327 • My brother’s keeper

327 • My brother’s keeper

“Cain! Where’s thy brother?” “Who, Abel?
I tell you, that kid is unstable.
One day I’m ‘his keeper’
The next, ‘the Grim Reaper’.
I’m not sure I like either label.”

We do not require a Diploma in Psychiatry to identify the truly unstable party in this story, projecting, on to his younger brother, his own mental conflict. Nor do we need reminding that, when the Almighty next asked the same question, Cain had resolved that inner crisis, somewhat messily. Note that Cain did not destroy his other brother, Seth, nor their sisters Luluwa and Delbora. Are these siblings, therefore, all passive accomplices in the First Fratricide, inasmuch as they never exacted revenge on Cain? Or were they simply pipped to the post, when the assassin’s house fell down on his head?

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