Saturday, April 17, 2010
The Fox and the Scorpion
A Retelling of an Ancient Middle Eastern Tale of Two Enemy Countries
Once long ago in the vast lands of the desert there was a great and vast river that had to be crossed for animals to seek food and water elsewhere in the desert. As it was on this day Fox had come to the point where it had to cross the river in its travels. As it stood contemplating the best way to cross the river safely Fox's life long enemy Scorpion came upon it and began to talk to Fox.
"Fox as I was walking along the river bank looking for food I noticed a particularily easy place to cross the river where the water is not so deep and not so swift. As it is I would like to cross over myself also but as I am so small it would be impossible. Would you be willing to take me across if I show you this place to cross the river?" asked Scorpion.
"Why should I take you across? How could I possibly trust you will not sting me on the way across as we have been life long enemies?" asked Fox.
"Why would I sting you? For if I stung you it would mean you would drown then both of us would die." replied Scorpion.
Fox thought this over for a bit while carefully watching Scorpion with a distrustful eye. Eventually Fox said, "Show me where the place is and I will take you across."
"First place me on your back and then I will show you. For otherwise you may jump in and leave me behind once I show you." replied Scorpion.
Fox thought this over for a bit while carefully watching Scorpion with a distrustful eye. Then walked over to Scorpion and allowed him to climb onto its back. Scorpion directed Fox to where the river was not so deep nor so swift such that it was a safer place to cross over. As Fox was swimming across the river and had reached the middle of the river Fox felt a sharp stinging sensation on its back and realized it had been stung by Scorpion. Fox cried out, "How could you sting me we shall both drown now?"
Scorpion replied, "It is better we should both perish than that my enemy should live."