I was a young lad at the tender age of 22 when I first joined the circus in the suburbs around Chicago. Growing up in Southern Illinois I had not experienced being out on my own except being in college. The circus played approximately a week of towns, which was so new to me, that I soon lost track of where I was or where I was going. The circus was now in the state of Wisconsin. Everything was still fairly new to me, but the others on the show were just going about their
business as they had done countless times before The circus vehicles were being parked into place, the canvas big-top was being spread and the spectacle of raising the massive tent going up into the air had begun.
Seeing a tent of that size go up is impressive enough, but watching the circus elephant pulling it up is a feat to behold. This where I met Mary. Mary is an 8 ton Asian elephant. She was always gentle and friendly and would do her work like everyone else on the circus.
On this day in a small town in Wisconsin as Mary was pulling a tent pole to raise the big-top. The pole began to slipping out of it's place. As Mary kept pulling, the more the pole was losing its place. Then there was a terribly loud noise. The tent pole came crashing to the ground. Poor Mary did not know what was happening. So she did what she she could only do. Mary began running out of the big-top.
As the frightened Mary began to leave the circus grounds the local police turned on their and were sirens were following her, This only made Mary want to run further away. The handlers that took care of Mary tried their best to bring her back, but excitement all around just kept her going.
Meanwhile, back at the circus. I was not sure what to think. I truly was bewildered at the events that were taking place. As the reports started coming in,such as, 'Mary is running down the street,' 'Mary is going through a farmer's field'; I was wondering if this was supposed to happen? Finally the last report came in. Mary just ran through a nursing home.
As Mary was speeding through town and countryside, there was a building that had a large picture window. Mary must have thought she was seeing another elephant. As she approached what she thought was another pachyderm, Mary did not bother to slow down. So through the plate glass window of a local nursing home she entered. As surprised and frightened as these people must have been, I thank God that there were no people in the way. They were in the dining room eating. Mary then made her way down one of the long hallways. Mary, being ten foot tall, made her way down that hallway, having an eight foot ceiling, and came to the end of the hallway that had no doorway. So Mary made one.
Once Mary was outside she continued on her Mary(merry) way. Meanwhile, back in the nursing home, the staff was checking to see that everyone was alright. They came to an elderly lady who was still in her room sitting in her wheelchair, She was not injured in any way. The lady was then asked, "Did you see the elephant go through?" She replied, "Yes, but I was not going to tell anybody."
Now by this time Mary was beginning to tire. She made it to a cornfield where she slowed down and let the circus handlers that were able to take her back to the circus. The circus played their two shows and Mary performed as she always had in the past.
Three years later the circus returned to that little town in Wisconsin where the town's people all came out to see Mary once again. As the saying goes, THE SHOW MUST GO ON
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