Ooh! Aah!


He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease,
That daring young man on the flying trapeze.
His movements were graceful, all girls he could please….

“The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze”, originally published under the title “The Flying Trapeze” and also known as “The Man on the Flying Trapeze”, is a 19th-century popular song, first published in 1867, with words written by the British lyricist and singer, George Leybourne, with music by Gaston Lyle, and arranged by Alfred Lee.
The lyrics were based on the phenomenal success of trapeze artist Jules Léotard.

This photo must, surely, represent what Jules hoped to see when he looked down at the audience every night. Such awe, such appreciation, such respect.
How thrilled he would be if he could know little boys and girls the world over (big ones too) would don leotards, garments named after him, to learn gymnastics, ballet and acrobatics.

~~~~~~~~~~  That Daring Young Man   ~~~~~~~~~~

Dolly held the rope ladder as Louis climbed, letting it move a little from time to time for effect. Every now and then, he stopped and waved, or did one of his acrobatic stunts, eliciting the desired ‘Ooos and Aaaahs’ from the crowd. He reached the platform and took a breath. Now the real pain started.
He was too old to be doing this. He still retained his lean, muscular figure, still fitted the colourful, sparkly leotard and tights. Make up camouflaged the rest, but he felt the years in his aching joints and muscles. It took longer to warm up and longer to recover. He should retire.
The music led him on, flying with exquisite grace from platform to swing and back, double flip this time, triple twist that. With superb precision, Dolly fed him the swings or offered her arms as she flew to meet him. The noise of the crowd raised his spirit. He soared through the air, twisting, turning, leaping, flying. A good show today. Then, about half-way through, what he had dreaded happened.

As his hands grasped the bar of the trapeze, pain shot through his fingers and he couldn’t hold the swing. The crowd gasped. His other hand clung desperately and he hung in the air.

The music paused. Breaths were held.

Louis smiled through gritted teeth and swung his dangling body round until he could snatch at the bar and pray this time he could grip it.

He caught it, held it and swung himself up to sit and swing.

The crowd cheered, Dolly made a ‘What’s he like, monkeying about like that?’ face, the Boss fingered his money and Louis turned his  pain into a performance.

As Louis looked down from the platform at all the upturned faces, his heart filled with joy in his chosen profession. There was a row of little girls, their faces aglow with admiration and awe. With a wave and a smile he launched into the closing routine.

This is where he belongs, this is what he should be doing. This was his life.
He knew as he took his final bow, it was likely, too, to be his death.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. glenperk
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 15:46:46

    Wonderful little story. I was sure he was going to fall. Then I thought, Well, that’s how I would’ve done it but not you.



  2. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 20:07:25

    Great work , I was dangling with him for a minute. 🙂



  3. jorobinson176
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 10:56:40

    Fwoar! Dizzy now. Cool Christine!



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