The Tale Of The Scorpion

The Tale Of The Scorpion

It looked like a piece of fluff on the floor. In the evening the light was dim, I didn’t have my glasses on and I picked it up.

A piercing pain jolted my right thumb. I shrieked. The “fluff” was a scorpion, and it had stung me.

Scorpions blend in with those bland light stone-colored carpets that cover bedroom floors, including mine. That’s one reason I am getting rid of my wall-to-wall altogether, but that is a story for another day.
The stinging pain, my friends, went on and on. I wrapped my injured digit in a bag of ice. The pharmacy said to call Poison Control and Poison Control said not to use ice. I hung up. My thumb was throbbing too much to hold the phone.

Two weeks later, after a grand finale of spurting pain that had advanced to, of all places, my jaw, the toxin was done in its effort to kill me.

I called the exterminator. Several times he came, because several times these lethal creatures came back. They are endemic to hot places like Arizona. I am, after all, invading their territory. They came first.

My sister-in-law Diane, whom I love dearly, refuses to kill any creature, including insects. She shoos them outside, and won’t have fly -spray in the house. I understand this impulse, but I guess she has not been bitten by a scorpion.

When I was three, I spied a bumblebee lying nonchalantly on the grass. Being of a friendly nature, I bent down to pat it gently. It stung me! I screamed of course, and ran to my mother, who soothed it with baking soda and love. My most vivid memory of that incident is not of the pain, but of my hurt feelings. I was just trying to be kind to the bee.

I will no longer be kind to stinging insects. It’s a brutal world, this one, and I am not about to give in to a brainless creature with a horrible sting in its tail.