The Empathy Foundation Network

Growing empathy for a peaceful world

The Whale

Recently female humpback whale became entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighed 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 east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her...

A very dangerous proposition.
One slap of her tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, 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 nudged them, pushed gently around - she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The man 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 swim with you in the deep waters that may engulf you, and who will help you become untangled from the things that bind you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

People will forget what you said...
People will forget what you did...
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

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Comment by Jane Ramsay on February 4, 2009 at 9:47am
An unforgettable story that has the power to give [almost] the sensation of being nudged by a whale !!!!!
Comment by Rita Johnston on February 3, 2009 at 9:27am
I love this story so much!

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