"Would you like to ride on the ponies?" I asked Preschooler D.
"No," said D sadly. "They will go too fast."
"No, they won't. Just watch," I said, and the ponies started walking in their little circle. D jumped about two feet straight in the air.
"They are going SLOW!!" he cried out.
"Do you want to ride a pony?"
This isn't the best picture I took of a boy and his pony, but it's the one that best captures how that kid beamed. He thought he invented pony riding. It was the look of a kid who thought he couldn't do something because he would be too afraid and then he discovered he could.
When he got done we headed through the tent doors and D said, "This. Circus. Is. AWESOME!"
And I'd have to say we certainly got our $12/per worth. We saw:
Tight rope walkers
A bicycle act
A loud obnoxious ring master
A double ring walker act that made my jaded teenager say "Wow!" softly under his breath so no one would hear and think he was having a good time. (Kudos to him for coming along with me and D and GrandMary in the first place.)
And, of course, the elephants. One of the websites I regretted looking at yesterday said, "Go if you must . . ." but be sure and study the scarring on the elephants legs from their daily abuse. I looked and all I saw were elephant legs. Here they are giving a family a ride. You can look for yourself:
Now, I will grant you that the keeper-guy looks like he could beat an elephant if it looked at him crossly, but I did not observe any such thing. He's got that stick thing, but it's not like you're going to put an elephant on a leash. I'm just going to assume this circus learned its lesson about being nice to elephants. We can discuss later if it's appropriate for elephants to be in the circus at all.
I would have liked a ride on an elephant, but Teenager looked at me as though he would sink through the earth if I did. Here they are in the tent:
Mother said she saw a tear rolling down the cheek of one as it wrote "Help me" in the hay in its pen. I didn't see that, and she tends to exaggerate.