The fabulist tale of Benny and Eleanor begins in New Orleans,
where they pranced and danced in Mardi Gras’ biggest parade. They saw each other as one of the floats passed by and knew they were destined to become best friends. An odd pair, those two; tiny Benny with long golden ears and stately Eleanor, her grey fur that shone like polished metal.
Life was good in the Big Easy. They feasted on discarded étouffees, Po’boys and beignets and the Mississippi river nearby provided their water. But Benny and Eleanor knew they lived on borrowed time. If the dog catcher swept them up, that would be the end. One day the two friends overheard a child ask her mother if they could go to the circus. Benny and Eleanor looked at each other and set out on their search. Eleanor spotted the giant red and white striped tent first and trotted towards it as Benny fell in behind.
They found the ringmaster, who instantly saw their appeal. The man was kind and patient and taught them a multitude of tricks. They were smart, fast learners and, as the Big Top’s main attraction, knew they would soon be famous. The big day finally arrived and the tent was packed. Benny emerged first, sitting up on his hind legs on the back of a beautiful white pony that galloped around and around the ring. He jumped off when Eleanor ran out and they performed a most beautiful tango. The crowd screamed and clapped as the two showed off more tricks and each one brought more cheers. As Benny and Eleanor predicted, they were now stars.
The circus traveled across the country and the Crescent City Duo, as they were called, were always greeted enthusiastically. One day the two spotted a couple in the audience and they felt something special. Benny and Eleanor waited outside after the show was over and followed the man and woman to their car, who both turned around and smiled. Benny and Eleanor knew their traveling days were over. It was time to go home.