring. The tigerís cage was opened and it ran into another, much larger one. Next came the elephants. Sheena was in the lead and Ian was perched on her trunk, standing tall. He waved his arm as they walked around the ring. He heard children calling out, "Look at the raccoon in the pink tutu." He felt his face go bright red.

"Ignore them," whispered Sheena. "Act like youíre having fun now. Wave."

Ian waved at the crowds. Three other elephants were in line behind them. One of them was a baby elephant named Kyle.

Behind the elephants came Mac riding his purple and pink ball. "Look at that raccoon on the ball, Mummy," shouted a wee lass, loud enough for Mac to hear. "Itís a boy raccoon and heís wearing a pink tutu, just like the other one on the elephant. Thatís funny." She giggled and giggled. Mac was very embarrassed but kept steady on the ball. He rolled around the big tent, waving his arms and trying to smile.

At last the show began. The Flying MacKenzies climbed up the tall pole and started swinging back and forth, throwing each other and doing acrobatics. They held onto the trapeze. One of them nearly fell but the crowd knew the net below would catch them. At the other end of the tent, the lion tamer went into the cage with the ferocious tiger. Ian and Mac watched as he tossed it bits of raw meat, which it gobbled down. He cracked his whip and the tiger jumped through hoops and sat on a stool and did all sorts of tricks.

"Your turn," Mac said to Ian. He and Sheena walked into the middle ring. Sheena stood on her back legs and Ian did tricks, like stand on his head and do somersaults. He swung on her trunk and stood on her back. The crowd applauded and cheered. Ian felt so proud.

Macís turn was next. As the elephants were doing their tricks, he rolled around on his ball, going under the elephants and around Kyle. He even rolled on the ball towards the tiger cage and as the whip cracked and the tiger roared, he circled the cage. He nearly fell when the man put his head inside the tigerís mouth. "Yikes!" he whispered.

When the show was done, the Circus Master had all the performers come back out and take a bow, including Ian and Mac. When they got back to the tent with Jock, he gave them a huge bowl of potato crisps and fluffy buttery popcorn. "Well done, lads. Well done." He patted both of them on the back. "Say, would you lads like to be in tonightís show as well?" he asked.

"Doing what?" Mac asked.

"Being clowns. You can dress up in bright, spotted clothes. Thereíll be no tutus and no pink, lacy things. Youíll wear a hat and a red rubber nose and big red shoes. You can have squirt guns and squirt the people watching in the audience, and you can toss sweeties out for the children and make them laugh. What do you say, lads?" Jock asked.

"Fun!" shouted Ian. "I want to. Can we, Mac?" he pleaded.

"Of course. After todayís show, we can handle that," Mac said.

"Great, lads. Go and have a rest and be back here by sunset," Jock said and then he left.

"That was fun, wasnít it, Mac? Look at all the food we have and we get to squirt people and wear bright costumes," Ian said, so excited he could hardly stop talking.

"It sounds fun, but right now, I need a nap. Are you coming with me or not?" Mac said and walked toward the costume trailer and their blankets. Mac fell asleep right away but Ian just lay there, thinking of his exciting day at the circus. Tonight promised to be even more exciting for him.

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