Reblog: You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me UpPosted: September 25, 2012
One of my new favorite blogs is Lucy’s Football. Best. Blog. Name. Ever.
This piece, “You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me Up,” deserves a serious read. Excerpts:
I try to remember the scorpion and the frog when I’m going about my daily business.
You all know the story, right? I wasn’t aware until I started looking into it, but apparently it’s really, really old. Like, third-century-B.C. old. So, back in the third century, before Jesus was all water-into-wining and whatnot, people were talking about the scorpion and the frog. Or sometimes, the scorpion and the turtle, but I’m going with frog, because frogs are softer and easier to injure.
And yet we never fucking learn.
There’s also the snake/girl version, which I actually like even more:
A girl finds a viper freezing to death in the snow. “Please,” the snake says, with its last breath. “Please, pick me up and put me in your coat. If you do not, surely I will die.”
The girl is afraid, and rightfully so. I mean, she’s not a honey badger. Venom would kill her, not just make her take a brief nap.
“I can’t, you’ll bite me and I’ll die,” she says.
“No, I would never,” the snake says. “I’d be eternally grateful to you for saving my life. Please. Please help me. You’re my only hope.”
The girl, who wants to be a good girl, always and forever, and you know, like girls do, can’t turn down a plea for help, because that’s just BAD and that’s just WRONG, scoops up the snake and nestles it close to her heart, and begins to walk home, so proud of herself for how giving and kind and righteous she is.
After a bit, the snake begins to warm up. After a bit more, the snake opens its jaws and sinks its teeth into the girl’s breast.
As the girl sinks to her knees in the snow, she cries, “Why? I saved you. I saved you. Why would you do this to me?”
Simply, the snake says, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”
But I try to remember the scorpion. I try to tell myself, listen, THAT IS A SCORPION. Because if you pick up a scorpion, there really is no one to blame but yourself. You can’t blame a scorpion; that’s its nature. Here, I’ll give it to you in all-caps, set apart from everything else:
A SCORPION IS GOING TO STING YOU.
Whether you’re a frog, or a girl with a snake in her coat, or a grown-ass person, you’re going to get stung.
Solution: watch out for the scorpions. If you listen, they announce themselves. Then get the hell away from the scorpions.
Seems simple, but isn’t always. Your stupid heart often gets in the way. But I promise: you’re better off not carrying scorpions across the river or snakes in your coat. The outcome is kind of already determined for you.
(From the comments section:)
And damn my heart! I think all the intelligence went into my head, leaving my heart empty and very, very stupid.