Back in the nineteen thirties and forties
When the travelling circus was king
The drum rolls and squeals of excited children
Had a very familiar ring,
A ring that was home to tigers and horses
With sawdust that covered the ground
But it got up the noses of most of the animals
For they were tired of travelling around.
And so when the circus opened in Cleethorpes
One Tuesday morning in May
The tigers and horses said that they ought
To boycott the matinée.
The lion said firmly that it just wouldn't do,
He'd got his professional pride,
But that after he'd performed in the mane event
He'd perhaps be on their side.
The giraffe was a very vocal supporter
Which was not how he was in the wild.
For giraffes are reluctant to stick out their necks,
They're usually too meek and mild.
The trapeze artists wavered a little to start with,
In fact they just swung to and fro
But when someone said that he'd hide their net
They came down, not as con, but as pro.
The clowns all thought it was a bit of a laugh
And hundreds of jokes were cracked
While the sealions thought that getting it right
Was a bit of a balancing act.
The tumblers jumped at the chance to let
Their vaulting arrogance shine,
And just for a while they supported each other
Until they fell into line.
The elephant tried to keep up with it all
But was getting in quite a flap,
So in the end he just walked away
Saying he'd forgotten to turn off a tap.
Then the tigers and horses and most of their friends
Told the ringmaster of their vote,
And he said that it seemed a great idea
'Cos he'd got a very sore throat.
And so that day the big tent was quiet,
No drum rolls, no oohs and no aahs,
Just disappointed queues waiting at bus stops,
For not many people had cars.
Now news travels fast, particularly when
The news is especially bad
So when the gates opened for the show that night -
Not a child, or a mum, or a dad.
Well, that was the beginning of the end of the circus,
And it only goes to prove
That to stay ahead in the world of showbiz
You've got to keep on the move.
the above work is copyright David Axton © All Rights Reserved