A scorpion once needed to cross
by Herbert Nehrlich
a raging river's perils.
He sat with patience on the moss,
observing all the ferals.
A beaver with his tools came by
and was about to leave.
The scorpion, who was never shy,
said: 'Hold your horses, Steve.'
'I need a lift across this river,
so can I hitch a ride? '
The beaver felt a sudden shiver
and scratched his furry hide.
'Well, I don't know, you are a stinger,
you'll sting me and I'll drown.'
The scorpion raised his middle finger
and said: 'You are a clown.'
'Why would I sting you while you swim,
with me, as precious guest?
I would be dumb and witted dim,
so help me, you'll be blessed.'
And off they went into the waves,
the beaver pulling strongly,
and thinking to himself, 'the braves
will sure be treated wrongly.'
But maybe not, this pessimist,
was so by nature, building dams.
And as they swam into the mist,
through river crabs and Northern clams,
the sting came down with lightning force,
right in the beaver's tail.
They sank and there was no remorse,
his muscles had to fail.
So with his last remaining breath
he asked the stinger: 'Don't you see
that you will cause our certain death? '
'Yes', said the scorpion, 'that's just me.'