Masha

” … it reminds me of Masha.”

“Masha?”

“A bear.  She is part of a Russian travelling circus troupe and performs a tightrope act. There was a picture of her in your Time Magazine the other day. It showed her handling the balancing act. Wait, I will find it for you.”

Pomi climbs on my desk and starts searching for the magazine.

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” What a mess. Your desk!” Pomi’s little voice complains from under a pile of paper.

” Found it.” He resurfaces with the magazine in question

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and shows me the picture of a bear balancing across a tightrope, clinging to the rope with all fours.

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” This is it. This is  Masha. Isn’t it sad?  She must be so frightened.”

Pomi sits in silence looking at the picture of the circus bear. Suddenly he jumps up, climbs off the desk and starts to run around. He rolls two of my yoga  mats up and into the middle of the room where he puts them up as pillars.

” Ok guys, you are going to help me with this.” Pomi grabs Mr.Left and Mr.Right and ties them each around one mat.

” Mr.Left,  turn around. Nothing is going to happen.”

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But Mr. Left keeps smiling at the door while Mr.Right offers a supportive grin towards the improvised tightrope.pomiwat309

“Can you put some books on each pillar?” Pomi asks me and I do it with a smile.

” You know those circus bears are taken from their mothers at a very young age.” Pomi tries to climb the rope.

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” Can you put a cushion on the floor, in case I fall.  The bears have to go through hard training .”

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” They have their muzzles pierced with hot needles

and  a rope is threaded through the holes.” pomiwat311

” They are forced to stand on their hind legs and perform.” pomiwat310

” The bears are afraid and often hungry and they are afraid of heights.”

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” How do you know all this?” I ask my little crochet guy who is now standing on the rope. One hand still holding on to a book he is struggling not to loose his balance.

” I looked it up on the internet.” He answers and falls.

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“I had expected  to find some compassion for Masha  but  what I actually  saw was a lot of praise for the photo and hardly a word about Masha’s suffering. ” Pomi says scrambling to his feet.

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” But you have to admit Pomi, it is a very good picture.”

”  Maybe, but still. What is more important? A good picture or a suffering bear that needs help? ”

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Pomi tries to walk across the rope again and again but falls off each time landing on the cushion

pomiwat304”  I am sure Masha does not have a cushion. – I will try one last time.”

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And this time  Pomi manages to balance along the rope almost halfway across. Then he looses his balance and falls down.

” I did it.  I finally did it. And I have had enough now. It was hard, strenuous, frightening, painful and I do not like it.  I choose not to be a tightrope artist. Masha does not have a choice. ”

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