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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:24 PM

4. That fable has different variations and has evolved over the last two or three millennia.


The Frog and the Mouse is one of Aesop's Fables and exists in several versions. It is numbered 384 in the Perry Index.[1] There are also Eastern versions of uncertain origin which are classified as Aarne-Thompson type 278, concerning unnatural relationships.[2] The stories make the point that the treacherous are destroyed by their own actions.


Aesop's fable was current in the East during mediaeval times and is told at great length by Rumi in his Masnavi as an example of the dangers of unequal friendship.[12]

An 1847 illustration of "The Scorpion and the Turtle" from the Persian Kalilah and DimnaAt about the same time, a different version concerning a scorpion and a tortoise had emerged among the fables of Bidpai. The scorpion asks the tortoise to carry it across a stream and promises that it will do no harm. When the tortoise discovers that the scorpion is trying to drive its sting through his shell, he dives and drowns the treacherous insect. Although many of Bidpai's stories can be traced back to the ancient Hindu fable collection, the Panchatantra, no Sanskrit version of the scorpion story exists. A German study by Arata Takeda suggests that it was introduced during the 12th and 13th century in the Persian language area.[13]

Takeda's study began as an attempt to find the origin of a more recent hybrid tale with elements of both Aesop's fable and the Eastern analogue. In this, it is a frog that is asked by the scorpion to carry it across the water. To allay the frog's suspicions, the scorpion argues that this would be safe since, if he stung the frog, both would drown. The frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog. When asked the reason for his illogical action, the scorpion explains that this is simply his nature. The earliest verifiable appearance of this variant was in the 1954 script of Orson Welles' film Mr Arkadin.[14] On account of its dark morality, there have been many popular references since then.[15] The moral that there is no hope of reform in the basically vicious was common in ancient times and was exemplified, for example, in Aesop's fable of The Farmer and the Viper, but no evidence exists of a link between them.

Personally I believe that today, the Democratic Party is becoming more like the turtle.

Thanks for the thread, DonRedwood.

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