Of Mice Whales and Men

If you haven’t read James Patterson’s book “James Patterson by James Patterson,” do so.  It’s intriguing and entertaining, and permits a view into the life of an award-winning author.

One story he tells is about a female humpback whale 26 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.  The San Francisco Chronicle carried a front-page story about it.

The whale had become entangled in nets and ropes with crab traps attached, and she was trying to carry hundreds of pounds of rope and traps out to sea.  Soon a rescue team arrived, and the prospect looked bleak.  There was even talk of putting the whale down, because unless freed somehow, she was going to die.

Finally it was decided that every member of the rescue team would get into the water and they would try to free the whale.  It was described as a “Hail Mary move.”

Using curved knives and their hands, they worked for hours removing the ropes and nets, until at last they accomplished the impossible:  The whale was free!

Then a second miracle occured:

“When she was free, the whale didn’t rush out to sea.  Instead, she swam around and around her rescuers in joyus circles.  The whale came up to each and every diver one at a time.  She nudged them, pushed them gently–maybe her way of thanking them.  What else could it be?

Several of the rescuers wept and later said it was the most incredibly beautiful moment of their lives.  They said they would never be the same after the experience.”

Patterson said it’s the best story he’s ever heard to explain how it feels when you do a good deed and help somebody.

“You’ll never be the same after the experience.”


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