Parable of Lions and Elephants

ElephantThere was once a family with two children: Barney and Bailum.  Both wanted wanted to start a circus and did exactly that when they came into their inheritance.  Being highly competitive, they each wanted to have the greatest show the world has ever seen.

Always ambitious, Barney wanted to start big and decided to start with elephants.  To have an elephant act, Barney has a lot of planning to do.  Even before acquiring the actual elephants, he had to get permits, hire handlers, arrange transport and arrange special feeding.  He really had to get busy and make some plans even before he could start on the tusks of selling tickets.

Bailum, more humble, decided to start by training some stray dogs into an animal act.  While not nearly as exciting as elephants, she was able to procure dogs immediately and start training them.  Instead of having to host her own shows, she was able to bring the dogs into other people’s shows.  That let her gain critical experience, get a reputation and even have positive cash flow.

Barney was merciless about Bailum’s flea bag circus.  Barney was 100% confident that his vision of a grand circus was the right plan because that’s what he saw from going to other shows.  Based on her behind the scenes experience, Bailum was starting to learn that running a circus was a lot more than the animal shows.  Some of those tasks, like booking venues, selling ads and clown discipline, made cleaning up after elephants look like a circus highlight.

As time went on, Bailum extended her expertise with dogs into lions, horses and even bipedal simians.  Her business was thriving as a specialist for other circuses to such an extent that she abandoned adjusted her original ringmaster vision and embraced a new plan as an animal specialist.  Based on her discussions with her circus partners, her limited scope as a lion trainer was more profitable than their lives in the spotlight.

Meanwhile, Barney was still working out the issues with his elephants.  It seemed like every time he turned around there was a new complication.  After spending every penny on getting his glorious African pachyderms he discovered that his cages were sized for Indian elephants (which are smaller).  Out of money and unable to operate, Barney had to abandon his vision and go back to clown school.

It’s hard to eat an elephant, but if you start with something you can handle then you can learn to tame lions.