Bernard lay asleep on his bed. He has slick gray hair and sparkling brown eyes. He weighs 202 lbs. and is 5'2" tall. Suddenly, his alarm clock rang. He quickly turned it off. Grunting, he pushed Peaches, a peach-colored Shetland pony, and Banana, a yellow dachshund off the bed. His other Shetland pony, Dawn, was just waking up, her shaggy coat gleaming gold in the pale morning sunlight that filtered through the curtains. Slipping on a pair of slippers and a bathrobe, he walked into the kitchen. Bernard lived in a small cottage in a cherry orchard near Branch, a small city. Bernard had just put some bacon on the stove to fry for him and Banana when the telephone rang. Answering it, he heard a worried voice say, "Bernard, this is Melanie. I came over to work in your shop today. It has been robbed!"
"Robbed!?" Bernard gasped out.
"Yes, they broke a window," said Melanie, who's voice was shaking now. "I'll be over to check things over as soon as possible," Bernard said slamming the phone down. Quickly, he took the half cooked bacon, put it in Banana's food bowl, and put the hot pan in a sink of cold water. After he put on sweatpants and a sweatshirt, he drove his pickup truck to his small jewelry shop. Two police cars were in front of the shop, their blue and red lights flashing. Hurrying into the shop, he saw his niece, Melanie there watching the policemen searching the shop for clues. "Did you find anything?" Bernard worryingly asked one of the policemen.
"Nothing," the policeman answered. A few hours later, Bernard sadly walked out of his jewelry shop and started up his pickup truck. Bernard's truck bounced over the cracks on the road. A burning smell drifted through the rolled down windows of his truck. Bernard thought it was somebody burning weeds but as he drew closer to his home the burning smell grew stronger. When he drew into sight of his cottage, he gasped in horror. Where his cottage used to be there was just a heap of charred wood and ashes. Dawn, Peaches and Banana where huddled together on the other side of the creek near what used to be Bernard's cottage. Quickly, he waded through the creek to them to see if they were alright. Thankfully they only had a few small burns. News of the jewelry shop robbery and the fire spread quickly around Branch and all of the surrounding cities. Bernard was fairly popular man because he used to have a famous circus called Frost Circus. One of Bernard's friends, Bob, offered him to move into his house. Bob was a short round jolly man like Bernard and had black hair with gray streaks and hazel eyes. He was also the magician for Frost Circus and he had three rabbits.
One morning Bernard woke up to Bob's voice calling, "Bernard, someone wants to speak to you!" Bernard stumbled out of bed and walked into the kitchen and stepped over Bob's favorite rabbit, Snowball, a dusk black rabbit who was hopping through the house.
"Hello?" Bernard said into the phone.
"Hi, is this Bernard Frost?"
"Hi, my name is Ebeneezer Gook."
"Ebeneezer Gook!" Everybody in Branch k"old" who Ebeneezer Gook was. He was a famous millionaire who lived in Hare, a large city by Branch. "Yes, this is Ebeneezer. A few days ago I heard about your house burning down. When I was a kid I used to love going and see your circus and I was thinking about it. If you get the circus back together again and do three shows and at least one of them is successful I will pay for building your "old" home."
"Thank you, sir!" Bernard answered. "But, I'll have to see if my old crew will want to do it."
"Call me as soon as you do," then Ebeneezer hung up.
"What was that all about?" asked Bob who had been standing in the kitchen waiting for Bernard to be finished with the phone.
"How would you like to be a magician again just for about a month?" "Tell me who was on the phone first," Bob answered.
"What was he calling for?" demanded Bob, getting super interested.
"He said he would pay for building me a "old" house if we did three more circuses and at least one of them was successful."
"So, that is why you are asking if I want to do some more magic."
"Well... I guess I could, but I better start practicing with Snowball, Brook and Winter," responded Bob.
"And I'll get a hold of Gus, Gretchen, Hank and Shrimp," said Bernard.
Quickly, Bernard went out to a shed in Bob's backyard where he was keeping Dawn and Peaches. He fed them each a bucket of oats and let them out to graze in the yard. He then went inside and picked up the phone again and dialed Gretchen's number.
"Hello, this is Gretchen."
"Hey, Gretchen. This is Bernard. I need to talk to you about something."
"Hi, Bernard! I heard about your shop and your house. Where are you living right now?" Gretchen was the high wire walker for the Frost Circus. She was a short, fat woman with dirty blond colored hair and sparkling brown eyes, but when she was in the circus she used to be thin and graceful.
"I'm living with Bob right now but I need to ask you something. I need you to try to be a high wire walker again. I was talking to Ebeneezer Gook earlier, and he said he would pay for building me a "old" home if I got the Frost Circus back and did three shows and if at least one of them was successful."
