Pierrot stared mournfully at the star of the circus troupe's comedy act as she listened to Harlequin serenading her. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever met, not to mention the kindest, and funniest.
Small wonder, then, that he wasn't good enough for her.
He’d tried to confess his feelings so many times, but she was so stunning that he could barely get any words out in her presence except when they were doing their act.
Thus, once the dashing new performer Harlequin arrived, he quickly realized his suit was hopeless.
"You don't understand women at all." The beastmaster cracked his whip, making Pierrot jump. "Of course she wanted someone who actually pursued her. Isn't that right, my sweet?"
Belle, his assistant, giggled as he wrapped the whip around her waist and pulled her close. "You're always right, darling!"
"There, you see?" The beastmaster flicked Belle's nose as she leaned in to nuzzle his cheek. "Make her want you! Make her realize you're in charge!"
"But I don't want to be in charge."
The beastmaster ducked away from Belle's fervent kisses. "...why not?"
"Louise is too...I just couldn't!"
The beastmaster looks baffled. Belle shrugs and shakes her head. "I...don't think I can help you, then."
Pierrot watched the beastmaster and Belle walk off. They did seem happy together, and every other girl in the circus sighed over him constantly.
Maybe it was the whip.
Pierrot picked it up gingerly from the dirt.
"Now how did he...ow!"
No, this was definitely not the way to go about it.
The next day, as soon as their act ended, Louise turned and ran out of the big top.
Pierrot caught up to her behind one of the performer tents, crying on her tightrope-walker cousin.
Harlequin was so kind to her. Why wasn’t she happy?
“Oh...Pierrot...” She wiped her eyes and smiled shakily as he brought her a cup of water from inside the tent. “I’m sorry, Pierrot, I don’t feel very funny today. We’ll have to rehearse later...”
“Did something happen?”
“I’ve got to go on, honey,” Louise’s cousin says. “Pierrot, can you keep an eye on her?”
Pierrot hovered nervously as Louise sat down on a colorful heap of folded tent fabric.
“What am I supposed to do, Pierrot...”
“Harlequin...he’s so nice, you know, but...he says we should leave the circus. He says I’m too good for this place, that I should be in Paris and perform on a real stage with lovely gowns and things, but...all my friends are here, and I love the travelling and everything...what do you think?”
This was his chance! He could tell her what he really thought and convince her to see him differently.
“You should do what makes you happy, Louise,” Pierrot said. “Harlequin loves you, and I’m sure you’d like Paris. I can find a new act, if that’s what you want.”
“Oh, Pierrot!” Louise smiled and wiped her eyes. “You know, Harlequin never asked me what I wanted...”
She stood up and took his hand. He stared at her in confusion.
“I almost made a terrible mistake. It has to be you, after all.”