Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Bear's Sicilian Circus

[NOTE: This was appended awkwardly to a previous post, resulting in excessive length and muddled topics. The Bear is much more comfortable publishing it alone. The ending is more complete.]

A Bear In Sicily

The Bear does not know how much Sicily has changed since his time there in the 60s. The Bear was sold to a very small circus out of Messina whose big act was "una Donna Elettrica." She would employ static electricity to dramatic, but harmless, effect. A hoary old act going back to the 20's, at least.

The Bear quickly ascertained that her revealing costume was the real attraction, and she would serve equally well as a brave and slightly clad Bear Mistress, complete with a stage revolver and baton. Of course, the Bear's selective revelations of his cleverness easily won him top billing as "Incredibile Orso," while the the former electrical woman pretended to induce me to perform tricks. In reality, yours truly did whatever amazing feat he felt like, and she would pretend she had something to do with it and throw me fish. Truly, una Donna Elettrica was a dim bulb. Of course she hated the Bear, but the Bear had finally achieved his dream of top billing! It wasn't the London Hippodrome, but everyone knew the people were paying their money to see Incredibile Orso.

Thinking back, maybe that was a dirty trick with una Donna Elettrica. The Bear hated leaving England, and felt it was rather shabby to sell him off to a bunch of third-rate Italian carnies. But he fell in love with Sicily and its natives. Sure, there was garbage everywhere, but that's not necessarily a downside to a Bear. The Bear even reached an understanding with the kid whose job it was to feed him. Some nights, the Bear's cage would be left unlocked and he was free to explore the villages and slopes of Mt. Etna. Needless to say, he was back long before sunrise. The Bear is a Bear of honor, and everyone respected omertà.

The Bear's stay was only a couple of years but they were good, warm ones. One day he walked away from Incredibile Orso and took one giant leap for mankind. It would be hard on his little circus to lose their star attraction. But there was always una Donna Elettrica, and her costume.

The Bear was headed to America. The Black Hills Bear Park would have a new attraction, and the little Messina circus would profit handsomely to take the sting away from losing Incredibile Orso. And just who was the broker for this deal? If you haven't guessed, the Bear sold himself.

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