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In the third paragraph of "The Leap" by Louise Eldrich, the narrator declares that she owes her life to her mother three times, the first of which occurred when her mother was a trapeze artist, part of the duo that called themselves The Flying Avalons. She mentions, too, the replica of the tent pole that stands in the town square because
[I]t commemorates the disaster that put our town smack on the front page of the Boston and New York tabloids.
From this sentence the reader is able to infer that something occurred--a "disaster" under the circus tent. And, from the first sentence of the paragraph, the reader can also infer that as part of the Flying Avalons, her mother, to whom she owes her life, must have somehow been involved in this disaster before the narrator was born.
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