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BS: Flea Circus

SINSULL 24 Apr 00 - 11:42 PM
Mbo 24 Apr 00 - 11:45 PM
Kelida 24 Apr 00 - 11:46 PM
Sorcha 25 Apr 00 - 12:02 AM
Amergin 25 Apr 00 - 12:03 AM
Mbo 25 Apr 00 - 12:04 AM
Jack The Lad 25 Apr 00 - 12:10 AM
Sorcha 25 Apr 00 - 12:12 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Apr 00 - 12:14 AM
katlaughing 25 Apr 00 - 12:25 AM
Sorcha 25 Apr 00 - 12:32 AM
Escamillo 25 Apr 00 - 12:48 AM
Sorcha 25 Apr 00 - 12:55 AM
Amos 25 Apr 00 - 12:59 AM
Little Neophyte 25 Apr 00 - 01:31 AM
Gary T 25 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 25 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 10:44 AM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 10:46 AM
Áine 25 Apr 00 - 10:54 AM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Apr 00 - 11:02 AM
SINSULL 25 Apr 00 - 12:02 PM
MMario 25 Apr 00 - 12:04 PM
Rick Fielding 25 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM
Mbo 25 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM
Bert 25 Apr 00 - 12:18 PM
Mbo 25 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM
annamill 25 Apr 00 - 12:54 PM
Dave Swan 25 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM
SINSULL 25 Apr 00 - 01:45 PM
MMario 25 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM
MMario 25 Apr 00 - 02:26 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM
MMario 25 Apr 00 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Mrr 25 Apr 00 - 03:30 PM
SINSULL 25 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM
MMario 25 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM
Caitrin 25 Apr 00 - 05:29 PM
Mbo 25 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
Helen 26 Apr 00 - 08:47 AM
Bill D 26 Apr 00 - 06:58 PM
Bat Goddess 27 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM
Bill D 27 Apr 00 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Penny S. 28 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

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Subject: Flea Circus
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 11:42 PM

Several of the saner members of my family claim that they attended flea circuses (circi?) in which live fleas dressed in everything from gladiator costumes to can-can dresses danced, pulled chariots, were shot out of cannons, etc. I always thought these were scams. Any eye witnesses to confirm or confound the above? Sorry this has nothing to do with music,but an "expert" always turns up here on every subject. Thought it was worth a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 11:45 PM

I've actually seen them pull little chariots and walk on wires...but never wearing clothing!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Kelida
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 11:46 PM

I too have heard of such things, but have never seen one. Good question. BTW, you can't by fleas at a flea market, although you may get some from some of the people there.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:02 AM

Heard of this, but wouldn't know, we panic over 1 flea! and de-flea everybody!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:03 AM

So that's where I keep getting those damn little buggers!! *scratching head fiercely*


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:04 AM

This would make a GREAT Song Challenge!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Jack The Lad
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:10 AM

I saw one , in my childhood, at a British seaside town. They pulled chariots, walked tightropes and wore little skirts etc. My family won't believe me either. what is it with families? Flea circus ringmasters were reputed to feed their actors on their own arms. Jack The Lad


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:12 AM

Do you have to watch them thru a microcsope or what? I mean, fleas aren't very big, after all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:14 AM

Look, I'm not kidding. I just can't believe this, although I've heard about them all my life. Is there anyone with lotsa time on their hands..like Catspaw..maybe, who can find a picture. How big are these things anyway?

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:25 AM

They were tiny. The only one I remember seeing is one my sister had; it was dead, preserved somehow and had a full suit of clothes. I never was sure if they all were pulling my leg or not, though. When we moved to CT where they have fleas, EVERYWHERE, if you own a pet that goes outdoors, I decided there was NO way the one she had could be real; it was bigger than any I saw on my dog or cats! Now I am going to have to ask her about it!

