The story goes that during a circus performance years back, Bongo had seen a child let loose a family of "tiger-balloons" (balloons with tiger stripes painted on) during the elephant ballet event.
Bongo had stealthily snuck after this "wild family" as they floated into the superstructure of the tent. He threaded his way amidst the unsteady mass of tent poles, to the throaty cheers of the crowd far below.
After a tense moment when he lost his footing and dangled from one hand, Bongo recovered and pounced upon the balloons just as they "made a run for it" (as he later recounted) through an open tent-flap. All but the smallest balloon took wing.
The crowd roared as Bongo fought with the little orange-striped balloon, eventually subduing it and making his way none-to-carefully back to the ground. The crowd carried him three times about the three rings of the circus, and he was happier in that moment than he'd been in three(?) years.
But tragically, and much to his dismay, during all this merriment and jostling, the balloon must've sustained an injury, as it quickly drooped in his hands. Despite his tenderest ministrations, it slowly deflated over the course of that night. He attempted resuscitate his "pet" until morning-time, but to no avail.
Bongo was inconsolable that morning as his fellow performers struck the circus tents. From the back of the last wagon of the circus train, Bongo espied the escaped balloon relatives staring down accusingly at him from a copse of high trees alongside the now empty camp. He hung his head, and, weeping, slunk back to his wagon-cage with his "pet" clutched tightly to his breast-hairs.