I Found it on the Internets: Norman Rockwell, Circus "Freak"

I found the photo online, though I can't remember where. All I have is my notes about who the photographer was. Love this photo. I adore those fake tattoos. I double times infinity love the intense, defiant look of the mother, the totally fierce face her daughter is making, and the sweet, cheeky faces of the two boys.

The false, drawn on tattoos remind me of a tale told in one of my favorite books, "My Adventures as an Illustrator" by Norman Rockwell.

Apparently, Rockwell's very first job was as a "Mangled Boy" in a county fair. Little Norman was spotted by the barker for "Amy the Wild Woman", a carnival "freak" dressed in rags and sitting in a cage. Norman's job was to stand by the cage, and when the curtain fell away and Amy was revealed, he was supposed to be "caught" by Amy and scream and cry in terror while she pretended to try to eat him.

Funny thing is, Little Norman wasn't pretending. He really was terrified of Amy the Wild Woman. His tears were real and so were his screams. He tried to quit after the second show, but the barker bought him some cotton candy and convinced him to give it another go. He did this for five shows and every time he was terrified. Every time his yells were completely genuine.

Then came the sixth show. Norman glanced down in mid-howl during this performance and saw Amy looking up at him. She gave a little wink, and suddenly Norman wasn't afraid any more. He continued to yowl and carry on, but now he was enjoying it. Rockwell recalls feeling triumphant when his work for the traveling circus was over.

He had that job for two days and then the fair moved on. He made two dollars and ten cents.