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The Scorpion and the Frog

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Aesop was a Greek story-teller who lived around 600 BC. His stories or fables (simple stories used to teach us moral lessons) are still enjoyed today by people all over the world.

Perhaps you have heard this story in your own language?

Read the fable and then answer the comprehension questions that follow. Click 'Show Answers' at the bottom to see the answers.

Reading Comprehension: Aesop's Fable - The Scorpion and the Frog

One day a scorpion decided to go visit his cousin in the next county. He traveled uphill and downhill, under fallen trees and over piles of leaves.

Eventually, he came to a stream with a fast current. He walked up and down the stream bank looking for a bridge or a safer way to cross the stream but found none.

The scorpion sat pondering his situation when he noticed a frog sitting on a lily pad near the bank of the stream.

The scorpion said to the frog, "Kind sir, could you be so kind as to let me get on your back to ferry me to the other side of this stream?"

"How do I know you won't sting me?" asked the frog.

The scorpion responded, "Because if I do, I will die too, as I can't swim."

The frog replied, "How do I know you won’t sting me once we reach the other side?"

"Kind sir I would be so grateful for your assistance that I wouldn't dream of such a dastardly deed," responded the scorpion.

The frog was satisfied and allowed the scorpion to crawl up onto his back and they set out into the water. The frog was swimming strongly across the stream when the scorpion suddenly stung the frog.

The frog felt the onset of paralysis and started to sink. Knowing they were both going to drown the frog had just enough time to ask, "Why did you sting me? Now we're both going to die."

The scorpion replied, "Because it's my nature..."

Then they both disappeared under the water.

The moral of the story is:

You just can't help being what you are.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who was the scorpion going to visit?
  2. When the scorpion was walking up and down the stream bank, what was he looking for?
  3. What was the frog sitting on?
  4. What did they scorpion tell the frog that he wouldn't do?
  5. Why does the frog agree to take the scorpion across the stream?
  6. What does the scorpion do to the frog in the middle of the stream?
  7. What excuse did the scorpion use after he stung the frog?
  8. What happened to the scorpion after that?
  9. Did the frog survive?
  10. What's another moral of this story?

Show Answers >>