When I was little, my Pop would tell me the story of Jumbo the elephant when I was sick. I'm not sure why a story that ends in elephant death seemed to soothe me so, but it worked. Between the Jumbo story and the animal cracker box I came to know that circuses traveled by train, but it's not something I thought about with any regularity.
Many years later, when I was too old to be told the story of Jumbo, I spent a few days working for Pop. I was stacking firewood there by the railroad tracks and looked up. Passing right by was the circus train. I could make out the animals inside, just like on the cookie box. O.K., not just like on the cookie box, but I could see them.
Today, as a train passed by really close I thought of the tigers and Jumbo and Pop.