When Louie and Bob entered the performing area, the tall man put his foot down and stared. The short man unlinked his thumbs and stared. The skinny lady dropped her stick and stared.
And the people in the crowd opened their mouths wide and stared.
“Look, he’s riding a pony!”
“How does he keep from falling off?”
“How did he even get on?”
Louie walked to the center, then stopped.
“What are you doing?” said Bob. “Let’s get out of here.”
“It’s SHOWTIME!” said Louie.
Louie did a little dance step, crossing his front legs back and forth in front of each other.
Then he spun around on his four legs, faster and faster and faster. Bob was getting dizzy. “Louie, Stop! I’m going to throw up!”
And then Louie raised his front legs high in the air, and began to dance on his hind legs. And he sang:
“Oh, I’m a famous pony,
The famous pony Louie.
We don’t know any ponies
As fine as I am, do we?”
“What beautiful singing!” said a voice in the crowd.
“And that dancing. I’ve never seen anything like it!”
“From a pony even!”
“And look at that green boy hold on!”
“He was probably born on that horse.”
When Louie finished singing, he put his front legs down, and lowered himself into a bow. Bob lay flat on Louie’s back, feeling very sick.
The crowd clapped and screamed.
“They love us, Bob!” said Louie.
“They love you,” groaned Bob. “But I don’t. Take me home. I think I’m going to die.”
“No, they love you too,” said Louie. “Listen!”
Bob raised his head just a bit and listened to the crowd.
“Hooray for the pony! Hooray for the boy!”
Bob smiled, just a little. No one had ever said hooray for him before.
“Again! Again! Do it again!”
“Please, Louie,” said Bob. “Don’t do it again.”
* * * * *
Not everyone clapped and screamed, though. The tall man didn’t clap. The short man didn’t clap. The skinny lady didn’t clap. They were standing with a lady in green, a man in blue, and a man in brown next to the “Irving’s Circus” sign. They all had their arms crossed and were glaring at Bob and Louie.