How about Mexican Jumping Beans? I had those!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:32 AM

Fleas are just smaller than the head of a pin, but they are big enough that you can see them when they jump, I have. When the infestation is big enough it looks like a patch of tar on the critter, that is an old flea nest, and full of eggs. (Mexican) Jumping Beans are real, they are beans that have a worm embryo inside that is moving around, and the worm either eventually dies or hatches if it has food.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Escamillo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:48 AM

Rick said:
>How big are these things anyway?
Well, Rick, it depends on regions and kind of host organisms, for example Gimenez's fleas (he's our official dog) are big enough to somehow lift and move the whole dog from one place to another while he's asleep, and then they eat Gimenez's meals. They are almost impossible to train because they don´t obey orders and they fear nothing, once I tried to start training two of them on my desk, but they kept throwing the mouse to the floor, messing with the ashtray, and threatened to bite my throat. That´s why you can hardly find a flea circus in Argentina, besides the mosquitoes problem, but that´s another story...
Un abrazo - Andrés (ouch)


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:55 AM

Andres, that is naughty!! U can go to hell for lying as well as stealing you know...........but then there are Sand Fleas............


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:59 AM

Bravo, Escamillo! You crack me up!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:31 AM

I once had a pet moth I named Sunny, that was born in a glass jar full of sunflower seeds. Sunny would flutter around in the jar while I ate my breakfast. We had a good relationship, me and Sonny. He was good company.

I once had this great plan to import Mexican jumping beans back into Canada and start up the old fad. But between the Food & Drug act at the time and agricultural import laws and bylaws, it just wasn't worth the energy.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM

I haven't seen them, but I've read about them in a source I consider reliable. Some time at the library would probably produce some documentation, possibly some photos. I'm pretty sure that the species used in the flea circuses is different from the one(s) found on pets, logic and kat's post tell me they must be larger than the ones on Fido or Muffy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM

Awferchrissakes...............

HERE

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:16 AM

From my childhood ;

One two three, mother caught a flea.

Put it in the teapot and made a cup of tea.

The flea jumped out, mother gave a shout.

And in came father with his shirt hanging out.

JG / FME.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:44 AM

And for those of you suggesting a song challenge.....WELL..In the days before Aine, the Texas Tornado, began the Song Challenge threads, there was th occasional challenge of sorts. This one was started by "Lady Helen of Oz" and has quite a few interesting responses. These challenges were a bit different, but I think you may like it. And if you read MY submission and wonder what the hell a Dental Dam is, please go look up the infamous condom thread where they were brought up (and then explained by the inimitable Joe Offer......through a website and not personal experience, I might add).

A Flea, an Orange, and a Bicycle Seat

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:46 AM

Well, I whupped that up, but that's the thread title anyway.....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Áine
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:54 AM

Hey Spaw,

Texas Tornado, huh? Click here for Helen's thread. (Ya buggah!)

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 11:02 AM

Andres refers to the exceptional size of his local fleas, not to mention mosquitoes. Well, _I'm_ from Minnesota, where, though our fleas may be ordinary, our mosquitoes aren't!

My uncle had an old-fashioned farm, did everything the old-fashioned way, for a while. One day he was plowing with his mare, Ole Bet. Two mosquitoes flew down and grabbed Ole Bet and flew away with her, dragging the plow behind them.

My uncle ran after them, but couldn't keep up. Just before they got out of sight he heard one say to the other, "Where shall we hide her so the big fellows won't take her away from us?"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:02 PM

You are all insane. But thank you for the help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:04 PM

flea circus

flea circus

fleas in OZ

flea facts


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM

Thank you all for taking my question seriously.....but I still want to see.....AN ACTUAL FLEE IN COSTUME! Who makes their outfits? Versace? Calvin Klein? The "little" tailor down the street? How big ARE they? I need dimensions, folks, in m.m.s iff neccessary.

If you think I'm obsessive about this, you should have seen how long I searched for a book on Medieval potties. (I found one)

Look I'm one of those dough-heads who looks at Planes and still can't figure how they get up in the air. I just can't figure how more than 4 or 5 people can get close enough to a couple of costumed fleas and verify that they're ACTUALLY recreating the chariot scene from Ben Hur.

