Big Top In The Basement
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Roni Badanni was NOT looking forward to her summer vacation.
She had just moved into a new house and had absolutely NO friends.
She was quite perplexed and befuddled, (her favorite word,) as to how she was going to spend her time. Her mother was absolutely no help on the matter and offered very little sympathy to her befuddled plight.
This was going to be the worst summer yet, school seemed better than this predicament.
Tired of pondering this befuddled situation she laid her head on her fluffy pillow and decided to figure it out in the morning.
"That was the shortest night ever," she complained to her mother as she sat awaiting another boring breakfast.
Why couldn't she eat what she wanted; after all she knew what she liked.
'Oh well', she would sneak what she wanted after her mother disappeared to unpack the multitude of boxes that were shoved in the attic.
Now the big question, how was she going to spend her day?
'Hmm,' the not so endless possibilities.
Her mother had told her to stay away from the basement, the dark dusty hole which harbored spiders and who knows what else.
That was exactly the place she was up for exploring!
Roni Badanni was not afraid of any old spiders or of the dark for that matter, except of course if there was a thunderstorm, and then only if the thundering scared Tulula, her cranky old cat.
Tulula had a sense about these things and if she took cover under the bed it was a pretty sure thing that Roni should do the same.
Well, enough time spent on befuddled nonsense, the basement was waiting her arrival.
Armed with a backpack containing taboo treats, a flashlight and a hammer, the necessities of any explorer, Roni cautiously opened the squeaky basement door and headed down the steps, one at a time.
The flashlight caused a flurry of activity as all the creatures of the night took cover.
At the bottom of the stairs was one last door to be opened which would thrust her into an adventure of who knew what.
With a boldness only a seven year old can know, she flung open the door and was awestruck at what lay before her eyes.
The brilliant light momentarily blinded her and the music sent her hands hurriedly covering her ears.
This was no dark desolate basement; her basement was filled with animals, music, food and people everywhere.
The circus had come to Roni Badanni's basement.
Hesitantly she left the security of her perch on the steps and headed toward the big top tent.
On her way she was greeted by animal trainers, trapeze artists, clowns and jugglers.
'This summer was not looking so boring after all.'
She quietly sneaked into a slight opening under the big top and found a quiet corner to observe the comings and goings.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a rather strange looking clown appeared. His name was Giggles and he had the biggest smile painted on his face. He knew her name and welcomed her with a big hug, she sighed as she sunk into his big embracing arms.
He knew all about her, lots of stuff like the fact she had just moved to a new house, was on summer vacation, and did not have any friends.
Well, he assured her that was all going to change; she was now a member of the circus.
Tingles of excitement ran up and down her spine, the kind you just can't explain, no matter how hard you try.
How could Giggles know all of these things?
Well, she didn't care, she just knew that this was going to be the bestest summer ever.
Now she had the very difficult decision of deciding what she wanted to do in the circus.
How could she make up her mind, there were so many exciting choices?
She had always dreamed of riding a horse bareback, but then flying on the trapeze sounded exciting too.
Giggles hoped she would choose to be a clown, but then what kind of clown would she be, sad, glad, mad?
There were so many choices.
Or maybe she would walk the tightrope; she had new ballet slippers that would be perfect for that.
'Hmmm', she pondered, what about an animal trainer, an old lion couldn't be more cranky than Tulula and she definitely knew how to handle him.
Giggles told her that there was no rush; she could take her time, after all this was a very important decision.
While pondering what to do she decided that a lunch break was in order.
Food always made her think more clearly and this was not a decision to be taken lightly.
The more she ate the better she felt, that is, until she swallowed her third hot dog.
Hmmm, this had never happened before, but then of course she never ate cotton candy, caramel apples and a boatload of buttery popcorn.
This was not good.
After managing to find a quiet little out of the way corner she laid her head on a bale of hay and decided to rest for a minute until the gurgling and churning in her stomach had passed, then she would be ready to resume her adventure.
Suddenly Roni felt a rough tongue licking her face and opened her eyes to see Tulula's big brown eyes staring down at her.
She slowly stirred under the covers, restless and anxious.
As the sleep left her eyes she was greeted by her mother gently nudging her to get up.
The softness of the comforter and the smell of summer flowing through the window made her want to snuggle more.
She was in her own big bed, how could that be!
She had just lain down to catch a quick nap on that bundle of hay.
Her mother informed her that breakfast was on the table and to hightail it down to the kitchen while it was still hot.
'Hmm', it must be she was dreaming that she was back in her bed.
Well, any minute now she would wake up and be back with Giggles, he was probably waiting for her.
If she got out of bed it would force her to wake up and then she would be back to where she wanted to be, the circus.
She gingerly made her way down to the kitchen where the fresh smell of muffins made her hungry.
Any minute she would wake up and get out of this dream and back to the circus. But everything here seemed so real.
She tried to shake her feet, wiggle her hands, Giggles must be wondering where she was.
It was no use, she was here to stay.
Mother served her breakfast and then scurried off to start, or finish, endless tasks that took all of her attention.
Roni finished her last gulp of milk and headed for the basement; that would surely wake her up out of this dream.
She scurried down the stairs and thrust open the door to find nothing but darkness.
'Hmmm' what was going on?
Maybe the basement was a dream, now she was totally befuddled.
She slowly took a few steps and shone her flashlight into the dark basement;
each step put her deeper into the darkness.
Where was everybody, the clowns, the animals, where could they have gone? Suddenly she saw something in the corner that caught her eye.
She cautiously approached, flashlight in hand.
Her eyes grew huge with amazement.
In the corner were several pieces of hay and in the midst of them was a red ribbon, just like the one that she always wore in her hair.
She reached to check the status of her ribbon where mom placed it daily to tame her unruly pigtails.
It was not there!
She picked up the ribbon in the stack of hay and fastened it into its usual place.
A smile crossed her face as she remembered her new found friends and all the fun she had had.
The circus had come and gone, just like summer, but Roni was now ready for her new school and her next basement adventure.
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