Last Sunday night we returned from our evening walk to find Bonnie crouched in front of the linen closet. She was lashing her tail and patting at the bottom of the door. Assuming it was yet another cricket I opened the closet door to make it easier for her to catch the bug. It was dark and there were some rags on the floor of the closet, so I turned on the hall light and pulled the rags out. What I saw was not a cricket, but a translucent tan colored scorpion about 3 inches long! It turned to face me with its claws lifted and its tail curled over it's back. I am not the screaming kind of person, but I jumped back and exclaimed loudly. Gus came to see, then removed his shoe and squashed the arachnid for me. He said it splattered all over the closet. I didn't stay to see. I was ready to pack my bags and move back to Utah that very night!
As usual, I went to the Internet and did some research. I discovered our scorpion was indeed the most poisonous variety in Arizona, the Arizona Bark Scorpion. It is a creature that likes moisture and is found in riparian areas. It is also nocturnal, and guess what it's favorite food is? Brown crickets! However, no one has died from a Bark Scorpion sting since 1968. I also found out that so far, I am the only one to have seen a scorpion in this neighborhood. So, I am hoping it is a fluke and the scorpion washed down from the mountains with the rains. I was careful to wear shoes at night for a few days, but now I am back to my barefooted habits.
The scorpion unnerved me more than any other creature around here, for it seems more menacing to me. It is small and silent and creeps about in the night, hiding in crevices and folds of clothing. I could call an exterminator, but I don't want to live someplace I have to spray with poison all the time. So, I tried to put it all in perspective: I can live here in the desert with the potentially deadly creatures, or I can live in the city with the potentially deadly criminals. Life is fraught with danger. It is part of being alive. I can try to wrap myself in a safe cocoon, but even then danger can find me. So why not live life joyously and daringly and at least have a story to tell when I'm through.