The Blind Side

In the movie ‘The Blind Side’ Sandra Bullock plays a woman who learns about a world that is the antithesis of her affluent lifestyle.

We all have our blind sides. Mine is … … I guess if I knew what it was it wouldn’t be my blind side now would it?

I do know that I am a story teller and here’s a story I heard a long time ago that illustrates how our blind spots can lead to missing out on wonderful things.

The circus came to town with its giant tents and long caravans hiding exotic mysteries. They’d recently lost some of the smaller acts and in a stroke of promotional brilliance the owner of the circus advertised in the local newspaper for anyone who had a talent that might fit in with the circus. The auditions would be in the big tent three days hence.

The notice raised a ruckus from one end of the small town it to the other. Faded costumes were hauled out of old trunks in the attic and freshened up. Unused skills from idle adolescence replaced watching TV for the next two nights and it was surprising the amount of hidden talent that community had, at least in the minds of the townsfolk.

The afternoon of the auditions rolled around, a whole lot sooner that was comfortable for some of the would-be performers, but one pair seemed who seemed take it in their stride; Emily Carstairs, a widow, and her miniature schnauzer, Pauline.

Emily and Pauline had a humdinger of an act, one they’d been secretly working on since Emily discovered this trick Pauline could do. It wasn’t something planned for anything more than their own enjoyment, but the twinkle in Pauline’s eye when Emily showed her the newspaper notice convinced Emily that perhaps Pauline might want a little payback for all the times the other dogs snubbed her during the dog competition at the annual village fair. Truth be told Emily wanted to show off a little too. Just enough to make a point, without being ostentatious.

The circus owner called for volunteers to organize the auditions, but when no-one stepped up, a gentleman by the name of Caspar was ‘volunteered’. Caspar was bucolic by nature and not given to flights of fancy or be impressed by anything less than exceptional talent. His only failing, as the owner saw it, was that he could be a little abrupt, but other than that Caspar was perfect for the job.

George and Edna Hudson juggled all manner of kitchen implements, but when George’s tie somehow got caught in the cordless electric mixer, Caspar shook his head and said, “Next.”

‘Next’ was the Jimminey twins stiltwalking act. They weren’t half bad and Caspar waved them off to one side.

It seemed that everyone in the town had some sort of an act because the auditions continued into the evening and the lights lit up the inside of the big tent like a sports arena preparing for a concert.

There were only a few acts remaining when Pauline and Emily took center stage. Most everyone else was seated in the stands not wanting to miss out on any of the acts before or after their own.

Before Caspar could open his mouth Pauline hunkered low to the ground, took a deep breath and leapt up as high as she could. She went up, and up, and up. Somewhere near the apex of the tent she leaned to her left and began a long graceful spiral until she was low enough to catch Caspar’s hat as she flew past and fling it into the nose-bleed seats. Emily pointed where she thought Pauline should go for the best effect, waving her hand to indicate a spin to the left, or a forward tumble, or a back-flip. Pauline trusted her and followed the directions to the letter … er … gesture.

For the grand finale Pauline slowly rose to the very peak of the tent, up among the lights and scaffolding, drew in a big breath and started to howl. She projected her voice so far that all the dogs from one end of the town to the other started howling too. Pauline then plummeted straight down and came to a perfect halt an inch and a half from Caspar’s nose. She licked it once and sank down gracefully to sit at Emily’s side.

Emily gave her a doggie treat from her pocket and they both looked at Caspar expectantly.

The crowd looked at Caspar expectantly.

Caspar cleared his throat. “We don’t do dog acts.” He said.


“I’m aware of the mystery around us, so I write about coincidences, premonitions, emotions, dreams, the power of nature, magic” – Isabel Allende

8 comments on “Blind-sided

  1. Love this post! Point well made. 🙂


  2. clarbojahn says:

    “and a little bit of magic was lost that day” doesn’t show up on your blog post. But it did on my email subscription. It’s definitely needed and important to the story.
    Great story! Thank you for brightening my day.


    • Widdershins says:

      It was one of those things that makes me hope that someone, someday, will invent a time machine.

      Just as I hit the ‘publish’ button, within a nano-second, I decided that I wanted to edit that line out. It sort of fitted with the story, but I felt that I’d made that point already (I’m glad you liked it … which goes to prove that writing is such a subjective art) … so I did a quick ‘update’ and reposted.


  3. Was her other pet an elephant?

    The other interpretation of ‘blind side’ is the thing that comes at you from nowhere and knocks you down. (I suspect that version is based on the game of rugby, where the blind side flanker is an attacker off the side of the scrum.) Haven’t we all been blind-sided by the unexpected?

    thanks for sharing this humdinger of a story!


    • Widdershins says:

      I’ve been trying to remember where I first heard that story… and I think it was on a British TV game show way back last century. (in black and white)

      It was a bit like a poetry slam nowadays. The contestants were given a phrase and had a few minutes to concoct a story out of it. It could be either humorous or serious. Points were awarded wither way based on the creativity of the storyteller.

      As I recall, this story, or an approximate facsimile thereof, won.


  4. A.M. Kuska says:

    I’ve never heard it, but I liked it!


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