Two Animal Anecdotes: Gratitude and Ingratitude


Article No.1988

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date 11th July 2015

Time uploaded in London:19-50

The benevolent man should serve society seeking no return, for,

How can the earth recompense the bounty of the rain clouds?

—Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar, Kural 211

For help rendered, not as return for benefits already received

All the gifts of the earth and heaven cannot compensate

Kural 101 by Tiruvalluvar

There may be salvation for those who have killed all other virtues

But not for the one who has killed gratitude – Kural 110

Indians are very familiar with the stories of gratitude. We have such stories in the Panchatantra fables. But I am not going to repeat those fables. Here is a real life story:

Dr.Walter Adams, astronomer at Mount Wilson Observatory told a story of gratitude:

“A hunter in the jungle came across an elephant limping. The hunter followed it. Finally it toppled over. The hunter examined its feet. In one there was a large thorn. This he removed

Years passed and the hunter was in a cheap seat at a circus. A turn was given by a troupe of performing elephants. One of these elephants reached in its trunk, encircled his waist, and lifted from his cheap seat and set him down in a seat in a private box.


Snake and Frog

While fishing one day, said the old timer, I ran short of bait and and temporarily at loss as to what to do. Upon looking down near my feet, I noticed a small snake which held a frog in its mouth I removed the frog and cut it up for bait, feeling very fortunate that my eyes had lighted on the snake at that moment.

I did, however feel a bit guilty at relieving the poor reptile of his meal, and in order to give him a slight recompense for my supply of bait, I poured a few drops of whisky into its mouth. Fortunately for my conscience, the snake seemed to leave in a contented mood, and I turned and went on fishing.

Sometime had passed when something hitting against the leg of my boot. Looking down I saw the identical snake, laden with three more frogs.

I have given the famous stories of grateful dogs in my post, VEDIC DOG AND CHURCH DOG, posted on 18 January 2013.


Picture of the most famous dog Hachiko  of Japan. The statue is in Tokyo. The dog went looking for his master every day for nine years and nine months.

Please read other animal stories posted earlier in this blog:

  1. Animal Einsteins (Part 1 and Part 2)
  2. Can parrots recite Vedas?
  3. Why do animals worship Gods?
  4. Mysterious Messengers for Ajanta, Angkor Wat and Sringeri
  5. Elephant Miracles

6). 45 Words for Elephant

  1. Can Birds Predict your Future?
  2. Two Little Animals That Inspired Indians
  3. Three Wise Monkeys from India
  4. Mysterious Tamil Bird Man

11.Alexander’s Dog and Horse, posted November 24, 2014

12.Vedic Sarama and Greek Hermes, posted on 24 June 2015

Contact London Swaminathan at

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