Cast Announcement for
A real Big Top, tents, a parade with real live elephants—that was the only thing Matt and Nancy could think or talk about. They were going to the circus. Father had consented to take them.
Every newspaper was carefully examined for new features that might have been added to make this circus day the biggest day of the year. The tight rope walkers guaranteed to walk two hundred feet. Matt had strung the hay rope between the two hardy maples in the front yard and practiced so long and hard that he, like the circus performers, could walk the rope with graceful movements of body and hands.
Prayers went forth for a good day.
The morning was perfect, quiet, and sunny as everyone bustled around, anxious to start on the fourteen mile journey to the city.
All details were completed. Hats must be worn for shade from the scorching sun, good shoes shined and in all a very expectant family awaited the “Get Up” of father to the horses - that final signal - and away they would go to this life time wonder.
The telephone rang - yes three rings - “Our ring” said Matt, Mother answered. “Yes, this is Sweeney-——It is a nice day——Oh sure he can go along——They are just about ready to leave - have him hurry, they will wait for him.”
Calmly, Mother turned from the phone, “Yes, that was Aunt Agnes. John, the newly adopted orphan, wanted a ride to the circus. Of course he should go. You know you must always be kind to orphans. Someone will have to stay home.”
All bowed their heads in fear of being sentenced to
“Nancy, you will stay home,” said Mother, “You are the youngest and you have more years to get to the circus than the rest.” That was final, Mother never changed
Poor Nancy ran upstairs and dropped upon the bed weeping bitterly. She did not hear the rattle of the buggy and all the chatter and laughter that swept over the hill on the way to the final dream - the circus.
She hung her clothes neatly in a row and came downstairs. Mother didn’t say one word as her youngest went outside the kitchen and started to cry. Mrs. Sweeney didn’t seem to hear. She was baking a lovely bread-pudding with its golden crust all covered with cinnamon on top. It was just what Nancy liked. No she didn’t want any. She would never want bread pudding again in her whole life.
Her Mother placed everything on the table and invited Nancy to join her. She did - very slowly and ate with bitsy bites. She could hardly swallow.
Evening came, Shep’s bark announced the coming of the buggy two hills away. Nancy did not want to hear about the wonderful things they saw. She hoped they wouldn’t talk about it - and they didn’t. Nothing good!
Not one word was said, only “The Circus wasn’t any good. There weren’t as many elephants as was advertised.” Matt said that he could tight-rope walk better than that fellow.
No, Nancy could not believe it. That was all made up to keep her from feeling so bad about it.
The big day was over. Maybe it hadn’t been as good as they anticipated - but at least they got to go.