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Group Four

31 The brash gnat

32 The enemy's trumpeter

33 A tortoise dies

34 A doomed man

35 The scorpion stings

36 A wolf finds reasons

37 The stork chooses

38 The tricky wolf

39 A donkey thinks

40 A patient dies

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35. The Scorpion Stings the Helpful Hawk

There once was a scorpion
        Stuck at a river
And eager to cross
        With some news to deliver.

He cried: Will some bird
Ferry me in his claws,
I've the soul of a saint
And a heart without flaws!


Then a hawk circled down
         Sir, he cried, Let me carry
You over, but please don't
        do anything scary!

Not me,
said the scorpion,
I've never sinned!
        So the hawk picked him up
        And they flew like the wind.

Then ZANG! that dumb scorpion
Stung the poor guy!
Why'd you do that? hawk screamed,
Now we'll both have to die!

The scorpion shrugged
        with a touch of dismay
It's because I'm a scorpion.
        What can I say?


MORAL: Kindness leaves you vulnerable.


from the book Praying Your Story and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary

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