‘The Scorpion and the Frog’ by Connor Wray

From one of our talented Novella Project authors is this uniquely lyrical poem. Connor Wray writes with precision to tell this tale of a dangerous journey between two creatures.

The Scorpion and the Frog

A Sestina.

In darker days I knew a kind young frog

who drowned, victim of a cruel betrayal.

Falling prey to the power of nature,

he found his final place below the river.

His foe was one so full of venom,

in body and in mind – the scorpion.

On the bank he met the scorpion,

who made a request, a behest of the frog.

The words so lacked in his usual venom

they proved the green fellow’s better judgement’s betrayal.

“May I ride on your back, as you cross this river,

that I may dodge death by its turbulent nature?”

The frog was aware of this creature’s nature

that, being what he was, he might play the scorpion

part, and sell them both down the river.

Half-convinced, half-condemned, the frog

enquired, “But what of betrayal?

One sting will damn us both with your venom.”

The reply came, “All this talk of venom

sir, holds no water. Ask yourself, if it be in your nature,

what cause do I have for betrayal?

I would have to be a most foolish scorpion

to strike out, embarked upon a ferrying frog,

and doom us both to die in this river.”

So captain and companion set out on the river.

All thoughts of rancour and venom

forgotten by the charitable frog.

The dangerous journey was made worse. An alteration in nature

of water and scorpion,

who reared his tail for his final betrayal.

So quick came the wretched betrayal

that in shock, even the river

was calmed. Smiling slyly, the scorpion

waited, as he watched his venom

slowly take hold: “It is in my nature”

he whispered, in reply to the pleas of the frog.

The river rose slowly; downwards sank the frog.

Softly the scorpion spoke, “Treating evil with kindness will end in betrayal.”

For such is nature, administering its venom.

Watch this space for more from our authors, including news and updates on the upcoming Novella Project!

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