The concluding paragraph, however, is pure Onion.
Cheers, laughter, and applause filled the big top tent at the Ringling Bros. Circus Saturday as children of all ages were captivated by the savage enslavement of Topsy the elephant.
Whether young or just young at heart, thrilled audience members watched with glee as a circus trainer forced the frightened Topsy to perform tricks by brutally poking and prodding the traumatized 4-year-old pachyderm.
"He's such a funny happy elephant," said 8-year-old Madison Helms, referring to the abused creature that spends the majority of his time chained up in a cramped, feces-covered enclosure. "He loves being in the circus!"
The crowd reportedly let out loud gasps and vigorously clapped when Topsy stood up on his hind legs, an unnatural and excruciatingly painful movement that stresses and permanently damages the 8,000-pound elephant's joints.
Topsy also delighted the audience after the trainer repeatedly thrust a hooked rod into his skin, causing the miserable animal to lift one leg and his trunk to simulate waving.
"Aww…" said the assembled circus-goers, who were taken by the cuteness of the barbaric spectacle.
Eyewitnesses who spotted the trainer patting the side of Topsy's body during the final trick were convinced the elephant and the man were best friends, though in fact the look of reverie on Topsy's face was the result of his daydreaming about stomping and crushing the cruel asshole's head like an overripe melon.On the serious side, Ringling Barnum recently defeated a lawsuit alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act, although the legal grounds will likely be contested.