An old wise man, his name was Kumiel’s, was sitting on the banks of the Euphrates. The sun’s rays danced on the clear water of the river and Kumiel looked at the high date palms, pomegranate bushes and grape vines that casted their shadows on the water and the shore. He was thirsty and stood up to take a sip of water from the river.
At that moment he saw a scorpion that had fallen into the river. The little animal could barely keep itself above water.
The old and wise Kumiel looked at the poor scorpion and decided to save him. He put his hand forward to pick him up, but at that moment the scorpion stung him. Kumiel screamed loudly, waved with his hand through the air and started to spin around from the pain. His white djellaba danced around him.
After a while the pain went away and Kumiel walked again to the river. There the scorpion still desperately tried to get itself to the shore. But scorpions can not swim.
Kumiel decided to try again to save the creature, put his hand forward and was stung again.
“Au!” Exclaimed the wise Kumiel, who jumped up and began to dance again in pain.
A moment later Kumiel reached for the third time with his hand at the half-drowned scorpion and again the beast stung him in his hand. That’s how it went time and time again.
Another man, who had been fishing down the river, was drawn by the screams of Kumiel and looked astonished at the old man in his white djellaba, who tried to save the scorpion again and again and was stung time after time.
“Hey, wise Kumiel, what are you doing? Why did not you learn from the first time? Or from the second? Or the third? You are trying to save that beast and as gratitude he stings you. Why don’t you just stop?”
The wise Kumiel did not listen to the man. He continued to save the scorpion until he finally succeeded.
With a quick movement Kumiel placed the scorpion on the ground. The little creature ran away and disappeared among the bushes.
Kumiel went to the fisherman and patted his shoulder. “Do you know what’s the point, my dear friend? It is the habit of the scorpion to sting. And it is my habit to help. Why should I let his habit win and not mine?”
The fisherman went home with the feeling that he had learned something special that day. Kumiel went home because he was tired and needed a herbal cream for his arm.
And the scorpion? He stayed under the bushes for days to recover and then he left the river and never came back.