A well-known theatrical manager repeats an instance of what the late W. C. Coup, of circus fame, once told him was one of the most amusing features of the show-business; the faking in the "side-show."
Coup was the owner of a small circus that boasted among its principal attractions a man-eating ape, alleged to be the largest in captivity. This ferocious beast was exhibited chained to the dead trunk of a tree in the side-show. Early in the day of the first performance of Coup's enterprise at a certain Ohio town, a countryman handed the man-eating ape a piece of tobacco, in the chewing of which the beast evinced the greatest satisfaction.
The word was soon passed around that the ape would chew tobacco; and the result was that several plugs were thrown at him. Unhappily, however, one of these had been filled with cayenne pepper. The man-eating ape bit it; then, howling with indignation, snapped the chain that bound him to the tree, and made straight for the practical joker who had so cruelly deceived him.
"Lave me at 'im!" yelled the ape. "Lave me at 'im, the dirty villain! I'll have the rube's loife, or me name ain't Magillicuddy!"
Fortunately for the countryman and for Magillicuddy, too, the man-eating ape was restrained by the bystanders in time to prevent a killing.
Willie to the circus went,
He thought it was immense;
His little heart went pitter-pat,
For the excitement was in tents.—Harvard Lampoon.
A child of strict parents, whose greatest joy had hitherto been the weekly prayer-meeting, was taken by its nurse to the circus for the first time. When he came home he exclaimed:
"Oh, Mama, if you once went to the circus you'd never, never go to a prayer-meeting again in all your life."
Johnny, who had been to the circus, was telling his teacher about the wonderful things he had seen.
"An' teacher," he cried, "they had one big animal they called the hip—hip—
"Hippopotamus, dear," prompted the teacher.
"I can't just say its name," exclaimed Johnny, "but it looks just like 9,000 pounds of liver."