Bjørnetjeneste

Dagens ord er : Bjørnetjeneste. 
Det betyr at noen ønsker å gjøre det i beste mening men feiler grundig, og henspeiler også på at man ikke bør velge en dum som sin venn.

Opprinnelsen er en historie om en bjørn som skylder en gartner en tjeneste fordi gartneren hjalp bjørnen. En dag sover gartneren og en flue setter seg på nesen. Bjørnen tar en stein for å drepe fluen. Det går jo bra, men bjørnen dreper også gartneren. Større bjørnetjeneste finnes ikke. Man vinner slaget men taper krigen.

Dette er en vandrehistorie som finnes i varianter i Europa, Afrika og Asia (da gjerne med ape istedenfor bjørn).

L'Ours et l'amateur des jardins. The Bear and the Gardener. Medvezhya usluga. Le pavé de l'ours. Ljósvetninga saga.

Flere land bruker ordet om en tjeneste som var vel ment men endte dårlig. Dansker kan misforstå historien og bruker ordet i enkelte sammenhenger om en stor tjeneste (som ender vel). Ungdom kan også bruke ordet om noe stort som gikk bra. Derfor omtales det som et pendelord - fordi dansker og ungdom kan bruke ordet i motsatt betydning.

Britisk variant er at de lager sitt eget vers om "The Hermit and the bear" som går slik:

Once a bear had a thorn in his foot (as they term it),
Which it seems was extracted from thence by a hermit:
So the beast felt so grateful, and pleased with the dervise,
That he offer’d to enter quite into his service.

So the hermit consented, at length, to the plan.
“Now then,” thought the bear, “I must do what I can
To make myself useful; and glad I shall be
If a service in turn shall be render’d by me.”

Not long after this, as the hermit was sleeping,
And the bear was the watch with great vigilance keeping;
On the nose of the former alighted a fly;
“O now,” thought the bear, “my best skill I must try.”

So he lifted his paw, and completed the process,
But crush’d with the fly his poor patron’s proboscis!
Up started the hermit—”Base villain,” said he,
“Is this the reward for my goodness to thee?”

The bear felt confounded, as any one would,
But explain’d the transaction as well as he could.
Said the hermit “Should flies settle on me again,
Be so kind, if you please, as to let them remain.
For I’d rather bave fifty of them on my nose,
Than one of your friendly but terrible blows.”

Let us always take heed, when we render a service,
That we serve not our friend as the bear did the dervise:
Some ills had much better, we know, be endured,
Than the pain, or the danger, of having them cured.