In Stendahl's "The Charterhouse of Parma", the Duchessa is warning her Prince about involving another kingdom in solving an internal dispute. She pulls from the shelves a volume of Fontaine's fables and opens it to, "The Gardener and the Lord of the Manor".
In the fable, a hare is proving an intractable pest, so the gardener goes to the lord for help, which he rendered, much to the gardener's distress:
They mounted their steeds for the storming the garden :
Tho' much he begrudged them this wasteful carousal,
At least the conclusion he hop'd some reward in.
They leveled the hedge which surrounded the place,
And in dash'd at once all the pomp of the chase.
But now 'twas his fate to contemplate with pain
The horses' hoofs tearing each bed and each border ;
The work of a twelvemonth was labour in vain —
Here herbs, flow'rs, and frames lie in fatal disorder !
O'er the wreck of his hopes his eyes mournfully pass.
And he views in despair the sad fragments of glass !
" I find," said poor Jacques, " I was strangely mistaken.
" The hare to be sure— these kind sportsmen have caught
" But they've drank up my wine, ate my fowls and my
" Destroy 'd all my garden, and tousled my daughter !
" Thro' the year should ten hares all my pot-herbs devour,
" They will do me less harm than my friends in an
This was the same dynamic we were privy to in New York as the police force demonstrated the same cluelessness in gunning down nine innocent people in trying to stop a murderer who was already done, finished, going home now.
The NYPD mowed down so many people the initial reports called it one more mass shooting by another crazed gunman. Well. It was certainly a mass shooting. And it was certainly crazed. But it wasn't by a lone gunman. The crazed part of the mayhem was all done by the police department, as they demonstrated their commitment to protect and serve.
By pouring resources into security forces, armaments, 24-hour surveillance and total disregard for privacy or citizen's rights, the Police State we've created has, like the Lord of the Manor in Fontaine's fable, and the NYPD, trampled underfoot the very thing it was engaged to protect.
But unlike the Gardener, we won't have learned our lesson, because we don't know what's been destroyed, despite the fact that we've just had so clearly demonstrated to us the fact that those nine injured people were never in danger from that gunman. Every one of the gunmen who shot them, however, and who consititute a continued danger to them, are back on the streets ready to protect and serve them again tomorrow. Never fear.