Helping Out

I was walking across the bridge near my home. I noticed an elderly lady standing on ledge of the bridge, looking down at the river.

I said, “Are you okay?”

She looked at me. She was crying and trembling. She said, “I’m jumping. You can’t stop me.”

I said, “Okay. Then I was wondering if you can do me a favor?”

She said, “What?”

I said, “Well, I have a pet bear. Her name is Mildred. I got her from a circus that was passing through town about two years ago. She wasn’t able to balance on the big ball and juggle anymore. They were going to put her down. But I offered them some money and they sold her to me. Anyway, I’ve really been enjoying her company. But last week we were watching a documentary about Yosemite on the Discovery Channel, and I noticed Mildred had tears in her eyes. It breaks my heart to think of letting her go, but I think her real home is in the deep woods. I’m wondering if you can take her?”

She said, “What?!? Why can’t you take her?”

I said, “Because I know myself, I’ll drive there and I won’t be able to do it.”

She thought it over. She looked down at the river, then back at me.

She said, “Alright.”

I helped her down off the bridge’s ledge.

I said, “Thanks, you’re really helping me out.”

We began to walk towards my house.

She said, “You know, I used to be in the circus when I was a young girl. My parents’ were clowns. I was born on the road. I learned how to be shot out of cannon. It was fun for me. I used to like looking down as I sailed from the cannon to the safety net. I remember once gazing down at the lions in their cage. They were looking up at me. They had such a look of curiosity. I imagined they were thinking, ‘Wow, she can fly.'”

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