ah, it's africa
- The story of the scorpion and the hippopatamus.
Written by Jonathon Shacat, as told by an unknown traveler during a
flight from Gabon to Cameroon in 1999.
One day there was this scorpion that wanted to cross this river in
Africa. He went down to the bank of the river and saw a hippopatamus.
"Would you be willing to give me a ride across the river?" the scorpion
asked of the hippo.
"What are you talking about?" the hippo asked.
"Well, I need to cross the river, and I was thinking that if I hop on
your back and you swim across the river, I could get a free ride with
you and get off on the other side."
The hippo thought for a moment.
"No way," said the hippo. "I don't trust you one bit."
"Why?" asked the scorpion.
"Because if I let you get on my back, we will swim halfway across the
river and you will bite me and I will drown," said the hippo.
"I wouldn't do that," said the scorpion. "I don't know how to swim. If
I bite you halfway across the river, I will drown as well. I would
never do such a stupid thing."
The hippo contemplated the scorpion's statement. Then he reluctantly
agreed to give the scorpion a ride.
The scorpion climbed up on the hippo's back and the hippo began to swim
across the river. About halfway across the river, the scorpion bit the
hippo on his back.
"Ouch!" said the hippo. "You bit me. Why did you do that? You promised
you wouldn't bite me. Now we are both going to die. Why did you do such
a stupid thing?"
As the two of them began to sink in the deep waters of the river, the
scorpion replied, "Ah, it's Africa."