Once there was a frog, a big ole' cute toady frog, who lived by a river. This frog was a generous soul who used to let other animals ferry across the river on his back. He had many friends in the river community and occasionally the frog would throw a rave down by the water, d.j.ing all night long, and giving out firefly glow sticks for free. This frog was a good amphibian, everybody said so.
One day the frog was sitting and knitting socks for the possum orphanage when along came a scorpion. The scorpion's amor shone in the sun reflecting into the frogs eyes and blinding him for a moment. Smoke from a cigarette curled around one of his pincers. "I've heard you ferry critters across the river," the scorpion said to the frog. The frog looked at the scorpion and long and hard, "Yes, I do."
"Would you be willing to take me across the river?" the scorpion asked. "My feet are so tired from my trip from the desert, and I think one claw may have tendonitis from carrying my pack. I'm just on the way to see my sick mother."
"I'm sorry, for your troubles, there's a turtle down the way who may take you. I have a strict no scorpion policy."
"Ahhh, I see," said the scorpion, in a lazy drawl. He took a deep drag off his cigarette. "Why is that?"
The frog seemed to consider this for a moment, "Well, to be honest, it's because I know you'll sting me."
"Sting you?" The scorpion looked shocked. He dropped his cigarette and the frog watched it flow down the river. "Why would I sting you? Then we both would drown. I'm a scorpion, but I'm not stupid."
The Frog was ready to get back to knitting his socks. He had an appointment with the bear acupuncturist soon and didn't want to miss it. He looked at the scorpion's tired eyes, drooping pincers, and bandaged legs. "You have a point."
The frog slowly put his knitting away, deciding that this scorpion was too tired to sting anyone. His appointment with the bear was on the other side of the river anyway. The faster he ferried the scorpion across, the frog thought to himself, the sooner he would be done with him. "Climb on my back and rest, my friend. This will only take a minute."
So the scorpion climbed on frog's back with a huge sigh of relief. They slid into the river with the scorpion resting comfortably behind the frog's bulging eyes. On the way they discussed music, art, and families. Neither had any children, both had many friends.
The frog was surprised how much he was enjoying himself. He was grateful he had given the scorpion a chance and not turned him away based on a stereo-type. They had reached the middle of the river, the deepest part. The frog was laughingly telling the scorpion about his most outlandish customers, when he felt a sting in his skull.
The shock of it took a minute to sink in, and by that time the toxins had begun to enter his brain. "Why? Why did you sting me?" he cried to the scorpion, "Now we will both drown". Water began to fill his mouth.
"Why?" the scorpion replied without a trace of wonder or remorse, "because, my friend, it is in my nature." They slid into the river. Both were found the next day by some teenage bunnies boating near the damn. The bunnies hid their beer before they reported the incident to the beaver police.
I love this parable and yesterday I was reminded of it by a very wise woman. When I am an acupuncturist (2 years!) I hope I have an ounce of the wisdom that my acupuncturist shares with me. She reminded me of the story to remind me of myself. To get me back in touch with my nature. I love the unapologetic way the scorpion says, "it is in my nature." He is not shocked at all by who he is. He doesn't try to change his ways. He is what he is, and he is a scorpion.
I have always had a battle raging in my soul between my nature and the outside world. I am strong woman, I was strong girl. I am willful and outspoken. I am sweet southern girl, with a trucker's mouth. I am sexual and sensual, but I am also furry, and curvy. I am a drama queenpin. I see things outside the box. I step outside the box and I thrive, yet, I constantly find myself trying to shove myself back in. Then I wilt, I fight, and I pop out again shaking off the constraints of society. One day I hope I pop out of that damn box and just nail that coffin lid closed, but I'm not there yet.
I am good at accepting others for who they are, unless they fuck with me or the beasties. I can see other people's nature and rejoice in it, but when it comes to me, the Queenpin, I find myself treating myself like a willful teenager. Enjoying the bursts of luscious creativity, but coming down hard on the passion that makes it possible. Socially acceptable or self-acceptance?
Don't you think Don Corleone fought constantly with his nature? Cold blooded killer and family man. Maybe not. Maybe he was born a scorpion knowing he was meant to sting. Maybe he just shoved his feelings down, drowning them in pasta and meatballs. He did have a little weight problem in the end.
There is a reason that parables stick with us, they are passed down again and again because they remind us of the truth. They help us reground ourselves and get our feet firmly planted on our paths. That's all I needed yesterday, was someone to tell me a little story and feed my soul with wisdom. Sometimes I need someone to remind me that I am beautiful and perfect, armor, pincers, stinger, Sassy Queenpin attitude, and all. Thank you SheBear.