We stopped at Potter Valley on the way to Eel river. 
I would later find out that it is a common stop on the way to the north.
And as we were getting gas and ice I noticed the banner for a rodeo coming up a few weeks later.
At that date I turned out to be in the valley, working for a grower, so I went to the rodeo.
When we were kids we used to go to the circus in the south of France during summer holidays. We loved it. We were very attracted to this nomad carnival life and just loved the shows even though they were sad, pathetic and very poorly orchestrated. 
A goat walks and we were cheering, a trained dog we were in sweat. We’re from Paris maybe I should mention that. 
One day the clown asked for a volunteer and Antoine jumped and screamed until he was picked up. He had to close his eyes and spread his arms. He must have been seven or something. Then an assistant clown arrived from the back with a python and I thought my mom was going to die. Everybody were petrified, frozen almost. I guess Antoine felt something was wrong and turned around. He tried to leave the stage but they told him not to, so he stayed and touched the snake. I can’t really remember whether he carried it or not, but he touched it alright. Like a rite of passage and then he was a man.

He has three sisters, he was going to touch the damn snake.

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