Dear Ungrateful Animals I’ve Rescued,

First let me say, I could have easily crushed you. At no time did you outwit me or save yourself. If I wanted to I could have passed you by and let nature take its course, but I didn’t.

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, a little gratitude would be nice. I mean I took significant time out of my busy day to save you. I remember all you creatures that I kept from a premature end.  

House Sparrow, remember that time you foolishly flew into a window and fell between the wall and the hay bales? I do. It was dark where you fell and you would have stayed down there thinking it was a night of a thousand nights and starved to death. Instead I moved hay bale after hay bale and bag of bedding after bag of bedding to get to you. It was the bird equivalent of rescuing trapped miners from a cave in.

House sparrow trap
Just saying, I’ve seen the alternative, and you’re welcome.

Every time I’d get close to saving you, you would hop deeper into the labyrinth of hay. I painstakingly blocked every way that you could further doom yourself and eventually I was able to capture you.

With great care I brought you outside, you then bit me causing me to let go for only an instant and off you flew. I bet you were proud of yourself. You probably flew back to your bird pals and sang about how you outsmarted me. When I was walking back to my car I could hear your mocking tweets as you bragged far and wide about how great you were.

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Look, I’m not asking for much. All I’d like is a little gratitude, maybe even some kind of animal thank you on occasion.Or you, Squirrel. Do you remember how you somehow got into my apartment and got yourself cornered by my cat? I remember. I remember seeing my cat staring under my bathtub, eyes as wide as the full moon. I remember getting down on my hands and knees to see what the fuss was and there I saw you. You were frantically running back and forth, your tail collecting all the dust my negligent cleaning had left behind.

I took pity upon you and put my cat in the other room. I then opened my back door so you’d have an easy exit to the great wide world. I flushed you out with a broom and kept you on track towards the outside. But first you decided that my closet was a better place for you. So again I had to figure out how to flush you out safely without hurting your fragile body.

Eventually I was able to get you out and you finally figured that the passageway that had a breeze and fresh air blowing through it was your gateway to freedom. You dashed through the door and never looked back. I’m certain that you thought to yourself, not only did I get away from a cat but I also got away from one of those bumbling naked apes. I’m sure you grabbed a nut, ran up into a tree and stared off into the sunset all proud and smug.

And how could I forget about all the turtles that I’ve saved from the misleading comfort of sun baked asphalt. Don’t even get me started on you lazy jerks. You’re all slow and steady; at least until some kind soul comes to help. Then suddenly it all changes and you’re trying to sprint a half marathon.

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Look, I’m not asking for much. All I’d like is a little gratitude, maybe even some kind of animal thank you on occasion. Many of you were moments away from meeting your maker until I came by and saved you. There’s no Final Destination for animals, so you don’t need to worry about dying in some bizarre and horrific way just because I saved you.

By now I’m sure I’ve saved enough birds that I should be able to call upon you to transport me wherever I’d like but it never happens. You still poop on me, peck at my skull, and wake me up far too early. I should be like Snow White, with animals bringing me my clothes, food, and comforting me. But no, I’m ignored and treated like every other human who wouldn’t ever have even thought about rescuing you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, be humble. You’re lucky I was the human that saw your predicament. You’re lucky I dropped everything to make sure you, a tiny little animal, could make it back to your family in time for dinner.

Begrudgingly Your Savior,
Michael Reay

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