Scorpion and Frog

Tale of the Scorpion and the Frog

The Tale of the Scorpion and the Frog was an ancient parable meant to teach that true changes of character rarely happen.

The Traditional Tale of the Scorpion and the Frog Edit

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across the stream on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "because if I sting you while you cross the stream, surely I shall drown too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out. But in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, but has just enough time to gasp. "Why? Why would you do this to me?"

The scorpion replies: "Because I'm a Scorpion. It's in my nature."

Bayushi and Shinsei Edit

When Shinsei tried to tell this story to Bayushi at the Tournament of the Kami, the Kami thought he knew the scorpion's response. But Shinsei changed the scorpion's final line: "But little frog, I can swim."

Bayushi was so pleased by the wisdom of this version that he had to wear a mask to hide his smile.  The Kami did not use his fullest abilities in the remainder of the tournament, losing intentionally.  Shinsei had completely altered the meaning of the parable. The original warning to the frog was turned into a lesson for the scorpion: do not expose your true nature, and others will always underestimate your capabilities. Bayushi built his clan on the principles of Shinsei's version of the tale, choosing the scorpion as his mon.

"I Can Swim" Edit

I can swim

Bayushi learns his greatest lesson from Shinsei

Almost all Scorpion are familiar with Shinsei's retelling of the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog to Bayushi. To some, it is the crucial historical moment when Bayushi first realised his role in the Empire; to others, it serves as a classic reminder of the first lesson that any young Scorpion first learns: that nothing is ever as it seems.


  • Way of the Scorpion, page 19
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