"Of course, I'll do that. It will be great to see everyone again." "Okay, Gretchen. Let's meet at the Coffee Cafe on Monday at 10:00 am to discuss some stuff." Then Bernard dialed Gus's phone number. Gus was the stage manager. Gus was tall and chubby with white hair and hazel eyes.
"Hello?" said the voice on the other end.
"Hi. Is this Augustus?"
"Yes, who is this?"
"Hi, Bernard, how are you doing?"
"Great! Hey, Gus, I need to talk to you about something Ebeneezer Gook phoned me about this morning. He said he would pay for building my "old" house if I did three more circuses and at least one of them was successful. Would you like to be the stage manager again? Gretchen and Bob already agreed to do the circus again, so all I need is for you, Hank, and Shrimp to agree"
"I'll do it." said Gus.
"We're meeting at the Coffee Cafe at 10:00 am Monday to discuss things."
"I'll be there, bye," said Gus. Then the line went dead. Bernard talked to Hank, the daredevil, who did all of the dangerous stuff in the circus, like getting shot out of a cannon. He also agreed to do the circus. Now, all Bernard had left to call was Shrimp the clown.
"Doodles," said the voice on the other end of the line. Shrimp was tall and lean with a prosthetic leg wearing white makeup and a different colored squeaky nose every day. He was bald and had a tiny top hat that he tied to his head with a soft velvet strap.
Bernard, who was used to Shrimp speaking weirdly said, "Hi, Shrimp, I need you to be a clown for the Frost Circus again. I was talking to Ebeneezer Gook earlier and he said he would pay for building me a "old" home if I got the Frost Circus back and did three shows and if at least one of them was successful and everyone else has agreed to do it."
"I'll do it," replied Shrimp.
"Okay. We are all meeting at Coffee Cafe at 10:00 am Monday. Bye, Shrimp." Then Bernard called Ebeneezer to tell him that they were doing the circus.
Bernard woke up to the sound of the alarm clock ringing. It was 9:00 am Monday morning. Bernard brushed his teeth and got dressed and went downstairs. Bob was already dressed and waiting in the kitchen. "Are you ready to leave?"
They both went outside and drove to the cafe. Bob parked his car in front of Coffee Cafe. They walked into the cafe to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Bernard and Bob sat down at a table. Soon, Hank arrived. "Hi Bernard, Hi Bob," said Hank sitting down beside them. He asked, "So, we're the first ones here?"
"Yep," Bob replied. But just as he said it Gretchen and Gus walked in. "Hi guys! You wanna hear a joke?" said Gretchen who had become a comedian after the Frost Circus stopped.
"Sure" answered Bernard who really didn't care that much.
"Great!" said Gretchen "Why was six afraid of seven?"
"Because seven eight nine. That is such an old joke!" responded Bernard.
"But, it's an awesome one," replied Gretchen, who was snorting with laughter. Soon Shrimp joined them and the meeting started.
"We could use some animals," said Bernard. "I've got Peaches, Dawn and Banana."
"I've got bananas, too," said Gretchen.
"No. I mean I have a dachshund named Banana," responded Bernard who had remembered that Gretchen, Gus, Hank and Shrimp didn't know that he got a dog.
"I've got my pugs, Babes and Sport," said Gus.
"I've got my potbellied pig, Bobka, and I also have my cat, Jupiter, and maybe my daughters, Luna and Kyle, could help. They each have a horse and a dog," said Gretchen.
"I have my rabbits, Snowball, Brook and Winter," said Bob.
"I have my gorilla, Shark," said Shrimp.
Suddenly Bernard thought of something. "Oh, no!" he said "I forgot about how we're going to get a tent!"
"Don't worry," Hank replied. "When we closed down the circus you said that I could have the tent for some stunts, remember? I also have all of the props."
"So, that's taken care of," said Bernard.
"Wait," said Gretchen. "Where are we going to set up the tent?" she questioned. "We can put it in one of the fields on my property," said Bernard.
Soon the meeting was over and everyone drove over to Hank's house to get the props and the tent.
It was quite a hassle getting up the tent.
It fell down four times and Gretchen got lost in it twice but finally they got it up. Then they drove back to Hank's large garage to get the seats. Finally, they had the high wire pole put up. (It took them forever to do that) and a lion cage. "We have one problem," said Bob. "We don't have any lions for Hank to tame."
