Sunday, 13 July 2008

A night at the circus

I apologies, for it is some time since last I wrote and I realise, with discomfiture, that I have been shirking my duties to the less fortunate amongst you, in not writing more promptly, for I am only too aware that some of you lead dull, sad, lives and may well have been bereft, awaiting the next installment in the tiresome yet true escapades of Mademoiselle Delacourt and the more interesting goings on chez Loufoque. I hope you will forgive my tardiness and understand that there are some of us who have lives of our own to live and thus you must either learn to be patient or take up knitting. When last we spoke myself and the children were about to endure an evening of tent bound tedium in an effort to avoid an entirely more wearisome one at the chateau in the company of the afore-mentioned Delacourt and her halitosis and horrendous head gear.

As it happened we might have avoided both by staying at home Mademoiselle Delacourt, wearing her mobile lightening conductor, having accompanied us uninvited only to vanish into the ether somewhere between the entrance to the circus and the make shift public amenities erected at the rear of the field.

Breathing a sigh of relief at her ungainly departure and with Madame Grognonne instructed to keep a weather eye out for signs of our misplaced mad woman, we had settled ourselves in our ringside seats all prepared to be amazed and enthralled by the pathetic posing of the rather weak strongman and to endure the painful pantomime of the decidedly toothless lion cringing in its cage whilst the trainer, wearing a faded red tail coat and a top hat that had seen better days, attempted to cajole it into leaping through a ring of flames. When the petrified lion refused to perform the clowns were called in to distract the crowds who were getting a bit restive. Youngest for one was particularly disgruntled that the lion showed no sign of savaging the ring master.

The diminutive entertainers scuttled about the sawdust ring drawing the audiences attention away from the miserable big cat whilst a small person wearing a rather vivid green tutu and orange sparkling stockings attempted to tempt to lure the lamentable lion down from his star spangled perch by tempting him with morsels of sardine fillets. I remember thinking to myself that they might have done better with horse meat. After some difficulty the figure managed to attach a large blue ribbon about the neck of the reluctant Lion and finally dragged him down from his plinth. The beast however was patently not happy and was further more greatly agitated by the cavorting dwarf sized harlequins who seemed for some bizarre reason to be intent on the dangerous task of distracting the unlikely lion tamer, much to the amusement of the masses.

All at once, and quiet unexpectedly, the king of beasts found his spirit and, roaring a deep primeval roar , with one giant paw swatted the head of his captor ,knocking her finery askew and causing her to rock backwards and fall heavily amongst the scattering clowns.

The audience ceased to laugh.

All was frozen.

With one communal intake of breath all were transfixed by the enormity of what was unfolding before their eyes. Looking more surprised than hurt the small lion tamer raised her head and turned her face to the creature with a look of confusion and betrayal. In that instant each of our party recognized under the swathes of pink toile, purple ostrich feathers and sequins the unmistakable millinery of Mademoiselle Delacourt, her face painted in a terrifying parody of a smile and her voice ringing crystal clear in the silenced tent.

” Naughty Fleur must not hit mummykins” and smacked the lion hard across his nose.

By way of response the Lion ate her.


It was an irksome task to find a painting suitable for the illustration of this missive. however "The Circus" by Georges Seurat portraying the crowd holding its collective breath at the dangerous act performed for their delectation is, I think , fairly fitting. It was his last large-scale painting, on which he worked between 1890-1891 and is both abstract and decorative,. The Circus was left unfinished at Georges Seurat's death. I do not however believe this was caused by his being eaten unavoidably by a lion. However I am happy to be proved wrong, after all stranger things have happened.


Pondside said...

But did she stay eaten???

Blossomcottage said...

I think this Lion must have been the Father of the one that ate poor Albert in Albert and Lion sung by Stanley Holloway, I fear however that if this lion is anything like my terrier when she eats anything that has not been peeled first it may well throw the poor woman back again onto the sawdust!
Have a good trip and remember to pack enough knickers .. Just in case!!

Anonymous said...

This sounds a little like Blackpool Tower. I am not sure if the animals are real however, as I have never watched the show through but I would imagine being eaten might be a relief to those with the patience to endure.

CJ xx

Fennie said...

Yes, but did you enjoy the rest of the performance? The lion presumably having been put away to sleep off his large and unaccustomed repast. Mind you, it all comes of having a circus with lions. Hard, you see to make literary progress after that.

Still, I feel that Pondside has shown you the way, my dear, and indeed Toady, too, has assisted today, with her animated tale of fisherman being eaten by an Octopus and then regurgitated in time for his own dinner. All of which would be a wonderful and plausible tale where it not for the fact that it relies on the octopus having previously consumed a trolley load of Patak's sauces still in their jars and a range cooker to boot. Still strange things happen at sea, especially off the coast of Brittany, I'm told, though I doubt whether we could rely on the stomach capacity of the lion to accommodate similarly such a well-filled stockroom in its gullet so the poor Delacourt female may find herself down there without the option of coming back. Nevertheless, were it a really old lion, there might be lurking in that deep pit of indigestion the remains of a Christian to whom she could confess her sins and perhaps those of the household as well.

One trusts that the lion did not eat the Delacourt headgear, Loic's dibber and all, which might have proved even more indigestible than the Christian.

Bonnes vaccances! Avoid the lions on route if you can. To lose one member of the Loufoque entourage, may be a misfortune....... etc etc.

Frances said...

The lion ate her. FIN

How I hope not, well maybe we wish that you and the Delacourt woman need not meet again close up, but we surely do not want the adventures ever to end.

Have a fabulous vacation, and bring back many experiences with which to enchant us.


WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Berlimey - but I cannot believe she stays eaten either.

Cait O'Connor said...

You have reminded me why I hate circuses.

bodran... said...

That poor lion...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully she gave the lion violent indigestion and he brought her right up again, then she smiled weakly and demanded tea.

Grouse said...

But that poor lion wil be farting pink feathers for weeks to come!

wordtryst said...

LOL at Grouse's comment!

Thank you so much for joining the launch party on my blog! I had a wonderful time!

Dianne said...

Enjoyed your tale about the Lion and Lady I shall have to come back to see what happens next.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your very nice comment. I have left you one in return explaining about my Giveaway.

Now I am going to one of your other sites to see what you are about since this is about a fictitious character.