the frog who never learns and the scorpion who stung him

conrado de quiros wrote in one of his recent “there’s the rub” article a story about the frog and the scorpio. it goes like this:

[quote]A scorpion, the story goes, wanted to cross a river to the other side but didn’t know how to swim. He spotted a frog along the bushes and pleaded with the frog to take him over on his back. The frog balked at the thought and said, “But you are a scorpion, you would sting me to death.”

The scorpion replied: “Are you crazy? If I bite you then I will drown in the river.”

Persuaded by that argument, the frog agreed.

Midway in the river, the scorpion bit the frog. “Why the hell did you do that?” the frog expostulated as the venom took hold of him. “Now we’ll both die!”

“I know,” the scorpion said as he sank into the water, “but, alas, I can’t help it. Alas, it’s in my nature to do so.” [unquote]

and i wonder which came first: this or the zodiac sign analysis. in the latter, the scorpion always save his own ass. but then, i remember a conversation that happened a year ago.

i had an interesting talk over coffee with a certain political analyst. during the martial law era, he found himself one of the few people who ended up offshore and was part of an extensive human psychology study.

after a couple of minutes talking about random subjects, he asked me. “are you a scorpio?”

i didn’t blink. “yes.” i answered him. “but i don’t believe in the zodiac. it is interesting what they said about scorpios, though.”

“i did not believe about the authencity of the zodiac, too. let us forget about what the horoscope says will happen to you today; now that is crap. but i am referring to the zodiac profiles.” he said and told me what their finding was after studying an ample size of human data. “each of them, and i mean each of them, fitted perfectly in either one of the 12 zodiac signs.”

“so much for the mystery of the human character.” i commented and drank my latte.

he grinned at me. “scorpio is a character of contradiction.”

“but it shouldn’t be a problem, no? one can always turn to the zodiac for reference.”

i remembered he laughed hard and then we got right into business. when we parted after cups and cups of lattes and cafe americanos, he patted my shoulder. “continue to know thyself.” he said, “it helps when you are your greatest ally.”

oh, in moments like this, it couldn’t sound any more truer.

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