The Elephant and the Mouse

Pierre Trudeau’s Aesopian analogy for the Canada-US relationship.

In a speech to the Washington Press Club in March 1969, he said:

“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

The image captures the imbalance of the relationship and the sense of both Canadian vulnerability on the one hand, and American obliviousness on the other. For that reason, it remains a potent rhetorical standby.

Image sourceYouTube

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