BY AVA REINHARD-BOYD - 10 YEARS OLD - SINT MAARTEN
Stacy’s parents owned a popular circus. From Day 1, Stacy was fascinated by the tricks that the animals and performers would do. People would travel from far away just to see their circus. It was the biggest in the land.
As Stacy grew older, she began to pay closer attention to what was happening behind the scenes of the show. Stacy started her first job at the circus at age 12. As time passed, she began to understand things that weren’t explained to her as a child. She began to notice things that the people around her were ignoring. Things like the animals being whipped and abused by the trainers, starved for food and kept in cages their whole lives.
Eventually, Stacy built up the courage to ask her parents why the animals had to live like that. Her parents told her what’s most important is the crowds who come to see a show must be pleased.
Year after year, Stacy kept working for her parents. She would sneak into the circus at night to feed and water the animals. She would let them out to play. Stacy did this for years and years, until she was old enough to try to change it.
Making changes wasn’t easy. She begged her parents to shut down the circus, even if it meant they would have no money. She had a plan to release all the elephants and other animals to a sanctuary where they would be safe from abuse, where they had water and food every day and plenty of room to run and play.
It took a long time, but Stacy was finally able to convince her parents about right and wrong. Eventually, her parents shut down the circus and helped all the animals to find beautiful new homes.
After that, Stacy and her parents helped shut down all the circuses in their entire country, giving the animals the freedom they deserve.
When you ask Stacy what saved her animals, she says, “Love.”