Some endeavours are doomed to failure. No human will ever fly by flapping their wings. No attempt to reform the Beatles will succeed. No tree whose roots are set in concrete will live. No defence of trickle down economics will bear a resemblance to reality. And no one will ever succeed in domesticating a lion for use as a hunting animal.
Not that this will stop optimists, some of them on drugs, from attempting all these things. To date, the last item on that list has only been attempted once in Australia. It did not end well.
Ernie Pozibon was a retired circus ringmaster who had spent most of his wealth on a beach house looking out over Western Port Bay. The large grounds also served as the homes of the remaining animals from his circus, and the isolation served to protect the animals and casual gawkers from each others’ attentions. And here, Pozibon returned to the passions of his youth. For the proud boast of the Pozibon Circus had been that the animals in it (or their direct ancestors) had been captured by Pozibon himself, back in his Great White Hunter days.
Pozibon, who had prowled the Dark Continent with his boon companion John Clayton back in the day, had always believed that it would be possible to turn the king of beasts into a peerless hunting animal (and indeed, his friendship with Clayton had foundered on this point – Clayton predicted, accurately as it turned out, that it would be the death of Pozibon). Undaunted, and finally possessing the financial and temporal freedom to put his plans into action, Pozibon began to train his lion, which he named Leo, to serve him in this fashion.
Legend has it that his last words were “Point, Leo! Point!”
Suburbs near Point Leo: