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A Scorpion Story

In the "Cult of Escapism": A Scorpion Story

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Scorpion Story

As I ducked under the mosquito net to get in my bed, I glanced at my calendar, September 10th this time next month I'll be in Panama City, closing my service and ending my 27 month commitment. A strange mixture of feelings swirl within me and I OH SHIT THAT'S A BIG SCORPION!! Oh NO, NO NO IT'S RIGHT NEXT TO MY BED!! IT HAS BABIES ON ITS BACK!!

No joke, literally 18 inches from where I lay on my pillow, there is a four inch scorpion with BABIES ON ITS BACK. That capitalized detail might not seem important to you so I'm gonna teach you some knowledge: the babies hurt MORE. They can't yet control their venom output and so they just use it all. When human babies and cats are killed by scorpions, they're often killed by babies who can't control themselves (I have no citation for that fact). And there were like 20 of them on momma's back.

Note the clusters of ants - they've got babies
I'll tell you a secret, reader, most scorpion sightings aren't that big a deal, they just make for good blog posts. Once spotted, scorpions are pretty slow and generally go for the “I'm not gonna move” strategy, which makes them easy to kill. But when you kill momma scorpion, the babies might scatter, hiding in your house like tiny, living mines. So I freaked out a little.

OK, I freaked out a lot.

But not so much that I didn't think to get my camera. Unfortunately my cheap little digital doesn't take good pictures at night, but you're welcome anyway for having the presence of mind to document this beast.

Anyway, after the photos, I got my machete and stabbed her. I cut her nearly in half and tried to crush as many babies as possible in the process but when I let up, she started crawling away. In two pieces. Damn woman, you strong. So I stabbed twice more and she fell on the ground, twitching. A few babies had scattered and I focused hard on finding them and systematically eliminating them, when I noticed the hundreds of ants suddenly swarming towards the slaughter. After only a few second's hesitation on my part, there were about twelve ants per scorpion baby and I could barely see the momma anymore under the swarming black. A natural clean up. Doesn't matter if I don't get all the babies, the ants definitely will.
Cleaning up the pieces

And as I write this, I see scorpion babies and one of mom's legs being carried into holes in my wall. I recently wrote about how I want to set ants on fire but no more, tonight they're my new best friends.

Also, if you got bored after reading my reflective first two sentences, don't worry, I promise never to write anything about “feelings swirling within me” ever again. That would be far too serious and self-analyzing for the likes of this blog.  


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