The circus is the only ageless delight that you can buy for money. Everything else is supposed to be bad for you. But the circus is good for you. It is the only spectacle I know that, while you watch it, gives the quality of a truly happy dream. The big cats do things no cat would ever do. You can see them jumping effortlessly over Mr. Konyot’s head instead of making that unbelievable low rush they close with in the dusk when the female lion shows her cubs the way to kill.

Lion tamer Oleksiy Pinko rehearses tricks with lions before their performance in a Kiev circus

The circus bulls are disciplined and can make you feel that they are gay. They do not spread their ears and raise their trunks and come crashing through the bush.


The bears ride bicycles and dance and they would all get drunk if the Klausser family let them. You have known grizzlies to do very different things. But it was always because men intruded on their natural lives.


But in the circus it is like a dream. The animals are dream animals. The riders are dream riders. The flyers really fly and catch each other the way you are caught in good dreams.


The horses make the loveliest pattern of dreams and the best are the free horses. You get from the clowns just what you bring to them. As well as that which shows, they bring a great baggage of old mockeries and deflations that are as old as our conceits and self-delusions.

He Who Gets Slapped Blank

They also bring the true comic that makes the dreams we wake from laughing.

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