Teddy bear or beast

From Nick Lowe’s song, “The Beast in Me” (memorably recorded by Johnny Cash):

The beast in me
Is caged by frail and fragile bars
Restless by day
And by night rants and rages at the stars
God help the beast in me

Sometimes it tries to kid me
That it’s just a teddy bear
And even somehow manage to vanish in the air
And that is when I must beware

Billy Sunday, expressing the same truth with a different metaphor:

One reason that sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake.