On with the Motley

by Oonah V Joslin

Tickle sat ring-side, chin on his fists and the corners of his mouth pulled down.

“What’s up?” asked Tiny, sitting down beside him.

“I’m fed up,” said the clown. “The circus is no fun, just work, work, work!”

“I know what you mean,” sighed the elephant. “You rehearse and perform and the crowd goes wild; then you rehearse and perform again. Day after day, same old routine, except on travelling days and then it’s take the top down, put the top up; up, down, up, down like…”

“And I mean, look at these huge feet!”

“I’ve got big feet,” said Tiny, a little awkwardly.

“Yes, but you’re a big animal; and you don’t trip over yours. And then there’s this enormous nose…”

Tiny squinted down at his own impressive proboscis. “Well, I can’t of course agree with you…”

“Sorry, Tiny. No criticism intended. Anyway, yours isn’t painted puce! And you get applause, whereas everybody just laughs at me.”

“I just walk around the ring. It’s Julianne, they applaud. I’m more like a big grey taxi, really. I don’t do clever things like you do, and even when I change direction I have to pretend it’s because I’m afraid of a giant mouse. I’m not afraid of the stupid mouse!”

“Of course you’re not,” Tickle sympathised.

Pyro the dragon dropped in out of nowhere. “I don’t know why you two are moaning. Nobody even notices me.”

“That’s only because they can’t see you, Pyro,” said Tickle.


“You’re mythical, Pyro,” added Tickle. “We’ve told you before.”

The dragon looked downcast. “You can see me.”

“Yes, but we believe in you.”


“Well, because…” began Tiny.

Tickle stood up purposefully. “Because,” he said, “friends believe in friends whether they’re visible or not and that’s what makes the whole freakin’ circus work! Right?”

Oonah V Joslin is managing editor of Every Day Poets.com and a prize winner twice at Micro Horror.

  1. #1 by Gaius on April 25, 2010 - 9:00 am

    Pyro the dragon?
    Am I a bad man because I never heard of nor saw Pyro?
    Very enjoyable, warm yet surreal. Would make a good cartoon!

  2. #2 by oovj on May 1, 2010 - 10:03 am

    No Gaius because you believe in friends whther they’re visible or not ;)

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