A Recipe for Fear by Hannah Miller

  • When the scorpion fell into the porcelain sink bowl
  • From somewhere above your head as you were shaving
  • That time in Costa Rica when we had just met
  • And I was boiling water on the stove in the kitchen
  • You shouted for me to come and see the strange sight
  • Of this creature never before seen by you or me
  • Now caught in our dilemma as it scrabbled helplessly.
  • Scratching desperately at the slippery surface of its prison
  • We quickly discussed its potential lethality
  • Might it kill us ; must we kill it ?
  • Fear decided and we banged through drawers to find tongs
  • You carefully grabbed it’s hard body , it curled and struck
  • With shocking force against the metal restraint
  • And together we marched it to the boiling pot of water
  • Once submerged, we peered down to see its final twitch
  • Once cooled , with some remorse , we removed the dead thing
  • And placed it on the wooden table outside where we ate our meals
  • The ants came quickly and devoured all of its soft parts by noon
  • Just its exoskeleton remained , an ornamental sculpture
  • It decorated our table for the full two weeks
  • To become a daily topic of discussion, fascination , and regret
  • That time we encountered a potentially lethal scorpion
  • That time …. Before we knew each other well.

Originally published at cowbird.com.

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