Life with the Lions

Life with the lions, Liein and Kip with Jim Bonds Traditional Circus


The Jim Bond Circus lions are seated on the five tubs. It is not generally respected that animals can communicate with each other but they do, and a conversation went on between Liein and Kip who were two old friends of the original troupe. ‘Hi Kip how are things?’ asked Liein. ‘Not good,’ replied Kip. ‘I’m so tired. Not a wink of sleep last night owing to the humans making a racket.’ ‘Never heard a thing,’ said Liein. ‘Always sleep like a log me. Excuse me a moment Kip, it is my call to do my roll overs. As I was saying, never heard it. Anyway it is a regular event now with the ‘we love all animals’ Facebook persons.’ ‘It wasn’t only them!’ replied Kip. ‘They were at one end of the accommodation and the ‘must keep lions in the circus’ lobby Facebook persons were at the other. What a din, went on for hours. Talk about cruelty. I don’t know what is to come of us I really don’t. You know old Jim is not as fast on his feet anymore and the weight of these props! He can hardly move them. I suppose he will send us somewhere. Hang on whilst I do me big wide yawn and growl bit – the kids love that – I always make a point of staring at them. As I was saying, rumour has it we may be sent back to Africa.’ ‘Where’s that!?’ asked Liein. ‘Dunno,’ replied Kip. ‘Somewhere south of Cambridge I think. I do know we will not get food supplied there, we have to chase other animals like antelopes and eat them alive! Ghastly. Odd these humans that they want to protect us and eat meat themselves and don’t care about the antelopes.’

‘Is that right!’ exclaimed Liein. ‘You mean; I must kill things?’ ‘That is Africa,’ said Kip. ‘Then walk for miles to find a stagnant water hole. According to Wateraid the ponds there are filthy. Ghastly. We have it made here, three meals a day delivered, with room service like Travelodge and no worries. As for the work, well these humans work hard don’t they. Putting this big plastic overall cover up, then all the seating for humans to see other humans swinging about on wires risking their lives. Lugging in and out this big cage thing to keep us in, not that I have any wish to wander off. I think it is the humans who should be freed if you ask me. I always find it fun watching them. And this routine that old Jim  has taught us, he and the public thinks its difficult.  Piece of cake. Look, there is big Leo walking the plank, the plank is heavier than he is – look how Leo makes that look hard. He told me once, never make things look too easy, always fall off the tub now and then. He also told me that his ancestor was an actor appeared with Deborah Kerr in King Solomon’s Mines. I hear one alternative might be a place called a safari park, deadly boring they are, endless photoshoots with celebrities. No, at my time of life I want to stay here. I see that Jim has not got Sammy to do anything other than the final pyramid shape?’ 

‘True,’ said Liein. ‘You know there is always one of us seated on a tub doing nothing just to make up a number. Personally I like to take the mick a bit out of old Jim. I think he encourages it. Snatch at his walking stick and chew the end then the big roar – kids love that too. Jim always puts a bit of meat on the end. Did you hear him yesterday putting out the feed? No. Mumbling to himself, I am really concerned about him, I think he is losing it. Talking about selling everything to breed chickens. His son is no great help, saying he would change the circus to some new-wave alternative pop/art kaleidoscope commune conception with the inside like Dracula’s castle with zombie artistes dressed in black and Doctor Phibes at the organ dressed in red, can’t see how we would fit into that unless we were sprayed with whitewash. The son says he could tour the graveyards of the country to portray ghostly performers.’

‘Ghastly,’ said Kip. ‘If I had the choice I think I might choose Africa after all. O.K., now for the big finish where we all run around the ring jumping through Jims held hoop then home for tea. What’s on the menu this evening? When Jim is happy it’s venison so jump through the thing without making him drop it! I know Leo does this sometimes, he is like that awkward old puss thinks it is funny!. Pass it on.’

Author: Tom Sandow

born into showbusiness - full life entertaining, management, agency, engager of acts and artistes - show producer presenter.

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