top of page

The short and the brave

I’m MeatbaII the clown I jump up and down I roll on the ground I run all around I have to be funny To get my money

Even when I’m feeling sad Even when my life is bad I have to act crazy I just can’t be lazy

You see I am small

Sometimes I wish I was tall But I took after my granny and ma And I never grew tall like my pa

My real name is Jannie. I’m 18 years old I come from a town with diamonds and gold The name of the place is Kimberley And there I lived with my family Until my mommy ran away. With a man whose name I never say

Soon after that my daddy died My granny and I just sat and cried My uncle Adam took us to stay At a place called Durban far away

My uncle Adam was a father to me He took me fishing at the sea But he was very strict as well When I was naughty, he couId tell Every time I came home late He locked the door, he locked the gate

At primary school, my life was tough The other kids were very rough They laughed at me because I was small I felt so weak in front of them all

But soon I learned a clever trick I learned to fight back with a brick I may be smaII, but my eyes are strong When I throw a brick, don’t get it wrong.

Sometimes school was not so bad I remember good times that I had I played cricket and I acted in plays So there were some quite happy days

But I broke Uncle’s rule I liked to dodge school Down by the sea My chommies and me We had fun at the pinball halls There we played with the silver balls Because I was small I stood on a crate I won all my games and I felt really great

One day we were walking down at the sea A car drove past. The driver looked at me Then he turned around, and back he came He stopped his car and he toId me his name Come and work at the circus. Lets see what you can do”

I was scared but I wanted to go And try my luck in the circus show I told my aunty and she let the family know Then my whole famiIy met to decide yes or no

Uncle Adam was worried. He said, “What if you get hurt What if you end up lying in the dirt? And also something else – you haven’t finished school I don’t want my Jannie to grow up a fool”

But in the end he nodded his head I packed my bags and sat sadly on my bed I said goodbye to my family and cried a few tears They were good to me for many long years

Then my new Iife started, I changed my name Life was not at all the same

Tommy the clown taught me what to do I learned that a clown can never look blue I learned the tricks, I painted my face And I played the fool all over the place

Then the circus left Durban and that was bad I felt worried and lonely and very sad I only felt better When my famiIy sent a letter

But now I feel fine because I’ve got a friend My lonely days have come to an end My friend is Johan and he works the circus lights We sit together and talk in the nights

I like my job and I feel okay Maybe the good days are here to stay When people laugh I’m happy as well But when they don’t clap I feel like hell

Maybe when I leave this job, I’ll be a movie star Maybe in that job I’ll go really far Then later on my dream will come true And I’ll buy my own roadhouse, bright and new

But for now I’m Meatball the clown I jump up and down I roll on the ground I run all around I have to be funny To get my money


If you would like to print or save this article as a PDF, press ctrl + p on your keyboard (cmd + p on mac).

bottom of page