I remember, when I was younger, that one of the kids in the neighbourhood had a pet scorpion. She was a little older than the rest of us, and she seemed a great deal wiser. Holly was her name.
Her last name was a pun she didn’t like.
I didn’t think too much about them after Holly moved away. At least, not until I learned my neighbour Abby had one as a pet. Apparently, she got Graham – because “he looks like a Graham” was the reason given to me – recently.
Abby’s a cute kid. She learns in a way that my Aunt Stella would describe as “unusual.” In class, she can be a bit slow. What you need to get her to grasp a complex concept is a comparison. Compare the lesson to something she understands, and she’ll learn it quick.
Simpler stuff like scorpion facts she can process like everyone else, though.
Seeing Graham reminded me of all those days when my friends and I would just sit and stare at Holly’s favourite poisonous bug. It also reminded me of all the fun scorpion facts I ended up learning thanks to her.
Facts that I found out that Abby didn’t know. I decided to sit down and spend a little time to help her get to know her new pet better. Hopefully, she won’t kill it as quickly as she did her goldfish, Dawn.
I start with the fact that all scorpions have poisonous stings. Good thing she already knew that and had the number for the local hospital memorised. An Australian scorpion has a painful sting, but it isn’t lethal to humans.
Here is a fun and scary fact: in Victoria alone, there are nine species of scorpion. Not all of them are of the arid desert variety we so often see in the media, either.
Abby was very excited when I told her some scorpions might glow when exposed to UV light. This made her day since her mum has a UV light handy. She thought it was so cool.
She wasn’t sure what they ate. I told her they usually ate insects and other small bugs. I decided to leave out the part about them eating other scorpions. I didn’t think she’d appreciate knowing that.
In the end, Abby seemed overjoyed to know more about Graham. I was just happy to remember a few things I picked up as a kid.
Now that I think about it, I really should see if I can find Holly again. She was sweet and smart, and it’d be awesome to reconnect. I believe she’s the only figure from my childhood I haven’t reconnected with that I’m reasonably sure isn’t dead yet.
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