The Circus Within

if we were not princely born, Papa and I would have been circus riders

I adored my father, and was normally eager to join in the make-believe, the folly, the fun that he provided during his home stays, though even I could see how he’d stretched the limits this time.  Papa loved children.  All children.  But it often seemed as if his own children were no more or less important to him than any others.  Papa’s eyes were wild, and the green of them swam now, in a sea of drink.

What could I do?  I took two of the boys in either hand, and away I skipped, toward the welcome smells of fresh hay, sawdust and our very own circus.