Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Scorpion Stories

Scorpion anatomy: 1 = Prosoma; 2 = Mesosoma ; ...

Scorpion anatomy: 1 = Prosoma; 2 = Mesosoma ; 3 = Metasoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I think Oklahoma is the best place in the world to live. I really do! It’s a wonderful state, full of friendly and very (!) interesting people.

We have mountains, prairies, rolling hills, deserts, colorful rivers, sparkling cities, and fantastic Small Town Worlds, not to mention a colorful history as well as a brilliant future!

I ♥ Oklahoma!

But . . . there are one or two things about Okie-Land that’s less than perfect. They’re the kind of things (wild fires, searing summertime heat, tornados) that makes some people want to ask God, “What were you thinking?”

One of the things I wish He’d left out of Okie Land is the scorpion. Just whisper the word. Sssssscorpionsssss. Almost makes you hiss, doesn’t it? *shiver*

Sadly, Okie Land has its share of the nasties, but they’re found all over the world except for the Antarctic. (Can you imagine scorpions in Paris? Sounds like a scary movie, doesn’t it?)

My first meet up with a scorp, I was at Grandma Reeves house on the outskirts of C-Town. She  had a big, screened-in front porch.

Now I’d been warned about scorpions, because my cousin, Liz, had already been stung by one. (As I remember the story, it was in Liz’s shoe. Dad remembers it being where she sat down. Both would be painful, but one is a tad more memorable.) Anyway, Mom warned us about them and even talked about what they looked like.

“They’re tan or brown, up to an inch or two long and have a stinger that curls over their backs. If you see one, get away from it and tell an adult!”

So I knew (kind of) what the critter looked like. I remembered that they hurt. A lot. One late afternoon, I was with Grandma on the porch when I noticed something on the screen. It kind of looked like the stinging bug Mama told us about, but it was different.

This one wasn’t brown or tan, it was a greenish color. And the stingy tail didn’t curl up over its back, it curled to one side. And it had a small piece of grass in its mouth–or maybe there was a grass blade stuck in the screen and the scorp had stopped to chew on it.

I wasn’t sure what that thing was, so I thought I’d test it. Smart girl that I was, I touched its tail to see if it would sting me. Because of the way he was situated, I could only touch the curve, not the stingy tip, so the scorp just took a couple of steps. He didn’t hurt me.

Puzzled, I decided to ask. “Grandma? What’s that’s this thing?”

Grandma lowered her paper. When she saw the scorpion, she yelped, jumped out of her chair and beat it so hard with her paper, it went right through the screen. (Strained scorpion. Yum.)

I never saw Grandma move that fast again.

My next experience with a scorpion was many years later when I was pregnant with my first son. We lived out in the country in an old house. G-Man was at work that night and, because the only air conditioner in the house was a window unit in the kitchen, I was sleeping as close to it as I could get–in the living room.

I was watching TV when I glanced up and saw the scorpion. He was on the wall near a pair of layered glass pictures I’d painted in Janyce Brown’s tole painting class. I was home alone, and it was late at night so I couldn’t call anyone to find out how to kill him.

Okay, when I noticed the Okie Scorp, in my mind I saw an Asian Scorp. (Hey, I was pregnant. I get to blame my hormones for all weird thinking.) To me, that was a tough, hard to kill insect with poisonous venom. I couldn’t let it sting me and harm my baby!

I panicked. How do I kill a scorpion? Fly swatter? Not strong enough. A newspaper? Not hard enough, not thick enough. It might run on top of the newspaper or sting me right through it. What’s big, thick and heavy enough to kill a monster bug?

An encyclopedia!

I edged past the devil’s pet, grabbed the thickest book in the ABC line up, and went back to the living room. I balanced that heavy book in my hand and, taking a deep breath, SLAMMED it against the bug on the wall.

Both layered glass pictures hit the floor. I don’t know how long held the encyclopedia against the wall, but it was a long time.

Would he be dead or was he waiting for me to lift the book so he could leap on me? I could just see my husband coming home to find me stung to death or lying on the floor in a scorpion induced coma.

Finally, I screwed up my courage enough to lift the encyclopedia. (But I was prepared to slam it back against the wall if I needed to.) At first I didn’t see him, and my heart jolted. Had I missed? Had he scurried away to hide until he had a better chance to attack me?

I put down the book and picked up one of the fallen pictures. As I slid the wire back onto the hanger, I found Mr. Scorpion.

Imbedded in the wall, he looked like a gun slinger had the draw on him. (Hands up!)

For the rest of the time we lived in that hot little house, I never quite got that bug cleaned out of the wall.

BTW: I know why God had to give O-World a few things that we don’t really like (wild fires, searing summer heat and tornados.) It’s so we’d have a reason to want to go to Heaven. If we didn’t have a few yucky things, we’d already be There. 🙂

Have you ever met a scorpion?