The Clown Who Lost His Smile

The Great Randozo had always been a happy clown. As his circus travelled from town to town, he would do nothing but smile. And the people he performed for in show after show, would laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

One night, though, the Great Randozo had a terrible dream. He dreamed he had lost his smile and that all he could do was frown. Night after night, no one would laugh at him, for he was too sad to be a clown.

In the morning when Randozo awoke, he still remembered that dream and it bothered him a great deal. He was feeling a bit odd when he sat down at the dressing table in his trailer. He didn't really feel sick. He didn't have a headache or a stomach ache or a sore throat or anything. He just felt strange.

The Great Randozo figured his odd feeling would pass, for soon there was a show to do. He put on his make-up, his big red nose and his rainbow-colored wig. He tied his big long clown tie around his neck and laced up his giant yellow clown shoes.

And then he looked in the mirror.

"Oh, no," the Great Randozo exclaimed when he saw his reflection. 'My dream has come true." A sad clown was starting back at him. Instead of wearing a grin from ear to ear, he was wearing a frown down to the ground.

Randozo looked everywhere in his trailer. But he didn't find what he was looking for on the floor or on the chair or on the table or on the bed. He didn't find anything in the laundry or in the closet or in the garbage pail.

He slumped to the floor. He had, indeed, lost his smile.

"What good is a clown who only knows how to frown?" bellowed the ring master when Randozo told him. "It will be a long, long while before a clown performs in this circus without a smile!"

Randozo panicked. He couldn't be a clown with a frown. What would his father say? What would his mother say? What would his friends say?

"I'll look high and I'll look low," Randozo vowed. "I'll look mile after mile if I have to. Whatever I do, I'll find that smile!"

The Search

The Great Randozo started looking in the cages of the lions and tigers. He didn't like the big cats with their big fangs and sharp claws who never smiled. So he asked Fearless the Lion Tamer to help him.

And Fearless did. He went from cage to cage and he put his head in the mouths of the most ferocious of lions and tigers. And although he was at it for a while, he did not find Randozo's smile.

"There's no smile in here, and I'm not 'lion,' Fearless said with a laugh as he tried to cheer up his friend. "Get it? Get it? Huh? I ain't lion!"

Randozo just frowned, for that was all he could do. He couldn't even manage the smallest grin, not matter how funny Fearless was.

Next, Randozo went to Elsa, the Elephant Keeper. who looked about as old as the elephants she trained. He told Elsa of his problem and she looked everywhere around the big beasts. She checked behind their ears and under their feet, but didn't have any luck."

"I'm sorry, honey, said Elsa. "I checked everywhere, even in their trunks." And she laughed a big belly laugh. "Get it? Trunks, TRUNKS!"

Once again, Randozo couldn't laugh, not without his smile.

"I've got to find that smile," he said, as he saw Jock, the horse trainer, walking toward him. They camped next to each other when the circus was on the road.  The two friends headed over the the stable area, and Jock looked all around his horses. But there was no saddle in sight.

"Sorry, neighhhh-bor," said Jock. "Get it? Neighhhh-bor."

Randozo slumped away. "Aw, come on. that was funny," shouted Jock after him. What was he going to do?

Soon the Big Top would be full of boys and girls, and moms and dads. And they would be looking forward to a fun night. How was a clown with a frown going to show them a good time? "They'll probably cry and be as sad as I," he mumbled as he stumbled on past the dancing bears.

"Hey Randy, ol boy, you'd better find that smile of yours or you'll be out of this business. You'll have to go into hibernation," yelled Teddy the bear trainer. And
he laughed a mean, heartly laugh.

What's Going to Happen?

Randozo knew Teddy was right. He walked along, thinking and thinking and thinking as the trapeze artists swung right and left and the high wire act climbed into its pyramid way above the ground.

As he strolled by the main gate trying to figure out what to do, he noticed a little boy gripping the bars and pressing his face into the space between. He didn't look happy, either.

"Hi, there, sport. What's the matter with you?" asked Randozo. 

The little boy looked at the clown, and even though he was sad, he smiled. "I want to go to the circus very badly, but I don't have any money," the little boy said. "What's the matter with you? You look as sad as me."

"I'm a clown and all I can do is frown," Randozo said. "I've looked everywhere, but I can't find my smile anywhere. I don't know what I'm going to do."

The little boy looked at Randozo for a bit, tilted his head to one side, and then the other. Then he smiled and said, "Why don't you just stand on your head?"

Randozo considered that for a minute. It would be crazy to do a whole show on his head. I wouldn't be comfortable. Besides, he didn't even know if he could do a headstand for that long. But then, he had an idea.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue and yellow and green and red and purple and black and red and white hankerchief. The little boy laughed. "When is that thing going to end?"

Randozzo pressed the hankerchief to his face and pulled it away. And there, on a bright yellow square, was Randozo's frown. When he turned it around...

"Well what do you know?" he said. "I didn't lose my smile afterall. I just put it on upside down."

Randozo grabbed the little boy by the arm and they raced back to his trailer. "Wait here," he said and he disappeared inside. He put his make-up on all over again, and lo and behold, there was his smile.

Randozo scooped the boy and they ran toward the Big Top. The show was starting and he gave the little boy the best seat in the whole tent.

The Ring Master called in the clowns and Randozo waited for his friends in the center ring. He looked around and around and there were smiles everywhere, not a single frown to found.