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Saturday, April 2, 2016
JO-JO THE CLOWN - AN UNLIKELY HERO - MARGARET TANNER
HEROES COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES – Margaret Tanner
looked into the mirror and his eyes brimmed with tears.His heart was shattered into a thousand
fragments, and the bitterness of his loss was overwhelming. He was afraid.The same sickening sensation of fear he had
always felt even as a child, but the crowds were waiting for him to put on a
clown could not be sad or frightened.He
must laugh, joke and bounce around as if life was one big happy party. No one
bothered to look beyond the large red nose or painted face.If they did so, they would see a man overcome
with fear, and slowly dying of grief because Maisie was no longer with him.
partnership of thirty years dissolved in a few cruel moments, under the wheels
of a hit-run driver’s car. Poor Maisie didn’t stand a chance, not with some
drunken maniac skidding around the corner with smoke belching from his
wheels.Lightening fast on his feet as
always, he nimbly jumped out of the way, but Maisie, with her varicose veins and
hip replacements, was ponderously slow.
once aspired to become a jockey.He was
small and wiry enough, but the grotesque lump growing out of his spine like a
giant football, and his fear of failure, put paid to those ambitions. His early
years were spent in a misery of fear and ridicule.Children laughed and taunted him, but he was
too afraid to stand up for himself. Finally, he decided if he was going to be
the butt of jokes and taunts he might as well get paid for it.
bitter years of suffering took their toll, and his mind became almost as
twisted as the body he so despised.He
longed for, prayed and pleaded with doctors and with God to make him normal,
but they never listened.The older he
got the uglier and more fearful he became.
day he met Maisie.She was a plump, darling
woman who looked beyond the ugliness of the body and found the real man. She
bolstered his confidence and allayed his fears.
His savior had
golden curls, baby blue eyes and fat rosy cheeks that wobbled when she laughed.
She possessed melon like breasts, huge backside and fat stumpy legs, but there
was not a mean bone in Maisie’s ample body.Her smile was angelic, her soul that of a saint.She was a guiding star of goodness, leading
him out of the black tunnel of fear and self-loathing into the sunlight. Two
fat tears dribbling down his painted cheeks, plopped on to his ruffled collar.
“Never let your
audience down,” Maisie always said.
They were a
class act, the skinny, sad sack clown and his chubby, pink haired fairy
Godmother assistant. Stars of the circus, but how could he face the crowd
without her strength and support?He was
terrified. The old cowardice had returned with a vengeance.
thought them an odd couple, both on and off the stage. Maisie knew that beneath
the clown suit, beat the heart of a sensitive man, and only he knew, the layers
of tulle and flab hid a beautiful woman.
could hear the crowd chanting.“We want
Jo-Jo. We want Jo-Jo.”
scrubbed the tears away with the back of one hand and slapped some more powder
over his makeup to hide the smears. With his heart weighed down with grief, he
gritted his teeth, mounted his mini bicycle and with a large colorful beach
ball balanced on his head, peddled out from behind the curtains.
the old fat fairy?” yelled a kid in the front row.Jo-Jo felt like ramming the candy stick the
boy was devouring down his throat.He did nothing of the kind, just tossed the
ball up in the air and somersaulted off his bike.
“Do it again,
Jo-Jo, do it again.” The littlies squealed with delight, while the rest of the
audience clapped and stamped their feet.Jo-Jo continued his routine and his heavy heart lifted with the
excitement of the crowd, as he gave the performance of his life.
“I’m doing this
for you, Maisie love,” he whispered.“I’m doing this for you.”
suddenly changed into shrieks of horror, as a lioness turned on the ringmaster
and knocked him to the ground with one powerful leap.The big cat’s ugly fangs were bared into a
snarl as she prepared to attack.
It had been
sheer stupidity separating her from her cubs and expecting her to perform so
soon after their birth.The trainers
pleaded with the circus owners, but to no avail, they had no compassion for
either man or beast working for them.Money and profit was all they cared about.
Jo-Jo jumped on
to his mini bike and rode between the lioness and the fallen ringmaster. The
enraged animal turned her ferocity on to him.He peddled furiously. This was the most important ride of his life and
any mistake would cost him dearly. From the corner of one eye he saw the
ringmaster crawling to safety, and even as the beast charged towards him, Jo-Jo
somersaulted out of the way.
A net dropping
down from the roof of the big-top imprisoned the lion, and the trainers dragged
her away.There was silence for a
moment, then the crowds began cheering.
frightened clown was a hero.
Margaret Tanner writes historical romance and western historical romance.
Her latest novel from Books We Love - Adam's Frontier Bride, is a Western.
Fear almost crushes Tommy Lindsay when she
arrives in South Dakota to live on her uncle’s isolated ranch.She will need all her courage and daring to
survive the hard times ahead.