The Tale of the Scorpion and the Frog
Scorpion had lived on the East side of the river valley for his entire life, and as he reached his second year, he asked himself what might await on the other side. Now as we all know, scorpions are unable to swim…
Scorpion approached the bank of the river with dismay, seeing no easy way to cross the river. He searched up and down, but the rainy season had left the river bed far too high for any exposed rock to act as a bridge. Scorpion considered crafting a makeshift raft, but we are all too aware of scorpions’ carpentry skills.
Alas, his plight seemed all but hopeless until he happened upon a lonely frog sitting calmly by the river. Scorpion approached carefully, so as not to frighten the frog, but scorpions are a fearful creature after all and the frog withdrew into the water.
Scorpion yelled to the frog, “Frog, I am Scorpion and I would like to cross the river, but I cannot swim! Can I hop on your back and ride across?”
The frog responded suspiciously, “But you are a scorpion? How am I to know that you will not just sting me?”
Scorpion thought hard about how he could prove his innocence to the frog. Perhaps some logic would do the trick! “My dear frog, if I were to sting you, I would be left in the middle of the river to drown, for as you know, I cannot swim!”
Scorpion’s words were enough to convince the frog, so he agreed to ferry Scorpion across the river. The frog swam to the bank and allowed Scorpion to climb atop his back. Scorpion’s claws dug into the frog’s back, but the frog was still one to help his fellow animal.
As the frog began swimming across the river, he considered whether this would be the start of a lifelong friendship between him and Scorpion. He wondered if Scorpion might return the favor by scaring away the stork on the West bank, who always troubled him so.
Just as the frog’s mind was wondering, he felt a sharp pain in his back. He quickly began to feel his limbs going numb and his swimming began to slow. He cried out to Scorpion, “Why have you stung me Scorpion? Now we are both going to drown here in the river!”
Scorpion replied simply, “Frog, I stung you because I am a scorpion.”