On the Wall

As I was turning the corner after leaving the library, I saw a man walking his big dog. Only the big dog was walking up on the retaining wall along the sidewalk.  He was walking very steadily on the wall, which was about 2 feet high, negotiating the corner with ease.

I slowed down and called out my car window to the man, asking if his dog likes all retaining walls or just this one. He laughed and said “all walls, but this is his favorite”.  He said to have a good day and I drove off.

Tell me about your favorite circus memory!

32 thoughts on “On the Wall”

  1. When I was very young, my parents took me to the Shrine Circus, which was the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus sponsored by the Shriners. It was held at that time in the old Minneapolis
    Auditorium. Everything about the circus was disturbing, although I was too young to be able to articulate why. I probably cried.

    When my daughters were young, we took them once to the Shrine Circus. I found it just as darkly creepy as I remembered. There is for me a cognitive dissonance between the purported fun of the circus and the kind of entertainments it offers—the high wire and trapeze acts with their implicit possibility of tragedy and the underlying cruelty of most of the animal acts. That dissonance between the giddy excitement I am “supposed” to feel and the discomfort I experience makes for an altogether unpleasant experience. Being among other spectators who don’t share that reaction only makes it creepier for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I took my daughter, then about six, to her first circus. It happened in (I believe) the Minneapolis Armory building. Part of the spectacle was a towering figure styled as Hardware Hank, the figurehead for a hardware chain. This Hardware Hank was some person tottering about in a costume about 12 feet tall. My daughter slid down until she was lying of the floor beneath her seat. When I asked why, she said, “I don’t want the big guy to see me.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It was so refreshing to see Cirque Soleil for the first time. It is exactly how magical a circus can be.

    Has anyone ever been to the Circus museum in Baraboo, WI? I think that is where it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have never stopped at the circus museum in Baraboo, though we’ve driven past the sign pointing to it many times.

      I’ve seen three different performances of Cirque de Soleil and they are indeed magical.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kind of like my zoo experience, I don’t have one from childhood. First time I remember seeing a circus was when we took child Joel to something at the Met Auditorium, so who knows, maybe it was the Shrine one. Very vague… I know we took him to a rodeo there, and that may be what I’m remembering – it’s entirely possible I have never been to a circus.


  4. My childhood recollections of circuses center on the small circuses that traveled from town to town. In Stubbekøbing they set up their tent on an empty, grassy lot one block from our house. We kids were intrigued and fascinated by these traveling entertainers, and swarmed around hoping to be put to work raising the not so big big top. There were no wild animals involved, but there might be a dog or two, and of course, clowns and trapeze artists. My memories of the performances are sketchy at best. Most of my memories revolve around the work of putting up and taking down the tent. That an scouring the place where the tent had been after they left looking for loose change.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. A small traveling ‘pet’ type circus was in the Rochester area last year and was trying to book into one of the theaters. We did some research on them, and it really looked kinda sketchy… we turned them down.

    As kid I think I went to one of the Shriner circuses. I don’t remember much.
    And ever being the optimist and working around animals, I always hope the bad animal treatment was the exception and not the norm. There always has to be nice people out there.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The following is an excerpt from a poem I have from a college education class – about a kid sent to the principal for writing notes in class, and lamenting how we want to teach kids how to communicate, but then punish them when they do…
    Seat #1, Row 3
    Dear Charlie:
    Keep them elephant’s teeth,
    And we will start a carnival
    Or a circus.

    I can draw posters
    And lots of advertisements,
    And we can get lots of kids
    That are our pals. We can catch gophers
    Shakes and other mammals, train them.
    We will start the show next month,
    About the 3rd.

    It’s kinda long to paste the whole thing here, but email me if you’d like to see the rest.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Our parents took us to the Shrine Circus when we were quite young. I have a vague memory of the clowns but nothing else. About 15 years ago I attended the circus in Moscow. It was horrible – some of the animals and reptiles looked drugged. Have no desire to go to that type of circus again. I did love the one Cirque du Soliel performance I saw here in Minneapolis.

