The bear raised up on its hind legs balancing the dirty ball on its nose for a few seconds. Then it dropped the ball and looked out through the bars with rheumy eyes as if to see if any had noticed. A few of the kids stopped and looked for a minute. A few even smiled to see the bear do its trick. Then the bear rolled over and wallowed in its own filth; as it did revealing ugly patches of diseased skin.
Parents looked away and tried to hurry the kids along. They were mostly disgusted by the bear now though this was balanced by pity. Once the bear had been impressive they remembered – the star of the show. But at some point the bear had gotten sick. Maybe it had always been sick but now its sore ridden, mangy fur could no longer hide the sickness within.
The circus owner was sad to see what had become of the bear. The owner remembered when the bear had entertained and seemed to enjoy doing it. People came often just to see the bear; not anymore. But what could the owner do? Some did still come to see the bear. For it was a bear. Even though it now lashed out in anger more than it played, there was nothing really to replace it with so the owner decided to just let the bear do as it pleased until it would no longer come out at all.
Many who could remember back when the bear was impressive and deserving of respect hoped that would not be for much longer.
I'm a bitter drinker....I just prefer it that way