Chapter 14 – The Show Must Go On

The night Irving R. Irving’s circus resumed its tour was a big night.

Everyone in the world had heard that Bob had been found, though there was some confusion about whether he’d really been kidnapped or not.

But everyone wanted to see Bob and Louie perform again.

Irving R. Irving had rented an entire valley.  He placed a stage in the middle of the valley, and people covered the valley floor and the surrounding hillsides.  There must have been millions.  Some had brought binoculars so they could see, they were so far away.  Some even brought telescopes.

Then the show began.

Bob rode Louie onto the stage.  Louie danced while Bob held on.  People cheered.  Then…hey, wait a minute!  Another Bob and Louie riding onto the stage?

People began pointing, and scratching their heads.  There were two Louies and two Bobs!  Two ponies and riders!

Then the people looked more closely.  The second pony wasn’t Louie, and the second rider wasn’t Bob.  And for that matter, the first pony wasn’t Louie either.  And the first boy wasn’t Bob!  In fact, the riders weren’t even boys.  They were ladies.  One skinny lady, and a lady in green.

People began to boo, and to chant “Hooey! Hooey! We want Louie!  We’ve been robbed!  We want Bob!”

The ponies and riders began to dance.  Both ponies did the same dance, next to each other, lifting their legs with exact timing.

The chants quieted.

Then the two ladies stood, on the ponies’ backs.  And as the ponies danced, the ladies danced.

The audience was silent.

And then the ponies and ladies began singing as they danced.  They sang much better than Bob and Louie ever had.

The crowd erupted in cheers.

When the ponies and ladies were done they bowed and left the stage.

Louie had trained them well.

The tall man walked on stage, stopped, and stood still in the middle.

The short man then ran out, climbed right up the tall man’s back, and stood on his shoulders.  A huge “OOH!” came from the crowd.

Then the short man reached down, put his hands on the tall man’s shoulders, and pushed his feet up into the air.

“HE’S STANDING ON HIS HANDS!” yelled someone from the crowd, amazed.

“AND ON THE OTHER MAN’S SHOULDERS!” yelled someone else.

People began clapping and screaming.

And as the short man did a handstand on the tall man’s shoulders, only slightly wobbling, the man in blue and the man in green tumbled out onto the stage.  All around the tall man they somersaulted, and walked on their hands, and did flips.

The crowd went wild.  They stomped.  They cheered.  They screamed.  They clapped.  They would have chanted the performers names, but they didn’t know who these strange, wonderful performers were.

Way up on top of a distant hill, Louie took his eye away from his telescope and said, “Looks like they’ve forgotten us, Bob.”

“Good,” said Bob.  “Let’s go home now.”

“Yes,” said Louie.  “Let’s go home.  It was fun, though, wasn’t it.”

Bob was quiet for a moment, then said, “Yeah.  It was fun.  Thanks for bringing me.”

And in an instant, the crowd disappeared.