Gratitude From A Humpback Whale

gratitude-Humpback-WhaleCan animals express gratitude? I think so, especially after reading this passage. It was sent to me by someone who did not know the source. “Recently there was a front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

“A fisherman spotted her just outside the Golden Gate bridge and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her, a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

“They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was freed, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and gently nudged them to say thank you. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

“May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate …to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude, particularly in this season of thankfulness.”

Be Well.
The Gratitude Guru


  1. MaryAnn D'Ambrosio on July 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    What a warm and touching story, Paul.

    Pretty amazing, I can just picture the humpback whale swimming in joyous circles — finally untangled and free . . . coming back to thank each and every diver by gently nudging them to show her gratitude.

    Remarkable. Thanks for providing the Bursts of Gratitude!

    • Paul on July 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

      Always a pleasure, MaryAnn! Hope to see you again sometime soon! Be Well.

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