"The Scorpion and the Frog"
Real World Background
In the fable, a scorpion asks a frog to carry it on its back across a river. The frog at first refuses, fearing that the scorpion will sting it; the scorpion points out that if it kills the frog while they're in the river, it would drown as well. The frog therefore carries it across, only for the scorpion to sting it before they reach the other side, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it did so, when it knew that this act would be fatal to the scorpion as well as to the frog; the scorpion replies, "I couldn't help it; it's my nature."
The story actually appears to have first arisen in Russia during the first half of the twentieth century, making its presence in the Archmage's books anachronistic.
- "The Scorpion and the Frog" at Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia