Now I know some children are scared of clowns but I was never one of them.
I was fortunate that most nights my parents would take it in turns to read to me. I had many stories read to me in my childhood but of all the stories I most looked forward to hearing it wasn’t those written by a celebrated author. Instead it was the stories my dad used to make up about a group of clowns. These were toy clowns who after the lights went out, came alive, got out of the toy box on the high shelf and made their way down a rope to the playroom floor below.
And my favourite of all was ‘Silly No.6’ the last of the clowns to escape the toy box. Instead of taking his time like the proceeding five did every night, he used to rappel furiously down the rope ending up knocking the others asunder like ten-pins into a big heap at the bottom. He did this in every story…and it still made me laugh.
They had many adventures these clowns – always getting in scrapes of one kind or another but always seemed to make it back up the rope just before sunrise. And there they stayed fast asleep until the next night – when the mayhem would begin once again.
I wish my dad would have wrote the stories down as my memory of them is quite limited, the one thing I can remember is that I always went to sleep smiling. He’s not around anymore, having passed away nearly two years ago, the grief of the event still hitting me from time to time – it’s with me now as I write this and remember him. But here amidst all the doom and gloom, as tears form in my eyes and start to run down my cheeks an amazing thing has happened…a smile has crossed my face as I remember him sitting on the edge of my bed asking me whether it is time…
…to Send in the clowns.