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Tale of the frog and the scorpion

IN another life, I used to teach fables to schoolchildren.

The current political storm caused by senior partners in government ignoring their junior partner's misgivings reminds of one such story where the scorpion, needing to get across the river persuades the frog, against his best interests obviously, to carry him across the river.

Half way across the scorpion -- like Fianna Fail, recidivist by nature, and having promised the frog that his safety was in both their interests -- cannot resist the instinctive urge to sting the frog and, of course, both of them drown.

Now the parallel between the present Fianna Fail/Green Cabinet reshuffle debacle and this story needs no illumination, but of one thing I am sure.

The analogy ends there, for while the frog sank to the bottom of the raging river and the scorpion thrashed around in the swirling torrent at least he didn't blame the frog for his own actions.

Michael Quinlan
Thurles, Co Tipperary

Irish Independent