The female kangaroo is surely a wonder, and seems to be built on plans and specifications different from any other animal, cause she has got a fur-lined pouch on her stomach, just like a vest, that she carries her young in. When the babies are frightened they make a hurry-up move towards ma, the pouch opens, and they jump in out of sight, like a gopher going into its hole, and the mother looks around as innocent as can be, as much as to say: “You can search me. I don’t know, honestly, where those kids have gone, but they were around here not more than a minute ago.” And when the fright is over the two heads peep out of the top of the pouch, and the old man grunts, as much as to say: “O, come on out, there is no danger, and let your ma have a little rest, ’cause she is nervous,” and then the babies come out and run around the cage, and sit up on their hind feet and look wise. That kangaroo pouch is a success, and I wonder why nature did not provide pouches for all animals to carry their young in. I think Pullman must have got his ideas for the upper and lower berths of a sleeping car by seeing a kangaroo pouch. I am going to study the kangaroo and make friends with the old man kangaroo, ’cause he looks as though he had troubles of his own.
Pa showed up without any coat, while I was kangarooing, and there was a rip in his pants, and I asked him what was the trouble, and he said he got too near the cage of a leopard that seemed to be asleep, and the traitor reached out his paw and gathered in the tail of pa’s coat, and just snatched it off his back as though it was made of paper.
[Illustration: A Leopard Reached Out His Paw and Gathered In the Tail of Pa’s Coat.]
Pa is a little discouraged about his experience in the circus the first day, but he says it will be great when we get the run of the business. He says every day will have its excitement. Tomorrow they are going to extract a tooth from the boa-constrictor, and pa and I are going to help hold him, while the animal dentist pulls the tooth, and then we scrub the rhinoceros, and oil the hippopotamus, and get everything ready to start out on the road, and I can’t write any more in my diary until after we fix the snake. Gee, but he is as long as a clothesline.
Pa Reproves the Fat Woman
for Losing Flesh—The Bearded Lady Faints
in Pa’s Arms—The Bad Boy Introduced Into Animal Society—They Pull
the Boa Constrictor’s Ulcerated Tooth.
Winter Quarters of the Only Circus, April 20.—Pa has had a hard job today. The boss complained to pa that the fat woman had been taking anti-fat, or dieting, or something, ’cause she was losing flesh, and the living skeleton was beginning to fat up. He wanted pa to call them into the office and have a diplomatic talk with them about their condition, ’cause if this thing continued they would ruin the show.