The Eye of the Tiger

Nine-year-old Jeffrey stood outside the circus tent and craned his neck to look at the top. He was just about to stand on his tiptoes when he felt tugging at his right sleeve.

“Come on Jeffers. We’re late.”

Jeffrey turned to speak to his sister, Alice, but she was already disappearing into the makeshift entrance. Soon lost is a sea of bodies, Jeffrey was almost swept along in the enthusiastic chatter as people of all ages and shapes followed Alice.

As Jeffrey entered the tent he spotted his family at one side, near to where the ringmaster was standing tall holding a microphone. Jeffrey’s mother beckoned him to his seat and he’d only just sat down when the lights went out and silence descended.

199 tiger face 181188Jeffrey watched open-mouthed as the dark-haired man dressed in a long, red coat with big, black buttons and stiff top hat began speaking. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to Safont’s Circus. We are sure you will have an evening you will never forget, sights and sounds to surprise, acrobats and animals to amaze, and tricks and tom foolery to tantalise. Sit back ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and enjoy the show!

With the final word spoken, the man bowed to a chorus of clapping and cheering and a volcano of glitter erupted from the centre of the ring and as it settled, the audience gasped as two Indian elephants dangled their right feet over a scantily-clad woman. Around the edge of the ring, tigers ambled, one behind the other as their keepers looked on at a distance.

Jeffrey’s eyes widened as one of the tigers, just a couple of feet away, turned and looked at him, winked, smiled the moved on.


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