Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion
that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank.
In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the
scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other
monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when
you know it's nature is to sting?"
"Because," the monk replied, "to save it is my nature."
(Another version of this story describes a fox who agrees to carry a scorpion on its back across a river, upon the condition that the scorpion does not sting him. But the scorpion does indeed sting the fox when they are in midstream. As the fox begins to drown, taking the scorpion with him, he pleadingly asks why the scorpion has jeopardized both of them by stinging. "Because it's my nature." This story sometimes is attributed to Native Americans lore.)