Tragedy at the German Flea Circus

Afleabans many of you are no doubt aware, I am one of a handful of flea circus proprietors in the world.  My one man, two flea show, the Acme Miniature Flea Circus, has been performed in over 39 states and 6 countries since 1994.  We have been fortunate to have received a fair amount of acclaim for the show, including articles in the NY Times, the AP, the Los Angeles Times, Details Magazine, Travel and Leisure, and scores of other publications, television shows, radio programs, and other media outlets. We were even a question on Jeopardy!

It was with shock and horror that Midge, Madge and I (well, I read it to Midge and Madge) read the AP story about the death of over 300 performing fleas from the bitter cold that is currently plaguing Germany. We stand, of course, in solidarity with those innocent flea victims.

If this had been lions and tigers….or rabbits, I shudder to think of the penalties that would await the trainer of these animals.  Or worse yet, dogs or cats, our traditional family pets – is there any question that they would lock this trainer away forever?

Flea Circus Customized TrailerBut, because these are fleas, it becomes an odd story for the newspaper,a bizarre but true tale to tell.  There is no Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Insects to be outraged.

I want you flea circus fans and insect activists alike to know that when we travel, I bring Midge and Madge with me on my person in an escape proof fur-lined box.  There has never been any chance of this awful fate befalling my insects.  And there never will be.

The microscope was developed  by the Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek to study the lifecycle of the flea.  For some time afterwards, the microscope was known as the “Flea Glass.”  Von Leeuwenhoek is famous for having said “God’s greatest wonder is in his smallest creature.”  (Naturally, he said it in Dutch!)

Let us please have a moment of silence for these innocent and wonderful creatures who have lost their lives in a senseless and preventable tragedy.

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