Tuesday, May 12, 2015


There once was a frog who lived near a creek, dividing two beautiful and bountiful fields. 

The Frog, of course, could cross the creek at will and enjoy either of the beautiful fields.  His neighbor, the scorpion, lived in only one of the fields and longed to experience the other, lovely field.

One day the frog was preparing to cross the creek, as he did frequently, when he was approached by the scorpion.  The scorpion, appearing peaceful and earnest requested "Mr. Frog may I  please ride across the creek on your back since you seem to be crossing anyhow?  You will find I do not weigh much and will not add any burden to you."

The frog quickly replied "No, for, if I let you onto my back, you will surely sting me and I will die."

The scorpion affably replied, "Well that would be a foolish thing for me to do. If I were on your back and I stung you and I would also die in the creek.   We would both perish because I cannot swim and I would surely drown.  Thus, if you were giving me a ride, I would have every reason not to sting you."

The frog thought about that for a minute, contemplating the foolishness of mutually assured destruction, and said "I see your point, Mr. Scorpion.  I am getting ready to cross now, I will stand still on the bank and you may climb on to cross."

The scorpion hopped onto the back of the frog and was peaceful there as the frog began stroking and paddling across the creek.

About halfway across the creek the body of the scorpion suddenly stiffened and its stinger protruded.  In a single, continuous motion the scorpion thrust its deadly stinger down and drove it deeply into the soft back of the frog. 

Shocked, the frog asked "why in the world would you do that now we're both going to die in the middle of this Creek!"

The frog replied quietly as he contemplated his own death "I cannot help it.  It is simply my nature."

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


It was right at 40 years ago when I met Fred.

 I was going to visit a friend in Fred's subdivision after she suffered a death and her family. Fred was in his yard. I will not accuse him of doing any actual yard work. He was just in his yard.

I told him who I was looking for and he told me rather-of-factly I was at the wrong house, pleasantly rerouting me. We introduced one another and I guess I must've given him a business card because later that year he invited me to come and speak to service club.

We had frequent contact in the 10 years after that. Over the years, I did some legal work for his family (it is fair to say that his sons were "adventurous" and often "spirited").  Do I have that about right, Brian?  The last few years, I didn't see him as much but our encounters were always a true pleasure. 

Fred was a beautiful, intelligent, opinionated and comprehensively stubborn person but we agreed on one thing, we liked each other's company.  He was one of about 20 people who had my unlisted phone number while I was State's Attorney. If Fred had something to say, I wanted to hear it.

I know his wonderful spirit lives on in his children and I pray for their comfort on his passing. My life was enriched by that incidental encounter in 1975 and I truly hope I added a little bit to his journey, as well.

There were already not enough Fred Cawthons in the world and now we have one fewer. Godspeed to a good man.