Don’t be turned off by the title of this story. It’s not meant as an insult. Actually quite the opposite. Read on to find out more. This is a true story, by the way.
I generally did not like going to the circus because everything was so visual but when I was in seventh grade we were going to be meeting a sighted friend there so we went. Too many people so we did not find each other, but, it still turned out to be an interesting day.
My mother and I talked about the types of things that might be going on as the acts proceeded. Who knows we maybe even imagined something more exciting than was actually happening. That is until everything went quiet and the lights stayed down. Not a sound could be heard and we were whispering to each other about what we thought might be going on. We wondered if maybe someone got hurt in the tumbling act or if it was taking longer for the next acts to come in. Did they maybe have to wait until the tigers and lion were in the cages?
All of a sudden my mother was quiet for a bit which didn’t cause me to think anything strange was up. Then she nudged me and said< "I think the tiger would like you to give him some popcorn. Go ahead and give him some." I thought she was either playing a joke on me or that she had lost it and gone totally crazy. Either way I figured I'd just play along nothing too bad could come out of it. I took a handful of popcorn out of my bag and held it out like I would be feeding it to a dog. Most four legged animals don't eat popcorn right? Apparently some do! There was a light brush going across my hand where the popcorn just had been. About ten seconds later there was something laying on our laps. Ok so was it a dog trained to take popcorn from people. After all I guess that could happen. That tiger stuff just could not be true. Could it? My mother said, "Go ahead and pet the tiger. He likes it." I had nothing to lose so I put my hand down to pet whatever was there. To my surprise there came this loud purr of contentment. With surprise in my voice I said to my mother, "Wow it is a tiger!" After a short bit the tiger stood up and backed away slowly. I guess he still didn't want to scare anyone. He looked in the direction he came from then turned in the opposite direction and ran out of the arena. Of Course he had to let out a very large roar while exiting the arena. After the circus was over my mother explained to me that when the tiger had approached her she wasn't sure what to do so decided on popcorn thinking it would go away. She said the tiger walked up to her slowly in order not to scare her so it didn't seem a good idea to overreact. We decided to go out and ask if we could pet the tiger one more time. We also wanted to compliment the trainer on the great work he did with the lion and tigers. The trainer was friendly and thanked us but no we could not pet the tiger again. The tiger had been naughty and needed to be ignored. We were told that we could go on over and pet the lion. "Aren't lions more dangerous than tigers?" is the first thing that came out of my mouth. The trainer said no and told us to go ahead and pet the lion it would be just fine. My mother asked, "You mean go over there and reach right into the cage?" We were told yes and so that is what we did. The mane of a lion is very silky to the touch and yes they purr too. They do lick your hand a little more than the tigers do. Now maybe I shouldn't say that cause the tiger didn't really have a chance to show us if he did that or not. Ok so my mother hadn't gone crazy. What happened that day to leave me with such a wonderful experience. First of all I think animals can tell if a person is hurt or handicapped just as easily as they can sense fear. More important though is that I think God allowed this to happen so we could get to know what tigers and lions were like.