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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Odd Wisconsin: Well-trained circus parrot knew his lines
from:  host.madison.com
Wisconsin Historical Society
January 16, 2013
In 1871, P.T. Barnum came to Wisconsin and established his famous circus.

For two decades he traveled the country with his animals, acrobats and entourage of eccentrics. Barnum may never have actually said, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but when asked when he would quit the business he replied, “When all the fools are dead.”

Barnum kept a talking parrot leashed to a perch outside the main entrance of his circus. It entertained customers who mobbed the ticket booth trying to get into “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

One day, the bird got free and Dave Watt of Janesville, a circus employee, was sent out to look for it. Watt drove a horse and buggy through the town where the show had stopped, asking everywhere about the lost parrot. Finally, at the edge of town, he heard a flock of crows making a lot of noise in a nearby field.

Tying the horse to the fence, Watt waded into the corn to investigate the commotion. Sure enough — there was the terrified parrot clinging to the top of a corn stalk, mobbed by crows cawing and pecking at him.

And above the noisy crows Watt heard the parrot shrieking, “Keep quiet! Don’t crowd! One at a time please!” as if it were back on its perch outside the circus entrance.

You can still experience the circus at Circus World Museum in Baraboo. Several historic buildings, exhibits and a giant screen theater operate on weekdays throughout the winter.
Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/odd-wisconsin-well-trained-circus-parrot-knew-his-lines/article_97272346-5fe4-11e2-8b11-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2IEO6oLXb

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