Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Circus Is In Town

 The news tonight talked about the pachyderms and how they like to eat popcorn from people sitting in the front rows.  They are amazing animals.  I watched them at the last circus I went to, many years ago.  They looked so very sad when no one hardly clapped at the right places.  It all but broke my heart.

Saturday we are taking Hailey, our granddaughter to the circus.  It will be her first visit to the Greatest Show on Earth.  It will be her first glimpse of the mighty pachyderms up close.  They are so incredible,  their society so very complex.  Their society and life intersects ours in so many ways.  Elephants even mourn, like we do.

I think I will check out "Twenty-One Elephants" by Phil Bildner.  It is the story how P.T. Barnum proved that the Golden Gate Bridge was safe and made his circus the event to go to!

In Montana there is a little town called Ringling.  According to Wikipedia "Ringling was named for John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers circus family, which once owned considerable ranchland in the area. Ringling was also president of the White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone Park Railway."

According the Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey site the the elephant's closest living relatives -the mammoth and the American mastodon went extinct in the ice age.  I love the history of the circus.
Last year I had walked into one of the kindergarten rooms and a child ran up to me carrying a picture.  It sort of resembled an elephant.  I however had fallen into those traps before so now wiser leaned down and asked the child to tell me about his picture.

He looked at me with surprise, surely I would already know about his fine drawing.  He cocked his head to the side and looked up: "Mrs Ferris you know, the big hairy elephants.  You remember them!"

Oh the pain -  I looked into his innocent eyes and nodded, "Yes I remember them."  

How do you explain to a kindergartner that you came along a few thousand years later.  Especially since he still believes I had one roaming around my backyard when I was young.   I just nodded as he continued to tell me about his picture.  Laughing inside at the idea of knowing the mammoths from long ago.

The news said that the elephants were downtown earlier.  Oh I would have loved to have seen them.  I am looking forward to going to the circus even if I can't remember the mammoths of my youth.


  1. I liked how you packed many things into this piece...something you saw, something you are going to do, something you remembered, something you learned. It has been fun reading your posts, Ruth. Thanks so much for all you do to make the month of March go by faster!

  2. This is such a perfect piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it this morning.
    I'm sorry you had to be relegated back to the Ice Age there for a moment.

  3. Oh I had to laugh. He was so very earnest. My sister and her husband went on a cruise to Alaska and she brought me back two beads made from antique mammoth ivory. I make jewelry. She told me it had to be a piece for me though. I guess I need to get busy. I know that I will always remember that boy with the picture when I wear them.

    I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts this month. It has been lots of fun.

  4. I like the way you spun this story -- making me want to keep reading and reading and reading. Thanks for slicing this month.

  5. You took us to the circus in this story very well. I imagine you brought many of us to remember our time there. Thanks for the background too. I didn't know the connection to the west at all. And the introduction to the book, along with your sweet conversation with the kindergartener, moved the story to your personal life. Great story you wove. How innocent the little ones can be with the words. Thanks for all the interesting posts!


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