The Frog and the Scorpion

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The Frog and the Scorpion

A parable about my favorite toys. Broadcast on The Mike Malloy Show April 25, 2013. Listen to Mike exclusively on the non-profit Progressive Voices Radio network LIVE at 9PM ET here: http://www.progressivevoices.com/

Below is an excerpt. To read the rest of the words go here: http://www.voicesinourheads.com/2013/04/27/the-frog-and-the-scorpion/

The origin of the story, The Frog and the Scorpion, might go back to the ancient Sanskrit traditions collected in the Panchatantra, but I first heard the tale while watching a bootleg copy of the 1955 Orson Welles film, Mr. Arkadin, 40 years ago.

The Frog and the Scorpion

A frog and a scorpion meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” And the scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will drown too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out. Halfway across, the frog felt a terrible pain — the scorpion had stung him.

“Why did you sting me?” gasps the frog. “Now we’ll both die…”

“I know,” replied the scorpion, “but I cannot help myself — it is my nature.”

A scorpion’s job, other than to make baby scorpions, is to sting, kill, and eat its prey. If there had been another frog down by the stream bank it might have asked the well-intentioned, trusting frog, “What part of sting, kill, and eat didn’t you understand?” But it was just the two of them … the frog and the scorpion down by the stream. And the frog agreed with the scorpion’s irrefutable logic. Why would it cause its own demise? Believing the words of a scorpion, but ignoring the nature of a scorpion, they set off to their mutual doom.

Unlike the fables attributed to Aesop, there is no moral for the listener to “get.” It is a very simple story illustrating one of the many facets of the human condition that we, for the most part, have disregarded, repressed, or forgotten, for centuries.

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