Crossing the RiverSubmitted by Chris Cheesecurdski on Tue, 07/10/2012 - 23:17
A wild horse came to a stream, and set about to cross it. Suddenly a voice, coming from the brush, said
"Would you take me over the river with you please, great Horse?"
"Who said that?" said the horse. "Just I, here, under the bush." And at that, a poisonous snake slithered into the sunlight. The horse stepped back
"Oh No!" it exclaimed "I would never help you, snake! Find your happiness on this side of the river!"
"Dear horse, pray believe me that I must, simply must cross this river, that being the only reason I would dare even ask you the favor, you, who could stomp me into the ground without a seconds effort or memory of the act."
The horse was moved by the soft words of this low and most pitiful of creatures. With a stoop and then a leap he was in the water with his new passenger astride his strong shoulders. The way was shallow but wide, and the horse had soon captured enough breath to ask the snake if it was comfortable.
Suddenly the horse felt a sting behind his neck. A cramp? No. The pain was spreading out, spreading in a way that only poison does.
"Snake! Have you stung me!? Are you still there, friend snake? Did you see what bit my shoulder?
"I am here, horse. It was I who bit you."
"Snake! What can this mean! Was I not your passage across these waters which much surely swallow you? Can you not see you have made your own destruction when you bit me?"
The snake answered "Am I hearing surprise, Horse? Didn't You know I was a snake when you picked me up?"
(Moral of the story: Don't give any free rides to no low-down dirty snakes.)