'The Flying Clown'

Once there was a clown. He worked in a market and he wore very colourful clothes, with patches and a little bell on a hat on his head. Every day he would stand in the market and juggle, and juggle and juggle. Sometimes he'd play magic tricks and sometimes he would tell jokes and funny stories.

Now he loved the market. The market was always lots of fun. There was always something to see , something to do, wonderful smells, wonderful things from all over the country but sometimes, sometimes after a very long day he used to look around him and think, 'Oh, I'm so tired. Even though I love to see all the people and the children laughing and smiling, I just wish I could do something different.'

Now one night when the market place was empty he stood practicing his juggling and he had five balls, one, two, three, four, five, he threw them up in the air and one, two, three, four, five, they came back again. He caught them and he looked up into the sky and he thought, 'Woudn't that be wonderful. I wish I could fly up into the sky to. Oh, I could just imagine.'

So the next day when he took up his place in the market right next to the man with all the oranges he said, "I was thinking you know, wouldn't it be great if I could fly?"

"Oh don't be silly," said the fruit man, "you can't fly. You're a person. You're a clown. Clowns don't fly. The closest you'll ever get to the sky is those juggling balls there."

Well that gave the clown an idea. 'Maybe I can't fly,' he thought, ' but maybe I can get those juggling balls to tell me what it's like.'

Of course he didn't want to tell anyone else at the market about that but all day while he was juggling and telling jokes and doing magic tricks all he could think about was waiting for night time.

When the market packed up and it was starting to get dark he threw the juggling balls up into the air - one, two, three, four, five and before they started to come again he said, "Stop. Wait. What's it like?"

The balls said, "Oh it's wonderful. It's like a roller coaster. Weeeeeee! We go up and down and around the stars in the sky. Oh it's fantastic."

The next day he just wanted to fly even more. He had an idea. 'These balls are a bit heavy," he thought. 'Maybe if I used something lighter like my batons, they would fly even more.' He threw then up into the air and he watched the silvery paper on them spin around and around and around. When they were back in his hands he said, "Oh, what was it like?"

They said, "Oh, it's fabulous. Oh it's so beautiful. The light in the sky clown, I've never seen anything seen anything like it. Every night I wait for you to throw me up in the air just so that I can see the stars and the moon. It's wonderful."

The clown just wanted to go up to the sky even more. 'I wonder what I could hear about if I threw up something even lighter. It could go up even higher,' he thought. So the next day while he at the market he looked everywhere. Every spare moment when he didn't have to perform he looked and when the market was packed up at night he fouund a feather that had fallen off one of the market ducks during the day. He tossed it up into the air and, eventually, as it was coming down he said to the feather, "What was it like? What was it like?"

The feather kept on floating and floating about the sky so the clown ran after it. He ran through the market places and through the houses and out through the houses into the forest. He ran and ran and ran after that feather. After a while he got so tired that he sat down on the ground and fell asleep. When he was asleep he had a dream. He had a dream about a big ladder made of rope. And in the dream he saw himself climbing up the ladder. When he got to the stop the dream stopped.

When he woke up in the morning he couldn't see anything around the place but he realised that his rucksack where he kept all of his juggling gear was heavier than usual. When he opened it he could pull out the big rope ladder from his dream. He could see it. It was silvery and brown. He ran back to the market and said, "Look! Look! I had a dream about this ladder."

They said, "We can't see anything. You've got nothing in your hands."

He waited and waited till the market ended and the stars were out and the moon was in the sky he threw the ladder up into the air. The people still in the market didn't say anything but when he started climbing up the ladder well then they started to sigh. They couldn't see the ladder at all. They thought he was walking on air. He climbed up and up and up and up. When he got to the top he thought, 'What will I do now? This was where the dream ended.'

Everyone was gathered around in a huge circle watching him. He thought, 'I can't stop now.' So he jumped off. He weeeeeeee, threw the sky, around the stars and along a moonbeam. He was floating just like the feather and when he started to fall he grabbed hold of the ladder and popped back down to the ground again.

Everybody was clapping, they thought that he had done the best magic trick they had ever seen. In fact, I have to tell you that when some of them went to bed and woke up in the clear bright morning and did normal things like had cups of tea and ate cereal they weren't sure that they had seen anything at all. But I can tell you it certainly did happen and if you want to make sure you just have to ask the clown. He's still there in the market place, juggling and telling stories.

A 'Sweet Stories in the Pop' Story created and told by Alex McCallum during a storytelling session in the Radio Lollipop studio with the Thrilling Thursday Team. 15/11/2001 Alex McCallum.

('Sweet Stories in the Pop' is a Queensland Storytelling Guild project
funded by a Year of the Volunteers grant.)

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Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
Brisbane, Australia
Tel. 61 7 3846 3135
Email. mail@storytell.com.au 
All contents copyright (C) 2001, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Revised: 16th November,2001
URL of this page: www.storytell.com.au/lpstories1.html