(This is a revised english translation of the original Spanish post)
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the nocturnal animals that come to visit us at night. I finished the text with some thoughts on what to do to prevent unfortunate encounters (that is, the animal bites or spits on you) and what to do when the encounter is inevitable.
My ecological conscience tells me that it is not the bugs that enter our house but that it is us, the humans, who are invading their territory. We seek to live in the middle of nature, enjoy the sounds of the birds, the visits of the monkeys, the toucans and the passage of iguanas through our porch. But we do not stand spiders, scorpions, ants, snakes and other animals that also live in the territory that we have invaded with our buildings. So my ecological conscience tells me that one has to let all animals live in peace (except for cockroaches, of course). About 99.9% percent of the time, if you leave them alone, they go on their way and disappear. They have as little interest in interacting with humans as most of us have of interacting with them.
The problem is that my ecological conscience resides in my brain and the latter needs coffee to activate. That is, in the minutes that pass between I wake up and drink coffee, my brain and therefore my ecological conscience is anesthetized.
And it is in those moments when my killer flip-flops attacks. Let me explain myself.
The other day I woke up at 6 a.m., as always, to give Matilda her insulin. I feed her, injected her with the insulin and went out, still with my eyes half-closed to feed Manchita. And when I grab her feeder, I discovered that what looks like a little leaf on the edge of her feeder is, in fact, a scorpion. I was still processing the information and thinking about what to do when… ZAS! the killer flip-flop gives a deadly blow to the scorpion who falls immediately stiff to the ground.
Shit! I rewind the images before the mortal blow and I realize that the scorpion, when approaching to grab the feeder, had put itself in the “Don’t mess with me” mode. Oh!, I think, the poor flip flop felt threatened and acted in self-defense.
After drinking my coffee and with the ecological consciousness already fully activated, I explained -calmly- to my flip flop that what she had done that morning was not right. That the poor little animal had reacted by changing to the “Don’t mess with me” mode because it had felt threatened. But if we had both left, it would possibly have changed to the “Minding my own business” mode. I explained clearly to her the three modes of a scorpion derived from a 100% scientific observation in recent weeks;-P:
- “Navigation” mode: Tail on the floor, clamps forward so that they do not get caught in the pebbles on the ground, walking quickly, in a clear direction and in a straight line. Suggested action: Avoid interfering with its trajectory. Turn around and increase safety distance.
- “Minding my own business” mode: Similar to the navigation mode, but static, like dozing. Full scientific observation to confirm if the scorpion is effectively dozing would require to put the ear closer to hear if it snores (it usually only works on the males of the species). But for respect to the species and to maintain the safety distance, the empirical observation could not be carried out. So I can not confirm if the scorpion actually sleeps or is just closing its eyes. However, the scientific evidence confirms that neither moves nor threatens. Suggested action: Turn around and increase safety distance.
- “Don’t mess up with me” mode: Tail lifted up with the sting clearly visible. Front clamps also raised. Most probably, it looks at you in a threating way, but I have not been able to verify that point for the aforementioned required safety distance. Suggested action: Turn around and increase safety distance.
Well, the fact is that I was explaining to my flip flop that, although I understood that she reacted defensively to the “Don’t mess up with me” mode, it was not the right behavior. What had to be done was to leave the scorpion alone, turn around and increase the safety distance.
I thought that she understood me and that we had reached an agreement. At least an agreement between my ecological conscience and the killer flip-flop. But behold, a couple of days later, when I had let my guard down my killer flip flop attacked again.
The circumstances, in this case, were different. We had just finished our morning yoga exercises (pre-coffee) and I was folwing up the mats while he made the bed when I hear “holly shit, come”. I go to where a wide-eyed Frank was pointing at a scorpion that was in the “Minding my own business” mode, in the folds of the blanket that we have in case the temperature falls below 25 degrees. While we were thinking (mainly Frank, to be honest) how to get the scorpion out of the bed and out of the house I see, from the corner of my eye, a yellow shadow emerges and ZAS! My killer flip flop strikes a first deadly blow to the poor scorpion and ZAS! ZAS! not happy with that, keeps hitting it on the ground until he is the thickness of a paper sheet. Only then, she becomes aware of what she is doing and the talk we had the other day. Unfortunately, it is too late for the poor scorpion that lies flat at the foot of the bed.
There is no way.
My flip flop is very pretty, but she doesn’t listen.
So she has left me no choice but to seclude her in a rehab center. Until she learns.