Matt Jones

The Clown at The Green Festival

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It was eight in the evening, the sun was disappearing and we decided to get an ice-cream. In the queue behind us was a woman wearing clown make-up and spectacles; she had been performing in the travelling circus earlier that day. In her right hand was a bright orange knap-sack containing what looked - in the dimness of sunset - to be a dead chicken. We ordered two ninety-niners from the ice-cream man and turned, slightly perplexed, to look at the clown and the chicken again; it was her turn to order. Before she started fumbling for change, she gently put the knap-sack on the counter of the ice-cream van; the head of the chicken was poking out from underneath the orange material and its eyes were tightly shut. As the man waited for payment, he looked down at what was lying on the counter and chuckled in a ‘is this really happening’ kind of fashion. The chicken, still motionless, opened its eyes to survey the situation… and what a strange situation it was. The clown turned to us and smiled ‘The farmer gave it to me… I hypnotised it and now it's my pet’. We smiled back and asked her how she hypnotised it, to which she replied ‘Now that would be telling!'. She took her ice-cream, gathered up the chicken and the knap-sack and jaunted off into the darkness.