I don't remember the historical context but the story was of a young woman who had gone to fetch water and returned to find that her entire family had been massacred.
Emotionless, she went about her duties, digging graves, burying them and cleaning up the mess.
She then decided to make dinner and went out to the barn to milk the cow, but when she got there, she discovered that the cow had also fallen victim to the marauders, at which point she began to wail.
She had been unable to cry at the loss of her family, because she wasn't ready to accept that it happened. But the death of the animal allowed her to let loose. I don't remember the exact moral of the story but it probably had a "the Lord works in mysterious ways" theme.
Rick Salutin had an interesting column in the Globe on Friday, in which he believes that the census issue may have been Harper's slaughtered cow. (my metaphor)
Since Stephen Harper has come to power, he has been steadily massacring everything that Canadians stood for, and even though in our minds we knew that what he was doing was horrendous, we couldn't accept that it was happening. This was partly due the fact that the image of Harper carefully crafted and presented as the image of a prime minister, defied logic.
He governed with photos, and we began to accept those photos as the new normal.
So we drifted through one atrocity after another, from our flag being torn down in London, to being accused of sabotaging climate talks. From Canadians now sewing American flags on their backpacks when travelling abroad to talks of kicking us out of the Commonwealth. This wasn't happening. Not to us.
War Crimes? Canada? No way.
But even on the domestic scene, the travesties were piling up. Guns, super prisons, cancellation of women's rights, gay rights, police brutality, silencing of the press, silencing of the citizens. How much could we endure before we wailed?
Salutin suggests that we didn't raise more of a stink over the soldiers, police or Draconian crime bills, because no one wants to be thought of as going against cherished institutions, or being soft on crime.
So we throw ourselves into the issues that we can handle, and we throw ourselves into them with everything we have: The census and prorogation.
But while those may be the two issues we target, we also carry the death of our good name into battle with us. And we carry the faces of the Afghan detainees. And we take the "In and Out", the Cadman bribe, the ridiculous Senate choices, the decision to close the prison farms without debate, the citizenship guide written in the 50's that remove women and gays from the Canadian identity. We take all of that and more.
Today Jeffrey Simpson suggests: In his quest for a majority, the PM has fallen off the best path.
He has not fallen off the path, he has simply chosen the wrong path, and when he came to the end of it, discovered his error. He never wanted to lead anyone, but instead simply demanded that we follow, and as to any notion of a "big tent", he never wanted to share space with anyone.
Stephen Harper will have trouble winning a minority and will end up losing seats. Because Canadians have finally gone out to the barn, have mourned their losses and are now fighting mad.
But against these “big tent” approaches must be placed the Prime Minister’s ideological reflexes, as witnessed in the census fiasco, the thuggishness revealed in prorogation, the fierce desire to control information, the incessant partisanship, the disdain for facts that contradict party dogma, and the apparently irresistible need to appeal to the party’s core voters – even at the expense of turning off less committed voters, the winning over of whom would be the abiding objective of “big tent” conservatism and the best path to a majority government.