One day Jack and Jill had the mumps and could not go to the circus.
Uncle Phil came in whistling and he said:
“I’ve brought you something sure to please,
You can make a circus with sticks and peas.”
To their delight he showed them how.
They soaked the peas and stuck the tooth picks in them so they would hold together.
They made the circus tent and side-show tents, cages for the animals, and a merry-go-round.
It was fun to make the Tooth-Pick Animals and Clown.
Uncle Phil said he must go to work, but he said:
“Jack and Jill, good bye, good bye,
You can be happy if you try.”
So saying, he went off and then the most extraordinary thing happened.
A voice whispered:
“The animals are in the tent,
And each one is on mischief bent,
The tent flap soon will open wide,
There’s room for you and me inside!”
Jack and Jill clapped their hands and said:
“We wish we were little girl and boy
As tiny as each Tooth-Pick toy.”
They did not know they were sitting on a wishing rug.
No sooner had they made their wish than they grew smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and went inside the very tent they had made.
At this exciting minute a voice said:
“And now we see the circus ring,
Round which the old clowns dance and sing,
The animals will march two and two,
And make a little show for you.”
“Oh, oh,” cried Jack and Jill. “What if our Tooth-Pick Clown and animals should become alive?”
In came the Tooth-Pick Clowns, singing:
“The Tooth-Pick Clowns walk two and two,
And funny things they say to you,
Skipping lightly round the ring,
They crack their whips and laugh and sing.”
Then in came a rider with a chariot saying:
“The golden chariot you know,
Has a rider bowing low,
The circus is a pleasant place,
To behold a chariot race.”
Then in came the comical little animals and did their tricks in the rings.
The Clown sang:
“This lion’s of uncertain age,
Perhaps you like him in his cage,
Round the circus ring he’ll go,
He’s trained to act so in the show.”
In came the tall Giraffe and the Clown sang:
“We introduce the tall Giraffe,
And beg that you will never laugh.
At his tall neck or anything,
As he marches in the ring!”
Next, in came an old Elephant, and the Clown riding on his back said:
“See the old trick Elephant,
He likes to live out in a tent,
He’s a traveller as every one knows,
And carries his trunk wherever he goes.”
Jack and Jill had so much fun they even rode in the merry-go-round and sang:
“The Merry-Go-Round is quite a treat
If you have money for a seat.
Round and round the horses go,
To music playing sweet and low.”
By and by the wonderful circus was over and the Clowns called:
“The big band wagon now will pass,
Too soon it’s out of sight, alas!
We wish the band could play always,
It makes such happy circus days!”
Jack and Jill went into a side-show tent to have their fortunes told. Outside the tent the sign read:
“This is a little side-show tent,
From which come peals of merriment,
If you’ve a dime step in and see,
What it holds of mystery.”
Jack and Jill went merrily homeward while the old Clowns called after them:
“The children travel two and two,
For many have to walk ’tis true,
They like to imitate the Clown,
When the circus comes to town.”
The Family Clock greeted them as they got home. It began to strike and sing in a comical manner:
“Hear me count, one, two, three, four, five.
I’m glad that you got home alive,
Perhaps it takes you by surprise,
But now you are the proper size!”
Jack and Jill rubbed their sleepy eyes.
They were in their own little red rocking chairs at home. They still had the mumps of course for company!
There, on the table before them, were the Tooth-Pick Animals, there were the merry Clowns, and the tent stood with a flap open so one could go inside!
The children said:
“How very funny it does seem,
We both had such a jolly dream.”
At this very minute, in came Uncle Phil with both hands behind his back, singing:
“Which hand will you choose? I’ve pleasant news,
It is sure to drive away the blues,
As I came walking back to town
I met a friend, a Circus Clown!”
Jack chose the right hand and Jill chose the left.
Jack got a bag of pop corn and Jill a bag of peanuts.
Behind Uncle Phil came a really, truly Circus Clown in a really, truly Circus gown of red and white. He had a red and white striped cap on, and his face was painted many colors!
He stood on his head and turned somersaults and did his tricks to please the children. When he saw the Tooth-Pick Toys, he laughed, for he had girls and boys, the children loved the Clown always for he taught them many Tooth-Pick Plays!