A September 11 Parable
William M. Farmer
16 November 2001
There were once two sister cats named Andrea and Camille. They and
their families lived very prosperously on a farm. Andrea and her
family lived in the farmyard and protected the farm from the many
dangers that threatened it. Camille and her family, who were
declawed, lived a quieter life inside the farmhouse.
One day a horrible, terrible, awful thing happened. A pack of
cat-hating weasels from a far-off region entered the farmyard and
killed many of Andrea's children. Greatly horrified, Camille uttered,
"Oh, dearest Andrea, I am so very sorry for your great loss."
Andrea replied, "Thank you, Camille. Yes, it is indeed a
great loss, but unless serious measures are taken, the weasels will
come back and do us possibly greater harm. Therefore, I must hunt
these weasels down and kill them."
Camille, who often spoke to her sister in a righteous way, exclaimed,
"Oh, sister, you know as well as I do that violence will only engender
more violence. The weasels must have some justification for their
action. Find out what it is, and negotiate a settlement with them."
Andrea was sorely tempted to turn away from Camille without a word,
but instead she angrily replied, "Dear sister, it is easy for you to
preach nonviolence when your babies are safe and unharmed in the big
farmhouse. Sister, it is easy for you to argue for peace while my
family protects the farm from attack. And, sister, it is easy for you
to advocate nonmilitancy, when you have no claws."
The next day, Andrea began the arduous task of hunting down the
weasels. While she was gone, three young rapacious weasels broke into
the farmhouse and went after Camille's little kittens. Unable to
help, in a total state of shock, Camille screamed out, "Why do you
attack us? We are different from the farmyard cats!"
The first two weasels ignored her and savagely ate their fill, but the
third weasel looked up and said, "Sweet Camille, you surprise me, for
the whole world knows that you and Andrea are both cats."
A moment later, the sated weasels were done with their deed. They
left quickly and on the way out the talkative third weasel warned,
"Camille, we would like to come again sometime when Andrea is out
hunting with her family." Filled with despair, Camille sat down and
stared at her disarmed paws.