The Adventures of Ollie-Dare - Chapter 13
OLLIE-DARE Meets The Circus
Spring was in the air and the Great Forest once again was alive with activity. The creatures of the forest were busy planting, and enjoying the new Spring air. Flowers were beginning to bloom in a colorful array, and the meadows were becoming greener. Ollie-Dare and his best friends, Jimmy the Rabbit, Ace the Coon, and Banjo the Fox, were having tea when suddenly strange music filled the air. Ollie-Dare and his friends followed the sounds into the meadow that lay on the edge of the Great Forest, and before them was a sight like none they had seen.
Huge wagons with colorful pictures and writings were assembled in a large circle. Men and women in strange costumes could be seen running to and fro. Noises like none the creatures of the forest had heard before filled the air, and music with a bell rhythm sounded out from the wagons. By now the forest walls were lined with creatures of the forest, some openingly staring, and others peeping through willow branches and tall grasses.
Ollie-Dare being the wise bear he was, decide to venture closer, while telling the others to stay where they were. Slowly Ollie-Dare walked to the big wagons, where he was met by a tall man with long grey hair. At first, the man stopped and stared, and then with a smile said, "May I ask who you are, for you are not one of our animals?"
Ollie-Dare stood straight and tall, and in a gruff voice answered, "I am Ollie-Dare, and you have entered my forest."
"I am Wilford the Circus Clown, and before you is the greatest show on earth, The Circus," said the man. "We mean you no harm, for we need only to rest because we have traveled far, and are headed for the city just over the mountain. We are to perform there next week. Come, let me introduce you to all here at the circus, and you shall see that we are harmless."
Ollie-Dare entered the large circle of wagons to see all shapes and sizes of men and women, and creatures like none he had seen before. First he was introduced to Rick, the ring master, a tall slim man with a large mustache, and a very tall hat. He was then taken to see Leo the lion trainer, and some of the biggest cats you could imagine. He met Beth the horse woman, and her beautiful horse Silver Streak, then there was John the Trainer and his animals, the elephants.
Ollie-Dare was amazed at the sight before him, and lingered watching the graceful movements of such large animals. He met clowns of all different sizes, a fire-eating man, the strong man, all kinds of dogs doing tricks, and a strange and funny creature called a monkey, and rope-walkers, and dancers.
Everyone was very nice to Ollie-Dare and he was happy that once again strangers had entered his forest with new things for him to see. He also knew that his friends would be very worried by now, and with invitations for all the forest creatures to return later for a small show, Ollie-Dare said his fare-wells.
On re-entering the forest, creatures large and small gathered to hear what Ollie-Dare had to tell. With eyes of wonder, they then left to tell others within the forest of the strange events taking place, and of the invitation to see it themselves that very day.
As dusk settled upon the forest, Ollie-Dare and all the forest creatures gathered at the meadow's edge for the beginning of the night's event. One by one, Ollie-Dare let his forest creatures enter into a huge tent structure wkere they were seated on wooden seats, and the strange music filled the air.
Suddenly, the Ring Master appeared and in a loud voice announced "Welcome to the Greatest Show on earth, The Family Circus!"
Tall and short men appeared dressed in bright costumes with hair of many colors, and round, red noses. They ran here and there, tripping and throwing things in the air, and making everyone laugh with glee. Then entered the elephants and their trainer to the gasp of the forest creatures. Large though they were, the elephants performed gracefully, bowing and parading before them. They did tricks, and Nibbles the Squirrel rode the back of one of the elephants to the amusement of her forest friends.
Next entered a large man with arms the size of tree trunks, and he bent and twisted metal pipes. Following him came a beautiful lady and her horse. On his back she twirled and turned, and went on and off. Large cats called tigers performed by leaping through fire rings; rope-walkers and high wire acrobats, dogs and monkeys, gave performances to lots of applause and laughter.
At the end of the show, Ollie-Dare and his friends were given a sweet called cotton-candy, and caramel-covered apples, along with a cool drink. Balloons that swayed back and forth on long stings, and pictures of all the performers were handed out. The time soon came for Ollie-Dare and his friends to return home. So with promises of returning the next morning to say farewells, they went on their way.
And as the sun appeared over the meadow the next morning, a stream of forest animals could be seen coming and going from the circus wagons, each taking their new friends a small gift from the forest. Some gave baskets of food, others small tokens from the forest walls.
Later as Ollie-Dare, Jimmy, Ace, and Banjo sat drinking evening tea, they talked of the things they had seen. Ollie-Dare again thought of how his old eyes had seen much in his years, but there seemed to be so much he hadn't seen yet. He gave thanks for each new day, and the wonders they always brought with them.
And as Jimmy talked of all the wonders of his day, and how he would like to go with the circus traveling around the cities, Ollie-Dare smiled. He thought of what wonderful treasure lay awaiting them, right here in the Great Forest!
©2002 Rebecca Morris