The Scorpion and the Frog
The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion explains that this is simply its nature. The fable is used to illustrate the view that the behaviour of some creatures, or of some people, is irrepressible, no matter how they are treated and no matter what the consequences.
Variations commonly include a farmer, youth, non-swimming tortoise, kangaroo, or fox in place of the frog, and a snake in place of the scorpion. The Farmer and the Viper is a specific variant that can be attributed to Aesop.
The origin and author are unknown. Variations of the fable appear in West African and European folktales. The story is often identified with Aesop's Fables, although only variants appear therein. A study by German literary scholar Arata Takeda has pointed out a connection between the genesis of the fable and the tradition of the Panchatantra, a collection of animal fables dating back to India in the 3rd century BC. Whereas the original Sanskrit work and its early translations do not contain any fable resembling The Scorpion and the Frog, an earlier version of it, The Scorpion and the Turtle, is to be found as an interpolated fable in variants of the Panchatantra. Takeda suggests that the interpolation occurred between the 12th and 13th century in the Persian language area and offers a constructive frame of orientation for further research on the question of the fable's origin.
Alternate versions 
A variation on this tale is told by the Scorpion clan in Legend Of The Five Rings, where the scorpion's final line is "I can swim".
- "Transcript". This American Life. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Livraghi, Giancarlo (2009). "The Scorpion and The Frog". The Power of the Stupidity (Pescara, Italy: M&A). ISBN 978-88-89479-15-5. Retrieved 2010-08-01 (author's footnote). "Its origins seem unknown. There are no traces, in any tradition, that lead back to Aesop. No indications that it ever existed in Greek or Latin. It’s around in several languages. It seems to have started in English, somewhat earlier than fifty years ago. But it may have an older origin in African folklore – the tale of a “generous” frog on the shore of the Niger river."
- Neil Skinner; Neil Skinner (1969-04-01). "The Farmer and the Viper". Hausa tales and traditions: an English translation of 'Tatsuniyoyi no Hausa' (Routledge). p. 416. ISBN 978-0-7146-1718-3. Retrieved 2010-08-01 Retrieved via Google Books.
- Aesopus (1994). "Aesops Fables: The Farmer and the Viper (Aesop, Arthur Rackham)". Folklore and Myth (Wordsworth Editions). p. 121. ISBN 978-1-85326-128-2. Retrieved 2010-08-01 Retrieved via Google Books.
- "Aesops Fables (Myth-Folklore Online)". Folklore and Myth. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- Takeda, Arata (2011). ”Blumenreiche Handelswege: Ost-westliche Streifzüge auf den Spuren der Fabel Der Skorpion und der Frosch”. Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp. 124–152.
- Bin 'Ali Wai'z-Al-Kashifi, Husain (2005-08-30). The Anwar-I-Suhaili or Lights of Canopus Commonly Known as Kalilah and Damnah Being an Adaptation of the Fables of Bidapai. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-4179-7549-5.
- Takeda (2011), pp. 140–142.
- Takeda (2011), p. 142.