Elephants Won’t Fit

The advertisement reads, “A Fun Place for Kids.” Big balloons line the entrance; the walls are sunshine and crimson.  Nurses dress in clown costumes. I thought Johnny would enjoy recovering from surgery here.

They didn’t tell me the surgeons, dressed in spandex, operate from trapezes.

I watch a clown ride through the ward on his unicycle while Johnny sleeps.  He awakes to seltzer water.  A nurse then yanks his hat off, pulls out one handkerchief after another, then a chihuahua, and then, finally, a syringe.  Administering the shot is apparently a challenge for him, but he shakes his head when I offer to help.  Finally, one clown holds the stethoscope while another listens, first to his heart, then to his elbow.

The next bed over, a clown takes the boy’s temperature from the back of a miniature horse.

Trumpets blare, a lion tamer enters. I hear a growl from the other side of the window.

This was my 155 word piece for Flash!Friday this week.  It was prompted by a cute picture.  It took far too long to edit down!

Circus clowns visit sick boy. CC photo Boston Public Library.



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