The Story of the Puppet

1696 Words7 Pages
Not even four feet tall the stocky, little man in patchy, homemade overalls was every bit of invisible behind the massive haunches of Tiny, the circus’s eldest, and in his opinion, smelliest, African Elephant. Muttering obscenities beneath his breath, never missing a beat, Puppet shoveled heavy scoopfuls of dung off the boxcar's floor and into an old wheelbarrow, pausing only long enough to lean the shit stick against the wall before he grabbed the handles of the wheelbarrow, his dark complexion reddening from the weight, and headed out to ditch the stink someplace where it wouldn't be noticed until the circus was just a memory. He hated this work, hated how all the fancy pants, the trapeze artists, the animal trainers, even the side show freaks treated him as nothing more than a trained pet; existing only to clean up after them or serve them in whatever fashion they so desired. He was even forced to bed down with the tamer animals. He blamed the ringleader, Master Drachen, who since coming upon an abandoned toddler boy of color in the middle of Arkansas during the early forties had rescued him only to make him a perpetual slave and personal object of ridicule. When Puppet was young he'd been grateful to Master Drachen, quietly obedient, but as the years wore on the insults piled up; the sound of laughter around the campfire, almost always directed at him, began echoing in his ears, their taunts making his eyes sting and his heart ache more than the frequent beatings
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