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Hurrah for the Circus!

Enid Blyton

  Hurrah for the Circus!

  By Enid Blyton























  Tan-tan-tara! Tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-tara!

  The noise of trumpets came down the main street of the town, and all the children rushed out of their houses, and the grown-ups went to their windows.

  “What is it? What is it? It’s the circus coming! Listen to the trumpets! Oh, look, here come the first lovely black horses! Oh, here comes the circus! Hurrah for the circus!”

  Come along out with all the children and watch the circus coming through the town. Whose circus is it? It is Mr. Galliano’s famous circus—and look, there is his beautiful carriage, glittering like gold! Do you see Mr. Galliano sitting in it, handsome and strong, with his enormous black moustaches curling upwards?

  He takes off his top-hat and bows to us! His black-haired wife smiles too, and waves her plump hand. After the glittering carriage comes a string of beautiful white horses, shining like silk, their proud heads tossing in the air!

  “Up there, up there!” cries pretty Pepita, who is riding the first one, and her horse walks a few steps on his hind legs, whilst all the watching children cheer loudly. Behind Pepita come her sister and brother, Juanita and Lou, riding their horses grandly, bowing to everyone they pass. Then comes old Sticky Stanley the clown, in his comic suit of red and black, blowing a trumpet and banging a kettle for a drum, and throwing sweets to the children.

  “Come and watch me at the circus!” cries Stanley. “I’m the best bit of the circus, I am!” And then he put the kettle on the top of his head and danced so comically that all the children ran alongside to watch him.

  Now come the caravans, the gay houses on wheels, and how the children wish they could peep inside and see the circus-folk cooking their dinners! What fun it must be to live in a caravan.

  Now look at this glorious yellow caravan with gay curtains fluttering in the wind. Do you know whom it belongs to? Of course you do! It belongs to Jimmy, our old friend Jimmy, who lives there with his mother and father and Lotta.

  Lotta’s parents are away for six months with their horses, so Lotta is living with Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Jimmy’s mother and father.

  There she is, peeping out of the caravan, her black curls dancing. And there is Jimmy, sitting on the steps at the back, and on his knee lies Lucky, his famous dog!

  We get a wag from Lucky, that clever little fox-terrier, who is as smart as paint. Lucky can walk the tight-rope, she can count, and she can spell! Oh, Lucky is a marvellous dog, and Jimmy loves her with all his heart and is very proud of her.

  That is Mr. Brown driving the caravan. Beside him sits a plump black spaniel, Lulu, a faithful dog that Jimmy and Lotta once saved from two cruel people. She is not clever, but she is very loving and a splendid watch-dog. Do you see Mrs. Brown in the caravan? She is cooking the dinner—and a good one it is, if we can judge by the smell!

  Now what a shout goes up! Here is the elephant! Jumbo plods by, flapping his ears, and holding out his trunk for a bun. Let’s give him one! He pops it into his big mouth at once, and Mr. Tonks, his keeper, nods a “thank you” to us.

  He is a kind little man, who loves his elephant better than anything else in the world.

  Jumbo is strong. He pulls three cages behind him. In one is Sammy, the famous chimpanzee, and today he wears an old hat belonging to Mrs. Brown, and is very proud of it. Funny old Sammy!

  “What can your chimpanzee do?” yell the watching children to Mr. Wally, his keeper.

  “All the things that you can!” yells back Mr. Wally. “He can dress and undress himself—put himself to bed—ride a bicycle—clean his teeth—brush his hair! You come and watch him tomorrow night!”

  Sammy puts his hat on back to front and waves to the children, smiling in his chimpanzee way. He is wishing that little dog Lucky would come and play with him, for he loves Lucky.

  There is another cage behind Sammy’s, and in it we see the three clever monkeys belonging to Lilliput, the little man sitting on the step. They are all dressed in red woollen coats, for the weather is still cold. They cuddle one another, and chatter to the watching children. Lilliput has his fourth monkey with him, little Jemima. She lies round his neck like a fur, whispering into his ear, and sometimes nibbling Lilliput’s red hair!

