Krist Boardman

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A woman was snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean not far from San Francisco in an area where humpback whales are known to congregate. Getting close to one of them, the leviathan took a fancy to the curious land visitor and tucked her under his right fin and took her for a little tour of the waters.

Being unused to being underwater for long periods without breathing, the woman soon wiggled free from her suitor’s affectionate embrace and resumed swimming on her own.

Soon after, a pod of killer whales entered the vicinity of these waters and made their way toward the woman with their eyes on a potential meal. She was still a good distance from the boat she was swimming from and the killer whales could have easily overcome the woman before she would have reached the boat.

The humpback whale didn’t let it happen. Despite the menacing teeth of the killers, the humpback had a huge powerful tail that could have easily killed or at least disabled the killer whales should they have attacked the woman. Further, the humpback positioned his huge body between the killer whales and the woman, making such an attack impossible and enabling the woman to get back to the boat before anything happened.

Surely this quick-witted act of kindness and protection by the whale will never be forgotten by the woman.

In another incident, a man scuba diving was doing underwater video photography when he was approached by a female leopard seal. Much to the man’s surprise, the seal had a penguin in her mouth and the penguin was still alive. The seal was taking pleasure in teasing the penguin, letting it escape for a few strokes and then recapturing it.

The female seal was enamored of the scuba diver and was obviously trying to impress him. She seemed to be offering the penguin to her unlikely human lover, but he didn’t seem very interested in her offering.

As for the unfortunate penguin, he witnessed it all and one had to wonder how long the hapless bird could continue to survive as a plaything of the sadistic leopard seal without expiring either from lack of air or from her sharp fangs as this underwater love dance between the seal and the man continued for several minutes.

Finally, the seal released the penguin and the diver continued to show no interest.  With a visible look of disappointment, the seal allowed the penguin to get out of her range and the bird made his way back to the surface and safety of the shore. Thankfully, the penguin survived due to the unrequited love of the scuba diver.

So much for the leopard seal’s kindness.

The final act of “kindness” was practiced by a fox in the story of the gingerbread man, a story you may already be familiar with.

“Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man,” said the tasty baked morsel of a man-shaped cookie.

The gingerbread man had many predators who wanted to invite him for dinner, but he refused their invitations and taunted them because he could run so much faster. He got away from everyone, but when he came to a river with everyone still chasing him, he had a serious problem of getting wet and melting or being eaten.

A seemingly friendly fox nearby suggested the gingerbread man get on the fox’s back as the fox waded in the water so as to avoid the predators.  As the water got deeper the gingerbread man had to go to the top of the fox’s head.  Then with a quick flick of his neck the fox caught the gingerbread man in his jaws and swallowed him.

The fox had no kindness, obviously.

The moral of this story is not about kindness unless it was to the fox’s belly.

The real moral is that it is better to be intelligent or cunning like the fox than fast like the gingerbread man.

What’s unfortunate is that unlike the first 2 stories, the gingerbread man got eaten.

But what’s fortunate about this is that the gingerbread man didn’t really have any life to lose.  He was only ready to be eaten because someone kneaded dough.

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