Saturday, February 28, 2009


This has been translated from french to english,so sorry if some of it reads a little strange..Margaret


The books of which the general public of today shows itself the more puff relate themselves to the one of the three following categories: narrative of a performance, presentation of a fate out of the ordinary, beast histories. Now, here that a single book exceptionally musters these three magic elements that plaisent to our contemporary ones, for such is well, to our direction, the first quality of the memories of Short Alfred.

During near of a half century, Alfred Runs to traversed Europe and America, not in traveler, but among << les gens du voyage >>, C'est-a-dire that it lived circus life, more hazardous or more brilliant, more always more picturesque and a lot of unforeseen. A beautiful evening, it became the most famous tamer of the world and this not at all is the a fleeting title since, under the capitals, no one again attained in this specialty an international notoriety equals to hers, not more than Grock was replaced with the clowns. At last, Alfred Runs knows better than person these varieties of beasts than one calls ferocious. N'a-t-il not, almost every day, for twenty-five years, did pass hours and hours to the center even of the cage to the big cats?

The familiar personages of his universe are the lions, the tigers, all the varieties of bear and of panthers. Doubtless itself it has of them to observe as early as the first encounter in the cage, would not be what for protect his own existence, but his view cannot be Celtic of a naturalist or of a friend sentimental of the beasts, it is necessary for him essentially to master of the animals wild and them to erect next, for is there his trade. Each of them finally will have to accept subjecting to itself the will of the man, of him to obey continually, to the point no longer to be than a living wheel in the one extraordinary disturbing and meticulous machinery than the laymen call a number of big cats. But one will see that Short Alfred succeeds in do "to work" in the same more than twenty cage beasts, belonging to various animal families, the least imposing beast, by the size or the weight, always being able to terrace an experienced tamer and to bleed it on the spot, read p quickly that would not do it a cat of a mouse.

Such are the life conditions in the cage to the big cats. Of his long experience, Alfred Runs to pulled elements of animal, curious psychology or surprising. At the same time, it informs us on this personage to the strange trade that is the tamer, man that must show to the laws of attention and of intuition, of physical force and of nervous resistance, of prudence and of courage. One will know even that the most famous tamer of the world, got used to handle the stick and the toy, had have several cried times as a child in front of the brutal death of an of its big cats.

Who is therefore Alfred Runs? How did orient itself his destiny? Which is the true existence of a tamer of big cats? To these two last questions it book brings the better response; the first one, we put it to the book author.

Been born to Marseilles the 1st January 1883, tenth child of a rich family of industrial, Alfred Runs will be done, acrobat as early as the age of fifteen years.

Beforehand, with the Jesuits as with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, it declares having been a bad student, unruly, disruptive, more often the last than the first one of his class. The only prices that swear for him awarded are those of drawing and of gymnastics... Naturally!

Is ten years old, with his brother Julius, his oldest child of two years, it has, in the big gardens of the natal house, constructs a velodrome in earth beaten, to the carefully raised bends, for the two boys dream to become racers cyclists. Some years later, Alfred is proclaimed champion of gymnastics of the vi1le of Marseilles.

To the gymnasium "The Phocean one", it good encounter number of artists of circus that, in unemployment period, come there to repeat their number. It secures himself friendship with professional barristes. The stationary bars will become his first one and big passion, it there consecrates all its leisures and, entire evenings.

This is while arrives the ruin of the paternal business. When dad Runs says for him: "You also, my small one, it will be necessary to work", without nothing to say to person, Alfred Runs decides of what will be his life. Feeling threatened of a job of clerk of office in the soap factory of his uncle, to 30 francs a month, it chooses the circus, of as much as, become partner of a professional barriste, his salary of a day will surpass what the soap factory wants well to give to him for a month of work.

Thus, a beautiful day, it flees family dwelling and it would have milk its beginnings to Montpellier, under the capital of the "Swiss National Circus", if, an hour before representation, the policemen were not -come to look for it with mission to bring back it to its parents. Alfred Runs, in fact, has not again sixteen years...

But it will not have a long time to await. The 1st January 1899, the young man takes the rolls for voucher. The trip will last fifty years, with of notable hitches, since more than twenty injuries punctuate the career of circus of Short Alfred. Barriste, acrobat, hand carrier to hand, perchiste, it does several falls, of which it one is rather serious for qu it is declared unfit to all military service. More bacon, it will be guiding circus. it has not hardly more than twenty years when, with his brother Julius, it is founded the "Circus Egellon", one of the bigger ones of the era. C is The success, the fortune, but, four years later, back of the m├ędaille, the Circus Egellon is cornered to the bankruptcy.

Toul is to recommence. Resuming his, trade of artist, Short Alfred travels through all Europe. One sees his name in poster head in, all the capitals. In the spring of 1914, it presents to New York of the numbers of classified acrobatics already among the big stars of the circus Barnum and Bailey.

After traversing in all direction the U.S.A., Canada and a part of central America, there remains blocked to Gauged by the revolution. Finally, it fails to Mexico where it will be again first guiding circus and, sudden... tamer of big cats. Why?

Short Alfred you will say it. It is time, of him to yield the word. This is a man that a lot saw and a lot kept.