The high wire was 150 feet in the air, trembling as the turbulent air buffeted it, first from one direction, then from another. Below, there was no net.
The veteran trapeze artist climbed with confidence, a large wicker basket secured to his back. His ascent was purposeful and quick, reaching the platform in less than three minutes, the spotlight following him smoothly as he rose. With him went the encouragement and praise of the enthusiastic MC, barking adulation as the artist neared the platform.
"This is one of the high points of the night, ladies and gentlemen: in center ring we present to you the Amazing Rollo, unicyclist and juggler extraordinaire--working, as always, without a net! You've never seen anything like this, folks!
And I'd like to take the time to remind you that, as with every show, a generous portion of the proceeds go to the ASPCA to fund the good work they do with animals every single day! Let's hear a round of applause for both Rollo and the Society!"
When he reached the top, Rollo doffed the basket, placing it on the platform. With practiced ease, he loosened the straps, then reached over to grab the unicycle lashed to the side of the platform. He mounted the unicycle on the wire, then reached into the basket and removed four golden retriever puppies. Clutching the puppies, he did a backflip onto the unicycle and pedaled backwards to the middle of the wire.
"You can really tell how much Rollo loves those puppies, folks: see how glossy their coats are?"