It all began with spying a bird's nest. But from then on things became rather bizarre, what with a juggler and a circus!

Megs was in the garden watching butterflies. She looked up to see Rohan and Sandhya waving to her from over the fence.

“Guess what? We just found a bird's nest. Want to see?” asked Rohan excitedly.

Soon the three of them were climbing the tree.

“See…” whispered Rohan, reverentially.

“Ooooooo,” exclaimed Megs, her eyes wide with awe.

Just then they heard a soft “psst! psst!” from below. Looking down they saw arather small man, in a top hat and a tail coat and striped pants.

“Can you get that nest down? I need it,” he said.

“No, we cannot get the nest down. The mother bird will be home soon,” said Megs quite annoyed.

“But I need that nest,” said the small man impatiently, and stamped his foot, and waved his hands around.

“Bad luck!” said Sandhya, “'cause we aren't getting it down for you!”

When they got down from the tree they saw that the small man was really angry. He was fretting and fuming and his face had become a rather dull red.

“Why do you need the eggs?” asked Sandhya.

“I need it for my act tonight. I am a juggler in the circus and my latest act is juggling fresh bird's eggs.”

“That's a laugh! Why don't you try snake's eggs?” said Rohan. “I hear that's a more difficult trick!”

“Make fun of me, will you? I'll show you,” he said. From his pocket he began to pull out a long length of thick rope. When he had a sufficient length he made a lasso of it and quickly threw it around the three of them. They were indeed surprised at the turn of events, but they were not really frightened, as they thought he was too small to harm them. But, they were mistaken. He tightened the knot and hauled them onto his back and trudged off.

“Where are you taking us?” asked Megs.

“To the circus!” he replied. “Since you won't give me bird's eggs to juggle with, I will juggle with the three of you.” He giggled hysterically as he said this.

When they reached the Big Top it was already evening. The place was in a flurry of activity. The small man rushed in with the three of them still on his back. Then somewhere at the back of the tent he deposited them with a big thud.

“Ouch!” they cried.

The man ran around getting this and that and acting very busy. Then he came over to them and dragged them over to the Big Top. He waved his hand around the three of them thrice and mumbled a few words.

Before Megs and her friends knew it they were doubled up — very much like eggs. He carried them in on his arm. As he entered, they heard loud cheering from the crowd. Then everything went very quiet.

Music started up, soft and mellow. The small man was just beginning his act. Slowly he began to throw Megs, Sandhya and Rohan in the air. As they came down, he threw them up again. Soon the tempo of the music changed. And the man's act became faster. Now he was catching them with his foot and his head and even his nice, round tummy. Suddenly, the music stopped. They landed on his arm once again. He bowed to the cheering audience. They wanted an encore but he just waved to them and traipsed out.

“Hee hee hee!,” he giggled. “Now let me set you up for tomorrow. Let me get my rope!”

“Come on! Wake up, you two,” said Megs. “We need to run away. I can't take another day of juggling.”

They were really giddy, but then they knew they had to escape. They ran as fast as they could.

As they were leaving the circus ground they turned around to see the small man waving and calling out to them and throwing out his lasso. The three of them just laughed and ran on.

Keywords: jugglingcircus