CUTHBERT, THE FIREMAN CLOWN
There was once a clown called Cuthbert who would often ask a child from the audience to come up on stage with him.
Every day before starting the show, Cuthbert the clown would put on his red shoes, which were twice as big as his feet, and stick on his red nose. The circus music started to play and the procession of clowns began. A whole pile of clowns began streaming out of a fire engine – one, two, three, as many as fifteen clowns!! They were all dressed up as firemen and when they were all on stage, Cuthbert ordered all the lights to go off and just one spotlight to choose which child would come on stage today. There was a drum roll, and the spotlight fell on its chosen child.
Charlie, for that was the name of the lucky boy, ran out on stage to the clowns. Cuthbert asked him, “Are you ready to start the mission?” to which Charlie answered: “Yes I am!!”
At that moment, Cuthbert took out a red sponge nose and put it on Charlie’s face. Such was his surprise when all the audience started to laugh at the funny sight of the little boy and the big red nose.
But suddenly the little boy began to look upset, for he felt as though everyone was laughing at him. In another moment, he had burst into tears and tore off the nose that Cuthbert the clown had given him, running out of the circus as fast as he could.
Everyone waited to see what would happen next. But the clowns went on with the show, whilst Cuthbert went to look for Charlie whom he found hiding at the back of the big top.
“Charlie, why are you crying?” asked Cuthbert the clown kindly.
“Because everyone was laughing at me!” replied Charlie between sobs.
Then Cuthbert understood why Charlie was feeling so upset and said: “Charlie, when I come out on stage to act, do you laugh?”
“Yes…” answered the boy.
“Exactly. That’s my job, to make people laugh. And that’s what you did tonight. You made the audience laugh and that’s a wonderful thing,” Cuthbert told Charlie. And little by little, as he listened to the clown, Charlie stopped crying.
The little boy asked: “So… they weren’t laughing at me?”
“Not at all!! They were laughing with you. They’ve come here to have a great time and laugh until their sides split.”
Then Charlie understood that perhaps it’s not a bad thing to feel silly because someone puts a clown’s nose on you. The most important thing of all is to make people laugh – and to do that you have to learn to laugh at yourself.