Humour me

Rick

P.S. Thanks Catspaw. and remember "Flea Elian"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM

There once was a flea and a fly
Who were frightened and longed to be free
Said the fly "let us flee!"
Said the flea "let us fly!"
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Bert
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:18 PM

Did YOU just write that gem Mbo??/


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM

Naw bert...it's an old nursery rhyme my sister is very fond of quoting.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: annamill
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:54 PM

Kat, I had several Mexican Jumping Beans when I was a sprout. Being the tomboy, curious as I was, I opened them all. The had little worms in them. Gross, huh?

I've heard of flea circuses, but never saw any. I always thought they were a figment pulled over your eyes.

love, annap


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Dave Swan
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM

Once again, as soon as your recycle a raft of magazines, you'll need them again. Smithsonian Magazine ran an article on flea circuses about three years ago, complete with photos of chariots, wagons, and wee costumes glued to their little backs.

That article might have been bumping aroung in my head when I cracked up in Helen's thread.

E.S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:45 PM

I checked all the offered sites before I put in my request. This search has gone on for some time. Sad but true. I have yet to see a picture of a flea pulling a chariot. And I don't believe. "Oh ye of little faith."


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM

from a review of the Flea Circus that is playing Sydney:

Cardoso Flea Circus

My first experience of theatrical fleas was at an early age when my parents took me to see comic pianist Victor Borge, and the seats at the old Capitol were infested. I would like to think that perhaps these fleas were runaways from the circuses of the old vaudeville days. I doubt that Maria Fernando Cardoso's fleas have any cause to run away. She feeds them on her own blood after all. In her opening 'lecture' Cardoso tells us that training fleas is a mixture of science and patience-a patience that is not easily found in this modern world. However, it is the technology of custom-designed, ultra-magnified live video projections that make it possible for today's audience to be enthralled by creatures less than 2 millimetres long. And good god, they really are live fleas!

Cardoso, replete with gigantic magnifying goggles and a sheer lime green ringmaster's jacket, gently guides us through the art of training fleas-a lengthy, but entertaining and educational summary of her research. Did you know that fleas copulate for 8 hours, male fleas have 2 penises, and that female fleas are better jumpers and are used exclusively in the circus-the male fleas being retained to keep the girls happy? Then she puts them through their tricks. Being so totally amazed that they actually were real fleas, seeing their little legs wriggling on the video screens, I forgot to watch for exactly how Cardoso gets them to do the high dive, walk a tightrope, sword fight and climb Mount Everest. (The cynic in me suspects fleas are just doing what fleas do-if placed in precarious positions, they hang on and try to get to the other side or gravitate to the warm furry thing.) Her underplayed ironic delivery and little asides when things went wrong, such as taking the flea that was dropped by her trapeze partner to the women's shelter, make Cardoso a very beguiling ringmaster.

The Cardoso Flea Circus is a lecture, a demonstration, it's performative but not quite a performance, a recreation, a friendly farm where you can go up to the enclosures at the end of the show and watch the ballerina fleas keep dancing. It's a genuine sideshow attraction at our very own home of vaudeville, the Sydney Opera House. I still find myself stuttering out "They really are live fleas!" Gail Priest


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:26 PM

flea on "tightrope"


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM

I have seen "flea circuses" on TV when I was a kid, possibly on the old Ed Sullivan show. You could see a little chariot (or whatever) moving around the tabletop, but you had to take the "ringmaster's" word for it that it was being pulled by a flea. I may have believed it as a kid, but I now think it was a great leg-pull. They probably used hidden magnets under the table to move the chariot.

Another thing I "saw" was a miniature trapeze that began to swing when the invisible "flea" jumped on it. Come to think of it, I seriously doubt that a flea would have enough mass or momentum to start a trapeze swinging.

One thing I am curious about: When flea circuses were in vogue, how many audience members believed in them, and how many were in on the joke? (I wonder the same thing about professional wrestling, tabloid newspapers, and TV evangelists.)

