June 28th, 2015
Click below to hear an audio version.
She says, “The kids’ science project.”
He says, “It’s been in this jar for days, and we can see it getting smaller, but now I don’t know what to do with it.”
“You can’t release it here,” she says.
I say, “I’ll take it.”
Still in the jar, I transport it home in my car and place the container on an outside shelf near the front door for the night. In the early morning before the sun has risen over the ridge, I ride side by side with the jar along the gravel way. Hair blowing; four-wheeler roaring; I consider where I’m going to release this animal.
So, I carry the creature through the main gate– leaving the farm.
I set it atop a wooden post to photograph the scorpion in a jar.
Thru the prism of Ball brand glass, backlit by sun, the scorpion’s pincers wave and stretch toward the ceiling of its cell.
I look about—where and how shall I release it. Will it swing and sting or rush and pinch me? Scorpions have such a scary reputation, but its true nature is unknown to me, so I have no idea how it will react when I let it go.
I lay the jar on its side across the lichen spotted boulder. The precise, minuscule second the lid comes off the scorpion scuttles quickly forward and pops out of the jar and crosses the rock and descends into a dark crevasse beyond me. Freedom it knows.
I wasn’t of any interest. How silly to think that I would matter.