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Mini-Witch At The Circus

"Ouch!" 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."

"Now 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.

"I 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 tiger.

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 Billy?

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 coming!

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.

"I don't think he'll bother me anymore," Mersina giggled.



©1972, 2013 The Silversteins