Rose and Trixie
by Susan Hili
Rose checked her costume and adjusted Trixie’s bridle for the last time. As she mounted Trixie’s bare back her stomach tightened, as though a swarm of butterflies had invaded her belly. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath before giving Trixie a calm pat. They moved closer to the entry and waited for their cue.
Rose soon forgot her nerves when Jasper the clown dragged his bag of tricks into the middle of the arena. He opened the bag and rockets shot out, firing colourful steamers over the audience as they zoomed around. He suddenly reached up and plucked flowers out of thin air, presenting one to each child in the front row. The audience gasped loudly when he suddenly vanished in a puff of white smoke!
Next a group of elegant trapeze artists dance into the arena. A rope-ladder tumbled from above. One after another they climb the ladder to a platform high in the big top. Rose watched them fly from one trapeze to another. All the time wishing, she didn’t have to leave. The circus was her home and she loved everybody in it.
Suddenly a drum-roll echoed throughout the big top.
Trixie snorted and stamped one hoof, reminding Rose it’s show-time. They gallop into the arena, did one lap and then slowed to a canter. Strangely, Trixie’s hooves barely touch the sawdust. Rose stood up on Trixie’s wide back and pretends to slip, clutching Trixie’s neck in time. She then uses momentum to swings gracefully back to her mounted position.
‘OOH-ARR!’ Sighed the audience.
Up on the trapeze, an acrobat summersaults through the air to another, who is swinging by his legs, and with perfect timing they join hands. Up even higher a tight rope walker, balancing with a pole starts across the wire. The audience held their breath as he edges his way slowly to the other side, and salutes the audience when they cheer him enthusiastically.
At the centre of the arena Trixie reared up and Rose raises her arm. It was their final performance here and everything went to plan.
As Rose and Trixie left the arena, Jumbo trudged in. His huge dark eyes glisten with fresh tears, and trumpets as they pass.
The audience gave a standing ovation. Rose pulled Trixie up and turned to watch jumbo balancing on a drum. She’s overwhelmed with sadness, but it’s time to cross-over into the amazing light waiting patiently for them. They left swiftly and hadn’t notice a man knelt beside a plaque attached to the tent.
ROSE AND TRIXIE
Her father remembered that day well: the fall that took his wonderful daughter and her faithful pony from him. As he stood up, he saw the first star of the evening. And deep in his heart he knew Rose and Trixie were happy. A tingle ran up his spine as he imagined them riding through the pearly gates to paradise, and enter the greatest show of them all.