Bedlamfarm.com – by Jon Katz
When I was nine years old, the Ringling Bros. circus train came to Providence, they parked by the railway station, and the circus and its animals paraded through the city, a beautiful and amazing sight. The big and calm and handsome elephants led the parade, swinging their great trunks back and forth, swishing their tails. There was a dignity and magic about them that mesmerized me and I will never forget it. Watching the parade, I became an animal lover, I saw the beautiful Asian elephants walking proudly through town on the way to the circus tents being set up in a large field.
It was the first time I saw an elephant like that, I became a circus lover that day and counted the days on the calendar until the circus returned. I remember little else about the circus, the elephants fired my imagination in a special way. Those days are numbered. Ringling Brothers announced yesterday that are, after decades of legal wrangling and assaults from animal rights organizations, they are ending a tradition that is hundreds of years old, succumbing to pressure and phasing out their elephants over the next three years. It may be that I will never see an elephant again, and it is certain that millions of kids will never get the chance.