"I'll think about that later," said Bernard, hardly listening because he was concentrating hard on putting up the net for Hank to fall on after he got shot out of the cannon. Bernard, Bob, Gretchen, Hank, Gus, Shrimp and Gretchen's daughters Luna and Kyle started advertising for the circus. Luna was tall and slim with golden brown hair and ocean blue eyes. Kyle, Luna's younger sister, was also tall and slim but she had glossy brown hair and forest green eyes. Soon it was time for the first circus. The day before it, everyone was hurrying around and getting ready for the next day. Luna and Kyle were trying on costumes to wear. (They were going to ride their horses in the circus.) Gretchen was trying to fit a plume on Ivory, Luna's white horse's head while Gus was struggling to fit one on Echo, Kyle's black horse and Bob was trying to pull Winter, his albino rabbit out of his hat but instead he pulled out Brook, his Blueish gray rabbit. Hank was chasing the dogs Babes, Sport, Banana, Eclipse and Frost around trying to get bows and tutus on them while Bernard combed Peaches and Dawn's shaggy coats.
The day of the circus was finally here! Bob turned and asked Bernard, "Did you do something about the lions?"
"I totally forgot about that! We're going to have to do something for that or Hank's going to have to tame Jupiter. He's the closest thing to a lion that we've got!" Jupiter was Gretchen's fat orange cat.
"That actually would be a pretty good idea," said Gus, who was listening to them. "He acted like I was a scratching post earlier!"
Bernard took a deep breath and walked into the spot where the spotlight was going to be and stood there. Gus flipped on the light but instead of the normal white spotlight it was multi colored switching from red to pink to yellow and to blue. "Oops! I accidentally have the wrong light," he hissed to Hank who was right next to him. "There's no time to switch it now. We'll have to keep it," answered Hank. He left to get ready for his part.
Bernard had been surprised about the light but he didn't stop. "Hello, everyone. Welcome to Frost Circus. We will start with Shrimp the Clown!"
"Hi. I'm Shrimp and this is my gorilla, Shark, and we're going to show you some awesome stuff so watch!" he climbed onto Shark and started riding him around. He's not really acting like a clown thought Bernard but soon Shrimp and Shark stopped. "And I have something else to show you," shouted out Shrimp. "This is my--"
The crowd booed. Quickly, Bernard went back out and shouted out, "Time for Gretchen the highwire walker!" Gus had switched the spotlight in time and now it was white. Gretchen came out in front of the high wire but she hadn't even taken one step when with a shriek she toppled of the highwire.
"WE FORGOT THE NET!" Gus shouted out, but luckily Gretchen landed in Shrimp's bucket of multi-colored clown noses. Bernard ran out and said to the crowd "Sorry, but we cannot continue the circus. Please come back next week".
Six days later they got everything checked out and they got a net for the high wire. "Shrimp!" Bernard yelled to him. "This time act like a clown!"
"Okay," Shrimp sighed. Bernard doubted he would. The day for the second circus was here. Three hours before, everyone was getting ready. Gretchen had volunteered to get the dogs and the ponies ready. The second circus was about to start. Gretchen had finished with the dogs. She led all five of them out. They were wearing fairy costumes. "The dogs aren't supposed to wear that!" said Bernard.
"I thought they were," said Gretchen. Then she led out Peaches and Dawn who were wearing tutus and bows.
"The dogs are supposed to wear the tutus and bows, not the ponies!"
"There's nothing we can do now," said Gus. "The circus is starting now."
Bernard hurried out and stood in the spotlight. "Welcome to Frost Circus! We will start with Hank Sniper who is going to tame Jupiter the cat!" as the spotlight switched over to Hank and Jupiter the audience booed.
"What! This cat is dangerous!" just as Hank stopped talking Jupiter leaped out at him hissing. "Aaahhh!" screeched Hank as Jupiter started clawing him. Hank quickly got out of the cage and locked the gate behind him. "He's worse then a lion!" Hank gasped out.
Bernard quickly announced, "Now for the amazing dogs!" All five dogs trotted out in a line led by Gretchen but as soon as they saw Jupiter in the cage they all ran toward him barking. Gretchen managed to get them away from the cage. "Sorry about that, but now we will have Bob the magician."
"Hello, everybody. I only have one trick to do but I hope you all enjoy it," said Bob. "I will now pull a rabbit out of my hat!" he pulled out Winter but that was the only successful thing that happened that day. Luna's horse stumbled on a rock and lightly sprained it's foot. Gretchen fell of the highwire, of course, and Shrimp didn't act like a clown.
"And now, for the last act we will have Hank shot out of a cannon!" Hank loaded himself in the cannon and Gus set fire to the fuse. Hank shot out of the cannon and landed directly on the trampoline-like net and bounced right off into the cage were Jupiter was. Jupiter leapt right onto Hank and started scratching him. Gretchen ran into the cage and grabbed her cat right as Bernard said, "And that is the last act of today. Goodbye! Everyone have a nice day!"
Let's hope the last circus is successful, Bernard thought. It's our last chance.