I, John, a horse-trainer, still cannot make up my mind after a year whether one particular show was a failure or a success. I am tempted to say this, as the show from the point of view of skill, was a complete disaster but seemed like a tremendous success with our audience.
We, now a world famous circus called ‘Rocketeers’, were putting up our maiden performance. It was Friday the 13th, which is always supposed to be a day of bad omen. The Big Top was glittering with lights and the crowd was pouring in, expecting a spectacular performance. All the gimmicks were ready. The beginning of the show went off perfectly well. The clowns made the people hysterical with their funny jokes.
This is the point from where the disaster began.
Next in were the motorcyclists. They were so nervous that they kept falling off their bikes and sent the audience into giggles of laughter.
The curtains fell and when they rose they presented the sight of me with my five horses. The first trick they were supposed to do was to gallop together with their bodies touching. I rode the middle horse and kept spurring the horses on. I kept saying, “Come on now fellows, don’t disappoint me now.” But they kept kicking their hind legs and I kept bouncing around on them like a ball.
Next, I quickly placed five stools in the ring. The horses were supposed to balance with one foot on them but all they would do was to stare at them.
Next came the elephants but I did not see their disaster as I was getting fired and a huge telling off from my boss.
Next in were the gymnasts. Since one of the front line gymnasts was injured, a replacement had to be called upon. She could not balance properly and kept falling of her mate.
Then it was the turn of the lions. They were supposed to jump through a ring of fire. When they tried to do this their manes caught fire and they went and jumped into a bucket of water nearby. This sent the audience into squeals of laughter.
Then came the act of the high wire. Most of their feats went off perfectly well but in their last feat in which they had to carry a sack on their heads and cross the ropes, they failed. They had not gone even a few steps when they fell, luckily not to their death. The show ended with the trapeze artists who kept falling off their swings and bouncing onto a carpet and back to the trapezes.
We all went back to the stage to bow with long faces as all of us had been sacked and we expected disappointed faces from the crowd. Hey! But what was this? We were getting a standing ovation from the crowd. The crowd absolutely adored us. The smiles, which had been upside down on our faces, became proper smiles again and all of us bowed down low and took the salutations offered from the crowd.
After the crowd had dispersed from the Big Top we were all given our jobs back and to top it all we had champagne sprayed all over us. During the past year we became world famous for our silliness and I retained my job as horse-trainer for the circus troupe. I learnt one important lesson from this, that is, ‘A LITTLE FAILURE WON’T HURT ANYBODY.’
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