The Lion Tamer

From Gilbert Krebs, the author of this tale is not known.

Once there was a circus that was without a doubt the best circus in the world because it boasted the best lion tamer in the world. He was spectacular, the lions would do whatever he said, the high point, of course, was that he would stick his head in a lion’s mouth.

When the circus started losing money the owner started selling off animals and equipment to help meet expenses. He called the Lion Tamer into his office.

“I’d really like to keep you on, because you keep the circus going,” the owner said. “But, I’ve had to sell your lions because they cost too much to feed. Still, you’re good, and we need you, so if you can come up with an act with what we have left, you’ve got a job.”

“Well, I do need a job,” the Lion Tamer said. “What animals do you have left?”

“Well, to tell you the truth,” the owner said, “the only animal I have left is my faithful old Bassett hound. I’d never sell him!”

“I’ll take him,” said the Tamer.

So the Lion Tamer worked with the Bassett hound and taught him the entire lion act. The dog caught on right away, but there was a problem: no way was the Lion Tamer’s head going to fit into the dog’s mouth. “My foot will fit,” the Lion Tamer said, so he tried it, and sure enough the dog picked that up too.

Opening night, the Lion Tamer did the act with the Bassett hound, and the crowd loved it. They’d never seen anything like it before. At the end of the act, when the Lion Tamer put his foot into the dog’s mouth, the crowd went wild. “Encore, encore!” the crowd yelled.

Well, the Lion Tamer hadn’t thought of an encore before, so he thought to himself, “If one foot is good, two is better.” So, he stuck his other foot into the dog’s mouth.

Well, the two feet together are almost as big as the dog’s head, so the dog was choking and gasping, and finally out of self-preservation, he clamped his jaws shut, biting off the Lion Tamer’s legs at mid-calf.

The moral of the story is:

Don’t put all your legs in one Bassett.

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