carnival’s in town

The roving carnival pulls into town. Out the school window you see figures pounding stakes, raising tents, lights on strings arcing across the park as whirling amusements power up.

That night, after a rushed dinner, you walk the strawdust paths of the carnival, gawping at stuffed animals, darts, funhouses and music, so enchanted it takes you a while to notice that every carnie is dressed like a plague doctor, their faces under leather beaked masks.

They cry: Step right up and let us cure you!