Quiet under the BIG TOP

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:01 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Circus performers got a Labor Day morning break when nobody showed up for the Bailey’s Circus at the Boone County Fairgrounds on Monday.

The performance tent, at left, sat empty for the day, while performers relaxed and got ready for the later shows.

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old elephant Little Queeny, above, basked in the water and sun during the quiet day at the circus. At 10,000 pounds, Queeny is a lot to take care of.

Owner Mike Swain, above right, said they bathe Queeny at least once a day — more if she’s dirty.

“She’ll eat pretty much anything she can get her trunk on,” elephant caretaker Roderick Henry said. “She likes anything drinkable and sugary.”

Henry said Queeny has been known to drink a Coke by chewing up the can and spitting it out, though Swain and Henry mostly feed her carrots and potatoes.

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