  Funny little Jemima, she is full of tricks, and everyone loves her, though she can be very mischievous indeed when she likes!

  With shouting, clapping, and cheering the circus goes by to the field where it is to camp. What a busy time it is when the circus-folk set up their tents! How they shout and hunt for things they have dropped, and how quickly they settle in for a few days, making a camp of the big field, doing their washing, cooking their meals, practising their clever turns in the big red ring!

  And now let us go to see our old friends, Jimmy and Lotta.

  We shall find them by that gay yellow caravan. Mrs. Brown is calling them to come and eat. Mr. Brown, who is odd-job man in the circus, has gone off to help with the tents, munching sandwiches as he goes. He is the busiest man there at these times, for everyone wants him at once! “Brownie!” they call. “Brownie! Give me a hand here! Brownie, where are you?”

  And Mr. Brown rushes from one to another with his tools, putting everything right.

  It is Eastertime. The circus is at Westsea, and the field they are camping in is quite near the sea.

  Jimmy and Lotta listened to the noise of the waves as they ate their sausages, and held their hot potatoes, cooked in their skins.

  “I’ve never been to the sea before!” said Jimmy. “Oh, Lotta, what fun we’ll have here! We’ll go walking on the sands every day before breakfast!”

  “Wuff!” said Lucky, licking Jimmy’s hand.

  “Yes, you shall come too,” said Jimmy, patting the little dog on her soft head. “And so shall Lulu. Mother, have you got a sausage for Lulu? She’s hungry. Lucky has had a good meal. She mustn’t have any more.”

  Mrs. Brown threw a sausage to Lulu—but before the spaniel could get it, a little brown creature flashed out from under the caravan and snatched it up. In a trice she was away across the field, with Lulu after her.

  “It’s Jemima, the bad monkey!” cried Jimmy. “Chase her, Lulu! Get your sausage!”

  The two children laughed as they watched plump Lulu run after the artful monkey. Jemima did not want the sausage for herself, for she did not like sausages—but she did love teasing poor Lulu! When Lulu had run three times round the field after her, the little monkey ran up to the top of Jimmy’s caravan and put the sausage on the edge of the roof, where Lulu could see and smell it but couldn’t reach it!

  “Jemima, you want smacking!” laughed Jimmy. Mrs. Brown took a stick and knocked down the sausage. Lulu was quick enough at getting it this time! Two bites and a swallow and that sausage was gone! Jemima made the funny little chattering noise that was her laugh, and scampered away to Lilliput's caravan. He was looking for
her, a juicy orange in his hand. She was the only one of his four monkeys that was allowed out loose, for she was as tame as a child.

  Jimmy and Lotta finished their meal, and then they went to give a hand where they could. Jimmy offered to take old Jumbo down to the stream to drink water and wash himself, whilst Mr. Tonks finished putting up the big elephant’s tent.

  “Right you are, Jimmy,” said Mr. Tonks, who knew that the little boy could be trusted with any animal in the world. “Up, Jumbo!”

  Jumbo curled his trunk very gently round Jimmy and set him high up on his big broad neck. Then he set off for the stream that ran like a shining thread in the next field.

  Lotta went to help Pepita and Juanita with their beautiful white horses.

  There was plenty of work to do with their string of sleek, shining animals, and the little girl adored every one of them, and took a great deal of trouble to keep them healthy, well-fed, and silky.

  She no longer rode in the ring as she used to do when her mother and father, Lal and Laddo, kept their horses in the circus.

  Lal and Laddo were far away in a strange land, where they had taken their own beautiful horses and their clever dogs. Lotta missed them, and longed for the time for them to come back, when she might once more ride in the ring on her own horse.

  But Jimmy went into the ring every night with little dog Lucky—and how the people cheered him when they saw the boy running into the ring, dressed in his wonderful suit that glittered like silver fire!

  He swung his red velvet cloak, and bowed proudly to the cheering people.

  “Good old Jimmy! Good old Lucky!” shouted everyone. “Show us what you can do!”


  IT was lovely by the sea at Eastertime. Behind the circus camp rose the green hills, blazing with golden gorse.

