Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running Away To The Circus ...

When you're having one of those days
there is nothing like adding a little zip to your life.
So today I headed out to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
show, Boom A Ring, for its last performance here in Charlottesville.

When I was a child my most favorite book
in the whole world was
Toby Tyler, by James Otis, about a little boy
who runs off to join the circus.

When I wasn't dreaming about being a world champion figure skater
I dreamed of being a trapeze artist
flying through the air high above a cheering crowd.
I tried to get my dad to exchange the handmade swing
he made for me for a trapeze but he never got around to it.

I tried training my dog to do wonderful tricks but that never worked out either.

As an adult I love the animal acts the best.
However, I do believe the they should use only domestic animals
like dogs, cats or horses. I adore elephants but they belong in the wild
not in the circus ring. One of these was trained to sit on the head of
one of the other elephants while it was lying down.
That didn't help my funk much! And it wasn't terribly dignified
for the elephants either.

The other day I heard a piece on NPR's, Science Friday,
discussing a study that showed that elephants
live longer in the wild than they do in zoos.
I don't doubt it.

I imagine it might be the same for white Bengal tigers such as these.

Like anything else there was good and there was bad
all mixed up together in this show. But I loved watching
all the children and was reminded of the first time
I saw the circus at Madison Square Garden in New York City some
60 odd years ago. I remembered reading Toby Tyler, and on those days
when nothing was going right, planning on running away
to join the circus.

Today for a few brief hours I did!!


marja-leena said...

What fun! Reminds me of the time some years ago, I went with two of my adult daughters to see the fantastic Cirque du Soleil. Hope you are well and happily preparing for Christmas. This year I'm finding it's more of a struggle....

Livia Indica said...

I understand what you mean about the animals. The last time I visited a circus I was about 11 or so. The spectacle left me feeling cold and somehow disappointed in myself. It was years before I understood why. I just have issues with animals being trained to do things unnatural for them. And I've also heard horror stories about the treatment of the animals behind the scenes. For these reasons I've never seen a circus show since.

paris parfait said...

Thanks for sharing these photos. It's been ages since I saw an actual circus (other than the Cirque du Soleil, which is more like a magic show). Happy holidays! xo