At The Circus
yelled Mersina. Billy was pulling her hair.
Stop that, Billy! And you too, Mersina!" warned Miss Robbins.
"If you don't behave yourselves, the whole class will go right
back to school. And none of you will see the circus."
look what you've done, Billy," Mersina hissed at him. "You'll
be sorry if you bother me again."
In the stands, Mersina's class rushed for their seats. Mersina
got one of the best seats, right at the front. Billy sat down
behind her. The show was beginning now. Animals and clowns
and acrobats all marched in for the grand parade.
When the main events began, the animal trainer with his seven
tigers took his place in the center ring. Just then the popcorn
man came around, and Mersina bought a bag of popcorn. Billy
bought a bag, too. He took a handful of popcorn and dropped
it down the back of Mersina's neck. Mersina jumped - and spilled
all of her popcorn. She turned around and glared at Billy.
told you you'd be sorry," she said. She picked up a piece
of popcorn, whispered a magic word, and threw it at him. When
the popcorn hit Billy, he disappeared! And at the same instant,
an eighth tiger appeared in the center ring.
The animal trainer did not notice that he now had an extra
tiger. He raised a big hoop and cracked his whip at the first
tiger in line. It leaped through the hoop, and the crowd cheered.
Then it was the next tiger's turn. When the trainer cracked
his whip again, the tiger turned around and ran, straight
for the exit. The trainer shrugged and turned to the next
Meanwhile, Miss Robbins called out, "Where's Billy?"
Mersina looked guilty. If she didn't fix things up fast, maybe
they'd al miss the circus after all. She climbed over the
railing to get a closer look at the tigers. That one on the
end must be the right one, she thought. She pointed her finger
and said a magic word. The tiger turned into a tall skinny
man. He looked around and blinked in surprise.
Mersina pointed her finger at another tiger. It turned into
a short stout lady. Mersina was getting a little worried now.
Quickly, she pointed three fingers at three different tigers.
They all changed into people, but none of them was Billy.
There were only two tigers left. The crowd was buzzing and
screaming. The animal trainer was just standing in the middle
of the right with his mouth open. In a flash, the last two
tigers were people. But they were strangers, too. Where was
Then Mersina remembered that one of the tigers had run out
the exit. She dashed out the door to look for him.
Meanwhile Billy had run straight home. When he got there,
he tried to open the front door. But he could not turn the
knob with his big clumsy paws. So he scratched on the door.
When Billy's mother saw a tiger outside her door, she screamed
and ran to the phone. "Get me the police!" she shouted. "There's
a tiger at my door!"
Billy wanted to explain what had happened. He went around
to the back door and pushed on the screen. Tigers are so strong
that a single push of Billy's paw ripped the screen apart.
He squeezed through the hole and bounded in to find his mother.
"Mother!" he tried to call. But a horrible roar came out instead.
His mother screamed and fainted.
Billy sat down in the middle of the floor. He tried to cry.
But a tiger can't cry. He didn't know what to do.
There was a noise of sirens in the distance. The police were
Just then Billy heard a noise behind him. Mersina was there.
"Will you stop bothering me now?" she asked.
There was a screeching of brakes. A police car pulled up in
front of the house. Inside, Mersina pointed, and Billy turned
back into himself. The policemen broke down the front door
and rushed in. But Mersina quickly slipped out the back door.
don't think he'll bother me anymore," Mersina giggled.
2013 The Silversteins