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GRATIAM REFERENDAM.

Show gratitude.

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Aėrio insignis pietate Ciconia nido
Investes pullos pignora grata fovet
Taliaque expectat sibi munera mutua reddi,
Auxilio hoc quoties mater egebit anus.
Nec pia spem soboles fallit, sed fessa parentum
Corpora fert humeris prestat & ore cibos.[1]

The stork, famed for its dutiful care, in its airy nest cherishes its featherless chicks, its dear pledges of love. The mother bird expects that the same kind of service will be shown her in return, whenever she needs such help in her old age. Nor does the dutiful brood disappoint this hope, but bears its parents’ weary bodies on its wings and offers food with its beak.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History 10.32.63: cranes care for their parents’ old age in their turn. See also Aelian, De natura animalium 3.23.


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Mutuum auxilium.

Mutual help

Loripedem sublatum humeris fert lumine captus,
Et socii haec oculis munera retribuit:
Quo caret alteruter, concors sic praestat uterque,
Mutuat hic oculos, mutuat ille pedes.[1]

A man deprived of sight carries on his shoulders one with deformed feet and offers this service in return for the use of his companion’s eyes. So each of them by mutual consent supplies what the other lacks. One borrows eyes, the other feet.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.12.


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