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2000-11-14: Circus Coming To Britain
The farmer leaned back against the wall of his cowstable as he watched the circus wagons rolling onto his field. He gripped the pitchfork he had used earlier that day to clear the field of crops. Normally the crops needed to grow for a few more weeks, but the Director of the circus, a man named Shabum, paid him more then enough to buy his crops from other farmers and still leave him with enough to make a nice profit.
Another wagon rolled towards the farm as the farmer watched a dozen sweaty, hairy men working in the field.
"Those men must be working on the foundations of the circus tent", he thought as he saw them swinging huge hammers to drive wooden poles deep into the ground. "Perhaps there are some interesting things to see", pondered the farmer. He laid down his pitchfork and walked towards the field.
As the farmer neared the first wagon he could smell a strange, strong aroma. When he stopped to think about it, he realised it smelled like sulphurous ash. The farmer, having seen some mages work with it, realised this was a reagent that could be used to create fire. He followed the smell to locate where it was coming from. He soon stood in front of a wagon filled with chemical powders, strange oils and torches. A wooden sign read, "Fire Breather".
"Of course", the farmer said to himself, "he uses the sulphurous ash for some explosive things". "I sure would like to see his show!”
Next to the Fire Eater’s wagon stood another wagon. Lying on the floor of the wagon was a long, sturdy rope. The sign of this wagon had the name "Cord dancer" written on it.
"A Cord dancer?", the farmer pondered, "Does a Cord dancer dance with cords?" Amused and amazed he wandered away from the Cord dancer’s wagon.
A few paces away he noticed a familiar figure. A man dressed in dark clothes with a large hat. Shabum, the director of the circus.
"Shabum", the farmer yelled, "Let me talk to you". Shabum turned around and as soon as he recognized the farmer he smiled broadly. "Ahh, my dear peasant, so good to see you again. I hope you are well?"
"Yes, yes very well", said the farmer, "I was just curious, since I have never seen a circus before, if you could tell me what we can expect?"
"Well", said Shabum, "I will not tell you in great detail what each of my artists will do in his act. You will have to see that for yourself when we perform. You get free tickets of course. But I can tell you all about the artists that are here with me.”
"Please do", replied the farmer, nodding heavily, "Tell me what kind of artists you have in this circus.”
"Most of the artists have their own wagon and their name is displayed on a sign nailed to the side. All of the artists have been with the circus since the beginning. The Fire Breather is currently a very popular act. He will do amazing things with fire and oil. Last time he almost burned the tent down. This act is one you really should not miss.
The Cord dancer is dextrous like a cat and will face grave dangers while dancing on the rope. The magician will weave spells you have never seen. He will stun us all with his magical powers. The animal handler will show us fierce creatures and monsters that will do her bidding, endangering herself while she entertains us. And we have a jester that will make you laugh till your pants drop.
Those are the basic entertainers we have, but their shows are magnificent and a must-see.
"That sounds splendid Shabum!" said the farmer, "When are you going to start your first show?"
"We are still constructing the tent, so after we finish with that and set up our props. Alas, it is too soon to tell when this will be, but be sure to watch the town criers, for they will announce the opening days in advance. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to give a few pointers to the men I hired to build the tent. When you need free tickets just come to me and ask."
"I shall do that Shabum, and thanks!", said the farmer. And on he walked towards his barn, as he realised he needed to milk the cows. Indeed, he was truly excited about this circus of Shabum’s - he couldn't wait until they finally finished the construction of the circus tent.