Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm/22

CHAPTER XXII


OFF TO THE CIRCUS


Bunny Brown thought for a minute He and Sue looked at the gay circus poster, and the more he looked at it the more he felt that he and his sister must go and see the big show in the white tent.

"How can we go, Bunny?" asked Sue.

Bunny Brown wrinkled up his forehead. He always did that when he was thinking hard, and now that the "big idea" had come to him he was thinking harder than ever.

"First we'll have to find out where the circus is going to be," he said. "We'll ask grandpa. He'll know."

"Do you s'pose mother will let us go?" asked Sue.

"I don't know. We'll have to ask. First we'll find out where the show is going to be."

Bunny and Sue stood a little while longer looking at the circus picture. As they turned this way and that, peering at the big elephant, the savage-looking lion, the striped tiger and the hippopotamus, with his mouth so widely open, Bunker Blue came along whistling.

"Maybe Bunker knows!" cried Sue.

"Knows what?" asked the red-haired lad, stopping near the two children. "What do you think I know?"

"Where the circus is going to be," replied Bunny. "Do you know where they'll put up the tent?"

Bunker squinted at the circus poster.

"No, I don't know exactly where it will be," he said, "and it doesn't tell on that sign. But it says the circus is coming day after to-morrow. You could find out from your grandpa's hired man, though, where the tents will be. I guess they will put them up in the same place they had them last year, and the hired man was here then. He's worked for your grandpa a good many years. Ask the hired man."

"We will," Bunny said.

"Are you thinking of going to the circus?" asked Bunker.

"We—we'd like to," answered Sue softly.

"And maybe we will," added her brother.

"You're too little to go to a circus," said Bunker Blue, "and I don't believe any of the big folks are going. I'd like to go myself, but I don't believe I can."

"Well, we're going, anyhow," whispered Bunny to Sue, so Bunker would not hear.

"Are you sure. Bunny?"

"Sure we'll go!" he said. "Just you leave it all to me."

At dinner that day Bunny and Sue talked of nothing but the circus, and the big picture-poster on grandpa's barn.

"It's the same show that was here last year," said the hired man. "I saw the fellow who pasted the picture on the barn, and he was the same one who was around last year."

"And—and will the tent be in the same place?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," said the hired man. "The circus always shows in the same place when it comes to town. They put the tents up by the baseball grounds, just outside of the town."

Bunny had found out what he wanted to
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“OH,” AREN’T THEY CUTE!”—Page 208.

know. If he and Sue could get to town, all they would have to do would be to ask where the baseball grounds were. Any one could tell them that, and then they would find the circus.

But first Bunny wanted to find out if his papa and mamma, or grandfather and grandmother, were going to the show. It would be so much easier for him and Sue if they were. So Bunny asked:

"Could we go to the circus, Mother?"

"Oh, I hardly think so," answered Mother Brown. "I don't like a circus, and your father has to go to the city that day to look after his boat business. Grandpa is too busy to go, and I'm sure grandma and I don't want to go."

"No, indeed!" exclaimed Grandma Brown. "I always was afraid of wild animals, and I don't like a circus anyhow."

"Bunker Blue could take us," said Bunny.

"No, dear. I'm sorry, but Bunker is going to drive papa into town on that day, so he could not take you. You had a nice time at the picnic, and that ought to be enough for you. This is only a small circus, and I don't believe it would be nice for you to go," said Mother Brown.

But Bunny Brown and his sister Sue wanted very much to go to this circus, even if it was only a small one.

"Oh, Bunny! We can't go!" said Sue, with tears in her eyes, when she and Bunny went out in the yard after dinner. "We can't go to the circus!"

"Maybe we can," insisted Bunny.

"But how can we? Mother isn't going, nor father, nor grandma nor grandpa. How can we go?"

"We can go by ourselves. It isn't very far in to town. Not more than a mile. We can walk a mile, Sue."

"Yes, but who will give us the money for tickets? Do they sell tickets to the circus for pins, Bunny? If they did maybe we could find enough pins in grandma's house, on the floor. Nobody wants those pins. We could pick 'em up."

"They don't sell real circus tickets for pins, explained Bunny. "They sell them for money."

"I've got five cents," said Sue.

"So have I. But that won't be enough. It's twenty-five cents for children. Bunker read that on the circus poster."

"Oh, we'll never get that much money!" sighed Sue.

"Maybe we will," Bunny said.

"How?"

"Well, I might carry water to the elephant, and the man might give me a ticket for that, Bunker said he once got in the circus that way."

"But I couldn't carry water to an elephant," objected Sue. "I'd be afraid he'd bite me."

"I'd carry it for you," kindly offered Bunny. "I'm not afraid of an elephant If you're kind to them they won't bite you."

"But elephants is so big, they take an awful lot of water," Sue went on. "They'd drink a whole tub full. You could never carry that much."

"I'll try," said Bunny. "I want to go to that circus!"

"And so do I, Bunny."

"They didn't say we mustn't go," the little boy went on. "Mother just said she and grandma couldn't take us. I don't think they'd mind if we went by ourselves."

"Maybe not, Bunny. But, s'posin' they wouldn't let us in the tent?"

"Oh, I guess they will. You could carry some water for the ponies. You're not afraid of them; are you?"

"No," said Sue slowly. "I'm not 'fraid of ponies. I'll get them some water, Bunny. But maybe they have all the water they want, and they won't let us in, no matter what we do."

Bunny thought that over for a minute. Then he said:

"We could do our Punch and Judy show for the circus man, Sue. Maybe he'd let us in if he saw that."

"Maybe. But, Bunny, you haven't any lobster claw to put on your nose, to make you look like Mr. Punch."

Bunny sighed.

"That's so," he said. "The lobster claw is broken. I guess we'll have to carry the water, Sue. I'll get some for the elephant, and you can carry some for the ponies. Then the circus man will give us tickets to the show. We'll go, anyhow."

So Bunny had it all planned out. Neither he nor Sue said anything to their father, mother or grandparents about what they were going to do. Bunny was quite sure if they asked they would not be allowed to go, and he did not want to do anything he was told not to do. But he and Sue had not really been forbidden to go to the circus, though of course Mrs. Brown had no idea the children were planning to see the show in the tent, with the wild animals, and the men and women jumping into nets.

The rest of the day Bunny and Sue spent pretty much out near the barn, looking at the big circus poster, wondering if they would see all the animals in the picture. They spent part of the next day doing the same thing.

Mrs. Brown was so busy helping Grandma Brown, and Mr. Brown was so busy getting ready for his trip to the city, that no one paid much attention to the children.

"We'll start off early to-morrow morning," said Bunny, the night before the circus was to come to town. "we'll take a lunch with us. I'll save some of my supper and some of my breakfast. We can take some bread and cake, and we've each got five cents, to get some pink lemonade with."

"I want a circus balloon, too," said Sue.

"Well, maybe a man will give you one," said Bunny, hopefully.

Sue clapped her hands in joy.

"I hope he gives me a red one!" she cried.

Early the next morning, right after breakfast, Bunny Brown and his sister Sue went quietly from the house. They had wrapped some slices of bread, and some cookies, in pieces of newspaper, and this lunch they carried with them as they started off for the circus. No one saw them start, and down the road they went, hand in hand, off toward town.

"Oh, Bunny!" cried Sue, as she toddled along beside her brother. "Isn't it just fine!"

"Wait till you see the circus!" said Bunny, his eyes shining with delight. "We'll have lots of fun!"