    P.s. In case Word Press doesn’t like my iPad and lists me as anonymous, this is K-Two.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My best memory of circus-related anything is the book , “Like Water for Elephants,” which I found so enjoyable. The thought of running away with the circus to solve one’s aging problems is so creative. The rest of it was attending the shrine Circus as related by everyone above. And Bill’s experience was much like mine. I also remember trying the cotton Candy and loving the sweetness, but disliking getting it stuck in my teeth and all over my hands. Giving up Cotton Candy just was not that hard.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Isn’t that the book, Jacque, where an old elephant discovers she can pull up the stick that is attached to her leg chain? She gets to be free each night, then goes back to her spot and sticks the peg back in the ground.


      1. I don’t remember that—which does not mean it ain’t so. I just remember the primary character, an old man and former circus veterinarian, who is in a nursing home, feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with his existence there and his children. He is missing his late wife, too. He escapes and joins the circus, wanting to really live until he dies. At one point in the memories, he hears a man bragging about watering the elephants. He concludes that the man is lying about his story because it is impossible to carry that much water. An elephant just drinks more than that.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. my grandson ari is 1+ and performs all the stunts i need
    everyone around me wants to make sure he’s safe so they stop him from most everything and he and i have a secret pact to do mischief on every possible occasion
    climbing running exploring eating (really … stop eating sticks? what is wrong with eating sticks?) looking into curious aspects of the universe, we have big days together. i hope it continues forever. climbing unnoticed mountains is my new favorite thing
    ari likes it too

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am jealous. I am 500 miles from our grandson. I am the Oma with the garden strawberries, though, and he eats those by the handful.


  10. Our first dog was named Casey after a dog in one of our son’s favorite books “Casey Joins the Circus”, about a homeless dog who finds a home in the Circus after he saves Peter, the baby circus elephant from some calamity or other.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. the circus was boring not tramadic for me. i like the high wire and the gymnastics and the clown car kind of stuff age 7 or 8 and then at 15 or 16 the guthrie brought in an eastern eirupean circu with the 10 people and the dogs who did everything. this was before cirque de soleliel and i was in love with the small circus. this is how it was meant to be. it came back a year later and i went to se it again then it and all the other small circus acts gort sucked up by cirque de soleil and the 47 variations they run at a time around the country and in multiple locations in las vegas

    the circus school over in st paul at the community circus school is wonderful

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Anna’s daughter has participated in the local Circus Juventas – Circus Juventas, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and performing arts circus school for youth, is dedicated to inspiring artistry and self-confidence through a multi-cultural circus arts experience.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Sunburn
    { 6/7/19 } age 28

    The mystery of Barbra Soars – when you hear few say’’ she lied too me’’!,
    everyone laughed
    near the street place,
    Can you be alone
    six months, eight days, twelve hours
    Memories will forever soar, memoir
    Shoulders goes on & on ‘ past angers humility ‘
    I don’t want storied voices echoing anymore like adaptation,
    you’re a Sunburn –
    a famous actress settling a pen name &hair, whom fixed my broken heart- for life?
    Only to clear – the shadows; your name, not my way; of getting
    Paid of these
    I’ll show you what scared is- a threat, no one believes making sure – questions a scientific lab testing piece..
    Wanting & knowing a fuck
    I’ll banish everything
    Ladies buried with asked as died beside, little dog & one tranzgender killed
    96 year grandma, shall granted neglect
    A fake voice
    switch house keys- forced publishing no book
    Who loves me enough, night falls- tears of, missing? Salty how many, But yet no hands worth blood
    Delusional joke
    have bubly after work..
    not vodka
    Victimized? I’ll answer only if & when
    Someone changes phones with differ numbers every two seconds
    burdens ‘’strange fruit;
    pack shoes after many death rank clues on Facebook; shall I never return.
    Traveling naked in the dark
    No longer my way
    First do no harm, discrimination
    College – who took advantage { may silents break } few understand { what shattered } report mandated bullshit..
    No shoes you fill
    Noted ghost’s’
    Painting out a clouded picture, deserving rainn
    Freedom screwed – game over –
    Til it happens to you
    All the code, I can speak in; wrote a place- someone lived out ways California #ME TOO
    Your ques, let out early,disclaiming psychoanalytical project sunshine, a mistake
    Half past let it go.


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