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Louise Erdrich's "The Leap" is told in flashback as the narrator, daughter of the female of the Flying Avalons, declares that she owes her existence to her mother three times. The first time is that of the end of the trapeze act of the Avalons who were in East coast. A sudden June storm came up suddenly; dark clouds appeared outside the tent as the Avalons were perched at the top. The Avalons were a romantic pair in their "blindfold sequence" in which they kissed midair. On either end of the tent, the husband and wife waved to each other. Then Harry Avalon held out his hands to receive his pregnant wife as she dove from her steel bar.
It was while the two were in midair, their hands about to meet, that lightning struck the main pole and sizzled down the guy wires, filling the air with a blue radiance that...toppled him forward...and Harry going down...into the crowd.
After lightning struck the circus tent pole, just as the Flying Avalons began their act, Harry Avalon fell through the air. When he did not catch her, his wife tore off her blindfold and chose not to grab his ankle and go down with him; instead, she twisted her body toward a heavy wire and somehow managed to hold onto it, although it was red hot from the lightning strike.
She was lowered by workers to the sawdust ring, hands severely burned. But, she gave birth to a healthy girl, having saved her life when she saved hers.
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