The saying “No good deed goes unpunished” applies only to humans.
Only human beings have the remarkably perverse aptitude of not just being ungrateful for an act of kindness, some actually turn on you for having helped them.
I still remember a foreign student I had helped — a young woman from Ethiopia for whom I bought a pair of prescription eyeglasses after I discovered the reason she always sat in the front row was because she was near-sighted. That afternoon, I took her to Wal-Mart, paid for her eye examination and glasses.
At the end of the semester, she accused me of racism because I gave her final take-home essay, which was replete with grammatical errors, a “B” grade (which was generous) instead of the “A” she felt she deserved.
Unlike humans, animals are grateful for our kindness, and they remember.
Here are three examples.
(1) A young bull dances for joy after being released from a narrow cage.
When he was transported to a large pen filled with straw, he dances for joy again, then touches his rescuer with his head in gratitude.
(2) Richard Wiese found a swan who was injured from flying into a chain-link fence.
So Wiese brought the swan to a sanctuary for treatment.
Years later, Wiese and the swan saw each other again. The swan had not forgotten, and wrapped her long neck around Wiese’s.
(3) GiGi, a great horned owl severely injured from being hit by a car, was nursed back to health by Doug Pojeky, president of Mississippi’s Wild at Heart Rescue.
When Pojeky returned from a trip to Michigan, GiGi showed how much she’d missed him. The owl bobbed her head, danced on Pojeky’s arm, then slowly walked up to his chest, rested her head on his shoulder and draped her wings around him in a big owl hug.