“Grandma, tell me about Daddy when he was a boy and ran away with the circus.”
“I tell you that story every time you come to stay with me.”
“Pleeeease Grandma; it’s such a good story.”
Anna’s grandmother laughed and sat on the seat by the window overlooking the park, while Anna leapt onto her grandmother’s bed ready for the story she already knew so well, but never tired of hearing.
“It was about 1943, and the circus was in town. Your father and his friend Oscar had played hooky from school–not for the first time I might add–and had gone down to the river where the circus had set up camp.”
Anna’s eyes took on a faraway look as her grandmother continued.
“Your Daddy and his friend told the owner they wanted to join the circus. Now, the circus owner was no fool, and he put the boys to work cleaning up after the animals. Oh, it was hard work, and more than once, they received a drenching from the elephants that were enjoying a soak in the river.
“By the second day, your grandpa wanted to know where your Daddy was.”
“What did you tell him?” Anna whispered. “Was Grandpa mad at them?”
Anna’s grandmother leant forward and kissed her. “You know as well as I do what happened.”
“Oh, Grandma, it’s so much better when you tell the story. It’s like it’s happening right now.”
Her grandmother chuckled. “Well, fortunately, your grandpa had to go to the city about a job and was away for three days. But when he got home, he started to get suspicious and soon guessed where your daddy was. He was as mad as a wet hen, but all I wanted was for your daddy to come home. I was so worried about him, because by this time, the circus had left town.”
“It must have been really exciting being with the circus.” Anna laughed.
“Well, you daddy and his friend worked hard from sunup to sunset for five days, and at the end of each day, they were exhausted and would fall asleep under one of the caravans. Then on the sixth day, they woke up to find themselves in an empty field. The circus had packed up and left before daybreak. Your daddy and his friend were miles and miles from home with no money and no food.”
“I love this part Grandma,” whispered Anna.
“Oh yes, this is when your daddy realised that God was looking after them because He sent someone to help them.”
“And the man who gave them a ride in his truck said he didn’t know why he went down that road because he never uses it.” Said Anna grinning in delight.
Anna’s grandmother nodded. “Yes, but when they got back home, your daddy still got into trouble from your grandfather, and he found it very difficult to sit down for a couple of days. But Anna, always remember, even though God sent help, your daddy still had to accept the consequences for his disobedience.”
Anna nodded and tried to stifle a yawn. Lying in the sun on her grandmother’s bed always made her sleepy and it wasn’t long before her eyes closed, and she drifted off to sleep.
“Grandma! I’m here Grandma, I’m here!” Lucy ran into the sitting room where her grandmother sat on the sofa reading her Bible.
Her grandmother’s eyes lit up; “Well now my Lucy lamb, it’s so good to see you!” she said enveloping her granddaughter in a hug.
A woman who could only have been Lucy’s mother, smiled at the sight of grandmother and granddaughter together. “Now are you sure you can cope with her for three days Mum?”
“Oh absolutely! I’ve been looking forward to this. You and Mark just go and have a nice relaxing break.”
“All right, thanks Mum.” She kissed them both and waved as she headed out the door.
“Just think Grandma Anna; we have three whole days together.”
“Oh I know my little lamb. We are going to have so much fun!”
“Can we bake an apple pie together?”
“We’ll bake an apple pie AND mulberry pie.”
Lucy leant against her grandmother contentedly. “Grandma Anna, do you know any good stories?”
Her grandmother smiled. “Have I ever told you the story of when your great grandpa was a boy and ran away with the circus?”
Lucy sat wide-eyed as her grandmother began...
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