Maharaj-ji often taught his children with whatever was happening in the moment. Watching a family of birds in a tree he would say that as the mother bird feeds the baby birds, who fly away leaving their parents behind, we can learn detachment from the birds. He also used to relate stories from the Ramayana, particularly those about Sita and Anasuya.
He told stories and parables like that of a saint standing in the river who saw a scorpion floating by. He thought to save its life and picked it up from the water, but it stung him with its tail, causing immense pain, which he could not bear, so the scorpion fell back in the water as his hand recoiled. Again, the saint picked up, and the same story repeated itself. Someone asked the saint why he kept doing this, when the creature was causing him so much pain. The saint said, “It is following its nature. When such a creature does not leave its nature, why should I leave mine?” Discomfort should not cause one to leave one’s essential nature.
-Ram Dass (p. 202)