Great thread! It may not be musical, but it certainly concerns our common heritage and folklore, which is close enough for my money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM

Jim, I dunno' about the flea circus thing, but I have always thought that a good master's thesis could be done on the correlation between big-time TV wrestling and big-time TV religion. I think they share an audience.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:16 PM

'Spaw - for some people they ARE the same thing....


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:30 PM

Mbo - the first line is A flea and a fly in a flue. Otherwise when they flee through the flaw in the flue you wonder - what flue? And I was about to post that here when I saw yours. You gotta stop reading my mind :-)!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM

HOW CAN YOU COMPARE RIKICHI AND THE ROCK TV EVANGELISTS?WRESTLING A FRAUD? NEXT YOU'LL BE TELLING ME THE EASTER BUNNY IS A HOSTILE TEENAGER DRESSED IN FUZZY PINK!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM

uhm...SINSULL? you seen the last song challenge thread?

(sorry)

(grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Caitrin
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:29 PM

Hey, a good friend of mine was the easter bunny at the mall, and he's not hostile! Well, not very hostile. At least, as long as you don't make him mad. : )
Mrr's right about the first line. Also, I always heard the second line as "said the flea, what shall we do?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM

Well it appears I'm busted! I couldn't remember how it went, so I improvised! Ha ha--the limerick folk process!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Helen
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:47 AM

Hi y'all,

I have seen an act which was described as a flea circus. A man performed it at the local library where I worked at the time. His act was all miming and make-believe. It was very clever but not very convincing. He could have worked on that, i.e. been more convincing. He just did this act because it was different from the usual puppet shows for kids - it was a way of making a living.

Funny how I thought about the Flea, an Orange and a Bicycle Seat thread too - great minds think alike. I really enjoyed that - what challenge can we pose this time, 'Spaw?

Helen, in Oz

"that was no lady...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:58 PM

to 'actually' view dressed and performing fleas, you will need a plug-in for your browser.

Because the little buggers are so small, the ordinary RealVideo, WebCams, etc., wont show them well enough to satisfy discriminating minds like Rick. Therefore, you need to download and install "FleaView2000". This is a combination video player and area magnifier, which allows you to position your cursor over any area of the screen and see 2x,4x, or 8x views of the action...(oh, it is amazing to actually SEE them grasp their little hoops and bars as they go through their act!).....the program is also useful, when used in reverse,(that is, focused outward), to determine the make-up of spots on your screen..helps tell whether the kids have been eating PB&J at the PC again.

The program is, of course, FleaWare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM

When I was a pre-teen sometime in the late '50s, I saw a flea circus at the Wisconsin State Fair. Lately (and usually late at night) I've been trying to reconstruct exactly what I saw. Dunno what kinda critters they were, but they were, indeed, pulling chariots, on teeter-totter type dealies, doing tricks and stuff like that. All took place on a tabletop of prolly less than 2 sq. ft. Ringmaster human being ran the show.

I don't remember them being as small as the fleas I protect my cats from . . . but then again, I was a LOT shorter then!

Linn, the Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 11:24 PM

I really do expect that circus fleas are a special species......I'd sure hate to have to sew costumes for the ones on my cat


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Subject: RE: BS: Flea Circus
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

Somewhere, in a museum I think, but where I cannot recall, I have seen the paraphernalia of a flea circus, and acquired the "knowledge" that the equipment was glued to the little suckers. It was convincing. But the nearest I have come to seeing a flea perform was in one of Michael Bentine's shows, where each week his (wholly imaginary) tiny creatures would perform some amazing fleat. One would climb the steps of a diving board and jump into a minute container of water, with a splash. The one that really sticks in the mind was Hans und Wilhelm climbing the north face of the Eiger, with tiny squeakt commentary.

"Now ve will attempt the ice fall, Wilhelm." "Jawohl, Hans"

The machinery which showed their tiny footsteps, or bending ladder steps was fascinating.

Penny


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Mudcat time: 28 January 5:36 PM EST

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