  “It smells like warm coconut,” said Lotta, sniffing. “Isn’t it lovely! I wish I could eat it!”

  “You might as well eat a hedgehog!” laughed Jimmy. “I’d like to wear a bit of gorse for a button-hole, but it’s too prickly to pick.”

  Bluebells were beginning to grow in the sheltered patches here and there. Pale primroses peeped in the damp spots, and Jimmy and Lotta picked a great bunch to take back to the caravan. They were very happy.

  Sometimes they walked on the hills with Lucky and Lulu, sometimes they walked by the sea, if the tide was out. They took off their shoes then, and splashed in the little waves. Lucky ran after the white edges of the waves as they came up on the sands and ran down again. She picked up a long strand of ribbon-like seaweed and tore down the beach with it streaming behind her.

  “Quite mad!” said Lotta. “Look—now she’s got her nose in a pool! Whatever has she found there?”

  It was a crab, very angry at being disturbed. Lucky pawed the water to try and get it, and the crab began to bury itself in the wet sand. Lucky nosed it out—and then she gave a loud bark of fright and shot backwards about ten feet, her tail down. She scraped hard at her nose.

  Lotta gave a squeal of laughter. “The crab’s pinched her nose, Jimmy!”

  “Poor old Lucky!” said Jimmy. “Don’t interfere with crabs, and they won’t interfere with you!”

  “I do miss all the dogs we used to have!” sighed Lotta, kicking a stone along the beach. “I wish Lal and Laddo had left them for me to look after. I could have gone into the ring with them then. As it is, I don’t go any more. I feel quite jealous of you, Jimmy, going in every night, and getting such loud cheers and claps!”

  “Don’t be jealous, Lotta,” said Jimmy. “Why, you have belonged to the circus ever since you were born. I only came last year! You’re a long way ahead of me, really. Perhaps Juanita, Pepita, and Lou will let you work with them soon. They might let you have one of their horses for your own, and you could ride that.”

  “I’ll ask them when we get back,” said Lotta, cheering up. “Let’s go back now. Lulu! Lucky! Home!”

  Lulu came racing out of the water, shaking her silky spaniel coat. Lucky tore up, carrying a piece of seaweed which she dropped at Jimmy’s feet.

  Jimmy stuck the seaweed on to a stick and gave it to Lucky.

  “Up then, Lucky!” he said. “This is a flag now, and you are a captain, carrying it. Up!”

  Up went Lucky on her hind legs, the stick stuck in the crook of a front leg. She strutted along behind the two children with little steps, her tail wagging hard. Lulu looked at her solemnly. She thought Lucky was most extraordinary when she began to do tricks. Lulu couldn’t even beg!

  Lucky showed off in front of Lulu. She put up her head and strutted along proudly—and splash she went into a pool of water that she didn’t see!

  The children laughed, and began to run. “We’d better hurry home now the dogs are wet,” panted Jimmy. “We must dry them well, for the wind is cold even though the sun is warm!”

  The two dogs had a good rub down. Jimmy loved all animals and was always very careful with any animal in his charge. He knew at once if any of them were out of sorts or unhappy.

  “Look! There’s old Jumbo bathing in the sea!” cried Lotta, pointing. And sure enough, there was Jumbo solemnly wading into the water, filling his trunk and squirting it over himself. He saw the children and his little eyes shone.

  “Hallo, Jumbo!” cried Lotta, and she danced near him. Quickly the elephant pointed his trunk towards her and tried to soak her with the water he had drawn up. But Lotta was up to old Jumbo’s tricks and she ran away, laughing.

  Back at the camp the children were set to work.

  “Lotta, fetch me some water from the stream,” called Mrs. Brown. “And Jimmy, Mr. Wally wants you to help him to clean out Sammy’s cage.”

  “Right,” said Jimmy. “I’ll just rub down these two dogs first!”

  He got their towels and rubbed them dry. Lulu licked his hand and went to lie down on the mat inside the caravan. Lucky, like a little shadow, followed at Jimmy’s heels when he went across the field to Mr. Wally's smart caravan and the cage where Sammy the chimpanzee lived in comfort.

