Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/218

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184
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

fore he could reach the door they were at him again, and in the onslaught his right arm and hip were frightfully lacerated. His grit, however, was indomitable, and he struck and jabbed right and left like a gladiator. Finally the howls of pain from the lions revealed the fact that he was getting the upper hand of them, and at last they were driven howling and whining into the corners of the cage and he backed out of the door. No sooner was he safely outside the cage than he became unconscious.

It was a good thing for the countryman whose folly had stirred up the lions that he contrived to make his escape from the grounds before the circus men got hold of him. This incident is simply typical of hundreds of others perhaps more interesting and exciting. It will, however, serve to indicate the constant perils that surround the trainer or performer, many of which arise from sources over which he has no control.

I have often been asked if the training of animals does not quite generally involve considerable cruelty. This, it seems to me, may fairly be answered in the negative, although one exception should be made. Though great firmness must be shown in working wild ani-