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  • Writer's pictureLinda Nygard

Julius The Circus Tour Guide

“Watch your step please.” The man instructed. “The elephants leave us gifts while they walk to the big top.”

The man? Julius the tour guide. Julius ran the guided tours throughout the circus grounds. Little children would “ooh” and “aah” at the monkeys and giggle at the clowns as they painted on their happy (and sad) faces. Parents hid their boredom as if behind the painted face of the clown, and knew if the kids sensed their apathy, it could ruin the childs experience.

“Look Joey” The father exclaimed. “Look at the beautiful horses. I wonder who the lucky person is that rides them.”

“That lucky person would be the beautiful and talented Miss Clara.” Julius interjected. “You will be able to observe her equestrian magic during the show.”

“What’s equestrian?” Joey asked his father.

“Why, that word means ‘All about horse riding’ son.” Julius jumped in .

Julius woke that morning in his small tent on the circus grounds. He preferred to sleep in there. It was better than bunking with Lou ‘The Sword Eating Man’ in the train car that they had been assigned. For some reason Lou had a bad case of gas and snored up a storm through out the night. What was it that Lou consumed in order to perform? Because the horrific odor kept him up at night; and one night of that was enough!

The tent that Julius inhabited contained a cot covered in blankets, which in turn covered a down filled sleeping bag, The billowing pile of cotton and down kept him comfortable during the night. He did not mind the cool night air, he felt that it kept his head clear upon waking in the morning.

Opposite his sleeping corner sat a small table with a hot plate, a pot for boiling cowboy coffee, a bag of sugar and a chipped white mug from the dining hall. Julius loved his sugar. So much so that he would add 2 heaping spoons of the white powder to his coffee every morning. He felt it helped him with his “sunny disposition”. Julius also sucked on sweet, hard candies throughout his day. “Keeping me awake and happy to be”. He would announce to all who questioned him. Occasionally he would sneak a treat to an unsuspecting child on the tour, just to see the little smile on the kids face.

His clothes and uniform formed a heap in a box at the foot of the bed. Somehow he managed to come out of his tent less wrinkled than one would think; if they saw the rumpled mess of his attire.

That particular morning Julius bounded out of bed, set his water to boil, added the usual amount of Folgers for his brew and wiped out his mug. As the water began to boil he brought over his wrinkled shirt and held it over the steam emitted from the brew. Slowly the wrinkles began to melt away.

“Today’s going to be a good day.” He smiled.

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