My daughter Denise wants to run away with the circus, and I don’t know what to do.
Denise is 13 years old, and a happy girl in every sense. She adores karate and gymnastics and, as a result, can twist herself into all kinds of amazing knots and contortions.
She can do the splits at the drop of a hat, she can stand on her hands like you or I might stand on our feet.
Worst of all, she has never been shy of the limelight. She’s the ideal candidate for the circus.
But I don’t want her to run away with the circus, I was hoping she might stay here on the farm, and run it someday.
My trouble all stems from last week, and that fateful night, when I had the misfortune of taking my children to Fossetts Circus in Macroom. Down in the mart grounds, in my home turf, if you like, and I thought little of it, for over the years, the mart grounds have provided me with nothing but pleasure.
Anyhow, we experienced one hell of a show. Fossett’s pulled out all the stops. Their performing jugglers, acrobats, clowns and daredevils captivated us all.
I had never been so excited in the mart grounds before, or at least not since I bought two Friesian bullocks back in 1996. The pair weighed 350kg and cost me a mere 250 quid.
I remember they had two premiums left to be collected, so I was on a winner regardless of what I did.
Later that same year, with fortune on my side, I sold the pair to Colonel Gaddafi and his Libyan exporters for a handsome profit. My Macroom bullocks ended up in Libya where they could well have found their way onto Gaddifi’s plate.
The Libyans back then, you see, were rather partial to the meat of the Friesian bullock, while turning their noses up to Herefords.
I took my Friesians up to their boat docked in Tivoli. From Tivoli to Tripoli, my cattle saw the world.
Anyhow, back to the circus, and my distress over my girl’s determination to join it.
Worse again, now I’m sorry to report, my 10-year-old daughter Grace also wants to join!
She claims she can do extraordinary things with her toes, and I have no doubt that she can.
But I’d prefer if she too became a farmer and didn’t run away with the circus.
But alas for me, and farmers of my generation, many of us I fear are the last in our line, the last in the farming game.
And the reason I believe this is s because in farming we have hoops by the dozen, endless hoops, to jump through, unlike the circus where you have a limited number of hoops to jump through.
Yes hoops of bureaucracy, hoops of stupidity.
And unlike the circus where there are only a handful of clowns, in farming we are surrounded by them. Not funny clowns, but clueless clowns.
And unlike the circus, where a daredevil might only have to run or ride a motorcycle to avoid calamity, in the farming environment of today, disaster can always be just around the corner.
Calamity can strike by way of an unexpected letter, or a seemingly innocuous phone call. yes, even Evel Knievel would be shaking in his boots, and his jumpsuit, if he was an Irish farmer in 2019.
So maybe I should relax a little, as the circus for my girls might be a safer bet, in many ways.
With a circus, you know what’s around the corner, in farming now we rarely do.