  But the cage was empty! Jimmy looked round. Where was Mr. Wally, and where was the chimpanzee? The cage-door was open and the cage was half washed out. Jimmy shouted: “Mr. Wally! Where are you? Do you want me to help you?”

  A scared face looked out from under Mr. Wally's caravan. It was one of the grooms, a man kept to help with Mr. Galliano’s marvellous black horses.

  “Is Mr. Wally about?” he asked, in a whisper.

  “I can’t see him,” said Jimmy, puzzled. “What are you hiding for?”

  The man crept out and shook himself. “I said I’d help Mr. Wally clean the cage,” he said. “And I left the door unlatched. Well, the wretched chimpanzee slipped out behind my back, threw a scrubbing-brush at me, and disappeared! Mr. Wally came along, and he was so angry when he saw the cage empty that I hid under here.”

  “But where’s Sammy?” asked Jimmy, alarmed.

  “How should I know?” said the man sulkily. “I’m engaged to help with the horses, I am, and I’m not going to have anything more to do with chimps.”

  He went off, muttering. Jimmy caught sight of Mr. Wally at the other side of the field, and he ran across to him. “Have you got Sammy?” he called.

  “No,” said Mr. Wally, looking worried. “That silly fellow must have frightened him, and he’s disappeared. He’ll come back all right, but I don’t want any harm to come to him. Hunt around a bit, Jimmy, and call him.”

  So the two of them hunted about the caravans and the tents, calling to Sammy—but there wasn’t a sign of him anywhere! Lucky sniffed about too, but all she did was to keep running to Jimmy’s own caravan and back to Jimmy, so that wasn’t much help! Jimmy’s caravan was shut, for his mother had gone shopping and his father was busy. There was no one there. Lotta had not yet come back with the water.

  Mrs. Brown came back very soon, carrying a basket full of eggs and butter. She was surprised to see Jimmy and Wally and Lotta looking so upset, and
hunting everywhere for Sammy. She went up the steps of her caravan and opened the door.

  “I’ll make you some tea,” she called—and then Jimmy heard her give a scream of fright. He saw his mother come tumbling down the caravan steps, almost falling to the ground in her hurry.

  “Jimmy! Wally! There’s a man in Jimmy’s bed!” she cried. “Come and turn him out!”

  “Whatever next!” said Mr. Wally, and he and Jimmy and Lotta raced to the caravan. Wally shot up the steps, and Jimmy followed.

  Sure enough there was someone in Jimmy’s bed! The bed-clothes were humped up in the middle, and there was a gentle sound of snoring.

  Jimmy was angry. Who was this that dared to get into his own lovely bed and sleep there?

  He ripped off the clothes—and then he and Wally shouted with laughter!

  It was Sammy the chimpanzee who was there! And he had undressed himself and put on Jimmy’s own pyjamas, though they were very small for him! He had brushed his hair with a scrubbing-brush, and then curled up in Jimmy’s bunk.

  Sammy loved Jimmy, and when the groom had frightened him, he had slipped out of the cage and gone to find the little boy.

  The caravan door had been shut, but Sammy had hopped in through the open window. He was safe!

  “Mother! It’s only Sammy!” said Jimmy, roaring with laughter, whilst Lotta danced round on one leg, squealing and giggling.

  But Mrs. Brown was not pleased. “I put clean sheets on that bed this morning!” she said indignantly. “You bad chimpanzee, get up at once!”

  So Sammy got up, took off Jimmy’s pyjamas, and solemnly dressed himself again, keeping one eye on Mrs. Brown, who was really quite annoyed.

  “I like chimpanzees,” she said to Mr. Wally, “but not in my beds!”

  “Very good, ma’am,” said Mr. Wally meekly, and he went off with Sammy, whilst Jimmy and Lotta had fits of giggles all the time they were eating their tea!

  “Really!” said Mrs. Brown. “You never know what’s going to happen next in a circus!”


  THE circus went very merrily at Westsea, and Mr. Galliano took the big field for one more week. Everybody was pleased, for a great deal of money was taken at the gate.