Billy and the circus

There was only one thing that Billy liked better than detecting and that was the circus. Whenever it came to anywhere near his town he would go see it more than once. What he wanted more than anything else was to get a job in the circus but every time he asked there were no vacancies.

Anyway, this particular day the circus had arrived in the morning and by four o’clock everything was set up. Billy had booked a ticket for the evening show but turned up early to ask his usual question. He approached the main man and asked if any staff were needed. “Well,” said the main man, “there is a position, if you want it.” Billy could hardly believe it: he was being offered the chance of a job in the circus. However, it wasn’t straightforward. Outside the Big Top was a line of four cages containing animals; the line was cordoned off so no-one could see inside the cages unless they paid to have a look.

Billy was informed that the gorilla in cage two had died the previous week but the circus had a very realistic gorilla costume and someone was needed to wear it. This certainly wasn’t what Billy was expecting but it would give him an inroad into the circus, which is something he’d always wanted so he agreed to wear the costume. He was taken to the second cage in the line, climbed in and donned the costume that was already in there. Before the start of the main show a steady stream of people came to look at the caged animals. At first Billy just sat still but after a while he started to move about and then began to swing on a rope in the middle of the cage; the rope was secured to a bar at the top of the case, which was otherwise open.

It wasn’t long before quite a crowd gathered to watch his antics. This is great, thought Billy, as adults and children cheered and clapped when he swung about on the rope. Higher and higher he went until he lost his grip when at maximum height and landed in the corner of the next cage. For a few seconds he was stunned but when he came round he saw a very large lion walking towards him. “Help, help,” shouted Billy. “Get me out, get me out.” The lion stopped in front of him, lowered its head so it was only a couple of inches from his face, then said: “Shut up you silly sod or you’ll get us all the sack.”

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