Everyone passed by without even looking. He couldn’t even juggle more than four balls, and yet it was what he did best. They kept falling to the ground. Sometimes someone pointed and laughed. Then they kept walking.
Three town guards came by.
Hey! Said the officer in charge. You can’t juggle here!
No buts! Get lost! If I see you juggle those balls in this town again, I’ll take them.
Jerome left with no money. He passed by the market, found some passed fruits and left over bread in the garbage and walked down the river out of town. Disillusion. All he ever wanted was to travel and juggle, and he couldn’t even do it right. He was a failure.
He found a little forest outside of town, and lay down under his blanket. The full moon made it difficult to fall asleep. After a while he heard a sound, the sound of something falling to the ground. He lifted his head. There was a strange white light from the bushes. He got up, walked over. A ball was lying there. A strange, glowing ball. He picked it up. It looked exactly like the moon. He looked up at the sky, just to make sure. The moon was still there.
It was astonishing, like holding the moon in his hand. He threw it in the air. It moved in a strange way, like it was defying gravity. Amazing.
He got his bean sacks out of his bag. Started juggling them with the new ball. They made strange loops and movements in the air. Even his hands seemed to follow the moon ball.
The next day he went into town again. There were more people today, there seemed to be some kind of festival. He stood up in the main square, started juggling. He started out with three balls, two of his old ones and the new one. He threw up another ball. And then the fifth.
He was juggling five balls like he had never juggled before, even with three. He was throwing them behind his back, between his hands, round in circles, up and down, back and forth. People stopped.
Look! A man said.
Wow! Said another.
They were clapping and cheering, people throwing him coins. A lot of coins.
The soldiers from the day before appeared.
I told you you can’t juggle here. The officer turned to his men. Get his stuff and take him to the office!
Hey, let him juggle! One of the women in the crowd said. We want to see!
Yeah! Let him!
King’s orders are… The officer started.
Buuu! Fuck the king!
Yeah! The king sucks! Fuck him!
Hey! You can’t insult the…
An apple came flying from somewhere in the crowd, hit the officer in the face.
A tomato followed. Then a rock. Soon it was raining fruits, rocks and other objects. A riot broke out. The soldiers ran away from the angry mob.
Jerome got out of there. As he left town he could hear the rebellion extend behind the town walls. Further down the road a farmer came by on his ox wagon. Jerome gave him one of his many coins to take him down south.
He was quite sure his luck had changed.