Today it all happened. I didn’t know it yet, but soon the most exciting day in my life would begin. Let me explain.
My name is Lily, and I live with my Mum, Vikki. One day a girl called Daisy came to visit us with her dad. I am always very excited and run around when visitors come in, but Mum told me to sit down and behave. I’m good at sitting too. Daisy looked impressed.
“Good girl, so obedient and so pretty,” she said and sat beside me. I liked her. I tried to stand up, but Mum told me to sit down again. I just wanted to play.
Daisy’s dad talked to Mum about their Magic Show and their reason for putting out the advertisement for volunteers for their newest magic trick. At least a troupe of four.
What did that mean? There’s only my Mum and me in our house. Maybe I’ll get to meet some new friends? I wriggled with excitement.
He explained that he needed me to make up a small team. In one trick, there would be two of us in a second cage placed on a large box. We’d be covered with a cloth and after an ‘abracadabra’ and removal of the cloth, the cage would be empty. We’d disappear!
Funny that my Mum wasn’t worried. Vanish? Be gone? I suddenly felt perturbed. My Mum didn’t look concerned in the least.
Daisy’s dad continued, “Then I’ll walk over to another cloth, placed over the first cage, previously shown to the audience as totally empty, and voila! I uncover it and there they are, safe and sound. The crowd will go wild, especially the children.”
Mum didn’t seem surprised. I nearly fell off my chair, but Daisy helped me settle again.
“I just need to know if it’s quite safe,” said Mum.
“Oh, as safe as when I get cut in pieces and lose my head in the guillotine!” He chuckled, and so did Daisy.
I whined a complaint. My Mum laughed as if she found his words reassuring.
“Of course, it’s safe. Perfectly safe, and we give treats as rewards. We have another trick where we double the number. Whip away the cloth, and we have two; then do it again, and we have four,” he said.
I wondered how there could be more of me. Would we come home with Mum? Would I have to share my food and bed?
“It’s why we came today. We need her to be obedient and calm. From when she sits with you in the audience, to when you, on cue, come to the dressing room. Then we take them to the stage area in front of the audience. She's got to feel safe in a cage without complaining. We also needed to check if she's the right height and if she’s friendly. She’s a cutie but it wouldn’t do if she is shy or scares easily.”
Does he mean there is something to be scared about?
“She’s very friendly. Loves to be around people, loves attention and is very quiet,” said Mum.
Mum doesn’t seem worried.
“Well, it’s settled then. We’ll tell you where the Fair is situated, and you can bring her for an audition tomorrow morning at ten. We’ll select others, and the best four will be in our new magic act. If she’s chosen, you’ll sit in front until your cue, and watch some of the show for free. You can then bring her around back for the actual trick. The Fair is only open on weekends and some public holidays. I hope you don’t mind everyone making a fuss over her before and after the show. I think she’ll be very popular if she can perform well.”
“It’ll be so exciting for both of us, won’t it dear.” Mum looked at me expectantly. I sat up straight and put on my best listening face.
Daisy held her arm around me. “Does Lily have any cute clothes?”
“Yes, she has,” my Mum answered.
“Could Lily please wear her cutest wee outfit, with a tiny ponytail on top of her head with a bow?”
“She loves to dress up,” answered my Mum. "Or at least, I love to dress her up!"
“Oh, so do I,” said Daisy. "I have some gorgeous outfits. Dad, well, sometimes he dresses more like a clown. We do some dancing and acrobatics, and Dad, he misbehaves. I punish him by putting him in a narrow box, like a wardrobe. That’s when I shove boards through him, and it looks like I’m cutting him in pieces. You probably know that trick.”
“Well, yours is a bit different.” said my Mum laughing. “ Usually, it’s the female assistant who gets shoved in a box. So, you go, girl!"
Daisy giggled. “Oh, don’t worry, he gets his own back. I catch him doing something wrong and want him to put his hands through some holes, which I lock up. Then I put his head under the guillotine. He acts all confused, like he doesn’t know what to do, so I demonstrate for him. The audience is yelling out warning me, but I want to show how it’s done. Then I’m trapped. He performs the trick on me. . . It just looks scary.”
I felt a bit better knowing that the cutting up of her dad was a trick, but the picture in my mind still looked shocking. Especially the Killateen trick! At least I wasn’t going to have that happen to me. Just dress up pretty, disappear in one place, reappear in another, and get treats. And get adored by all the visitors.
That night I could hardly sleep while thinking about being in the Magic Show.
The next day we go to the park where the Fair is set up. We find Daisy’s and her dad’s big trailer for the audition. I'm not frightened at all. It is great to meet all the other hopefuls.
The trailer has one part opened up. It's been set up for the music and speaking. It's filled with a lot of technology and other equipment. The stage is just a grassy area with a cord slung around the perimeter. The audience sits on the other side of that. Very close. I can see a lot of gear scattered around, unset. Cages, boxes, a tall cupboard with a door. Slots in the door look suspicious. Also, hoops and balls. A colossal chest sits on the grass with its lid wide open. I guess that each item has some part to play in a trick. To one side sits a fold-out lounger. I imagined Daisy resting on it.
The audition goes smoothly. My Mum Vikki is so proud of me.
Daisy gives me a hug. “Oh Lily, you are just perfect. I knew you would be!”
I’d love to tell you how they do the disappearing trick, but I can’t. It’s a secret. It’ll be such a surprise for everyone, especially the children. Please come along to see us. It’s a clever show, and I just love Daisy. She is so talented. As good as me.
The biggest thrill of my life is doing our act in front of an audience. First, I watch Daisy and her dad doing all sorts of hilarious and clever things to some great music. When it is my turn, we look out over the crowd watching us. A very different perspective. My new friend Mitsy wriggles with excitement, but I behave perfectly. And my! When we reappear, the crowd just love it and clap and cheer. They adore us.
After the show, the children come up and put coins into a hat for Daisy and her dad. They pet me and the others, and one of the Mum’s says, “What a dear little Terrier. So sweet.”
That’s me, Lily the Terrier. Did you guess? My fur is so silky, and my little nose and eyes are ideally placed for the most adorable puppy-dog expressions. With my little pink tutu, smart jacket, and pink bow at the top of my head, I look like a little doggy doll.
I’m so talented. After all, I can disappear and reappear. But how Daisy can glue her dad back together after he’s been sliced up beats me.