I read this anecdote on fifaworld before the Ecuador match.
Lost in the middle of nowhere, a master and his servant were looking for assistance when they came across a small shack. In front of the hut was a single cow. The master knocked on the door and a man opened it.
“What can I do for you?,” the owner asked, with a smile on his lips.
“We’ve had some transport problems and wondered if you could give us shelter for the night?”
“Of course,” came the reply. “Come in and make yourselves at home.”
His wife invited the guests to sit down to dinner, which consisted of milk, cheese and beef. The servant, surprised by the surroundings, then said to the hosts: “All I’ve seen is a cow in front of your house. How do you live like this?”
“It’s like this,” answered the man. “The cow gives us milk, and her calves give us the hides we need to make clothes and the meat we need to eat. What else do we need?”
After dinner, everyone went to their rooms. The next morning, the guests thanked their hosts and left. After they departed, the master turned to his servant and ordered him to return and kill their cow.
In spite of his astonishment, the servant carried out the order. The event weighed on his conscience for years, until he finally decided to return to the place to find out what had happened to the family. Imagine his surprise when he arrived at an enormous estate, full of animals, containing a mill and various other outhouses.
Amazed, he knocked on the door, which was opened by a man he didn’t recognise.
“What can I do for you?” he asked.
“I was here many years ago, but everything was very different. I was wondering what happened to the family who used to live here,” said the servant.
“That must be us, we’ve never moved.”
“But how have you come by all of this wealth?”
“Well actually, something very strange happened. One morning we woke up and our cow was dead. We had no choice but to embark on a new life full of hard work and new challenges, which has led us to where we are today.”
Ecuador’s coach, Luis Suarez reportedly gathered his troops and said “Gentlemen, we’re going to play in a World Cup. It’s time to kill your cows.”
Sometimes we have to take stock of what we are doing in life and kill our cows too. Maybe it will be for the better.