Unicorns, fairies, and a snarling lion

The midway unfolds to the horizon. It is uncomfortable, unsettling, and thrilling. To your right a group of children giggle. Girls with their hair braided with gem stones and flowers crowd around a rose covered gate.  Their tickets look wet and shiny crumpled in their tight hands. The girls flutter and flit in their excitement. Their small wings beat so quickly there is a musical note you heard once at the end of an opera. The girls flutter and inch or two above the straw covered ground.

You try to look over their shoulders but it is no use, the girl’s height and flight patterns are to erratic to predict. Once they are admitted you lean over the fence, careful of the thorns. The Magical Petting Zoo. The girls have settled to the ground and are braiding the unicorns mane.

You wander down the row of cages and are surprised to see an open pen. The girl is there with her lion. It’s head is on her lap and she is scratching it behind it’s ear. The purr vibrates your nerves.”Aren’t you afraid?” you ask blushing a little hot in your cheeks. You feel like you have interrupted.

“I have never worried about Benny. We have been together so long.” It is the girl from the big top. Her blonde hair falls over her face. Her fingers disappear deep in his fur. She leans closer with a smile. “You should have seen him as a rabbit. He was much more frightening then.” The lion snarls and settles.