Once upon a time – there was a frog,
and he considered himself to be a rebel.
He didn’t want to be turned into a Prince,
and avoided Princesses who came paddling up in a canoe to visit the pond,
One day, he was sunning himself on a floating lotus plant,
He was gonna be 18 with a bullet
He was gonna fly like an eagle – assuming one didn’t eat him first
As he was sunning himself, and keeping one eye on the sky – for eagles – or other birds –
and another on the water, for fish, who would also like to eat him,
he heard a sound unlike anything he had ever heard. It was music, but not like rock music.
It wheezed and jangled and tied his brain in knots. Other strange sounds floated to him – hammering and shouting and …
Interesting smells also drifted by as well.
And he was so busy watching the sky for eagles and the pond for fishes, that he toadally failed to notice the large ginger cat, who was sitting on the bank of the pond.
“Gack,” said the frog, when he finally noticed, his eyes crossing with the strain of now trying to look for danger in three places at once, “What are you?”
“I’m a tiger” said the cat, curling his tail around his toes and sitting very tall.
The frog thought for a while.
“I thought tigers had black stripes,” he said gingerly.
“I’m due at the salon,” admitted the ginger tabby, who licked a paw with the very soul of nonchalance.
“I thought tigers were … bigger?” ventured the frog.
“I’m condo-sized,” said the cat. “I’m very modern.”
“Where are you from?” asked the frog, who felt that his questions weren’t getting him answers that helped at all.
“The circus, just over the hill,” said the cat, pointing with his chin up the hill.
“The circus?” inquired the frog. “With the music, and hammering, and … ”
“Elephants,” said the cat, with some finality. “Lots of Elephants.”
“Oh.” Said the frog.
“We need a Rhinoceros,” said the cat. “Ever thought about leaving the pond?” He continued to sit very upright, radiating inscrutability.
“Well, er, yes, but … I’m not … ” said the frog – as baffled as he could be.
“The salon does horns,” said the cat. “Follow me.”
And the cat got up and strolled up the hill.
“Wait,” called the frog. “I don’t taste very good.” In case this was a trick and the cat intended to eat him.
“Trust me,” called the cat, his voice floating back down the hill. “The circus is not about taste … ”
“What the heck,” thought the frog. He had a perpetual headache from looking for danger everywhere and the constant fear of being eaten was making him worry about ulcers, and he jumped clear to the bank of the pond, and scrambled on up the hill behind the cat.
And sure enough, there was a big sign on the other side of the hill, in the entrance to a field, that was full of people and trailers and comings and goings.
And just inside the entrance was an RV, painted bright pink, that said “Salon of the Stars” on the side. Trying to look at everything at once, the frog followed the cat up the steps, and through the cat flap in the door.
Twenty minutes later – he had put his footprint on a contract, and joined the circus. In another half hour, he was a dark grey colour, and had a horn glued to his head with denture adhesive.
Life with the circus wasn’t quite the same as being a rock star. But in many ways, it was better. Because motorcycles can be dangerous, especially when the helmet covers your eyes, and to the best of anyone’s knowledge – eagles have never tried to carry off a rhinoceros.
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