Guide me, oh muse, to open my lips!
Reach down from on high. Grant me wisdom!
How shall I sing of the horror and blood?
Only you, bright warrior, keen seer, can know.
Long had it dwelt in the house of the innocents,
Long since its discovery spread its poison of doubt.
Maria, foolish heart, had shifted the brooms,
Betrayed its presence to the light of the room,
Now bare feet no longer walk without care
Or hearts pump slowly in quiet cleaning.
The scorpion might someday reappear!
Carrie it was who sighted it crawling,
Math major, quick quoter, wearer of yellow pants.
“Guys, come here!” her voice sharp, insistent,
Calling quick feet, wondering eyes and worried friends.
“There’s something under my bag. It might be a lizard
Or it might be something worse.” A calm hand
Reached down to shift the dark nylon aside.
Loathsome in color, slick tail over-curling,
Two pinchers lifted aloft to the virgins’ bright eyes!
“Kill it, Kill it!” they cry, daughters of Mars,
Heirs to Hercules, slayer of dragons.
Maria, just shamed, she who let the beast flee
When she first uncovered it, lifts her shoe,
Brings it down with all force to hear the sickening crunch.
What deity looked fairly on the beast in its plight?
What fault, oh muse, did he perceive in the group?
See, as the foot lifts, careful and quiet
The beast springs to loathsome life, frantic in agony!
Tail lashing, legs flailing, it slides on a smooth back!
Grapples with the air, twists its body and tail!
Then Carrie, bright warrior, calmly lays hand on a tome.
Her white hand reaching out, takes hold of a book,
Lifts it high, hoists it up, the Aenied of Virgil,
Pages crowded with heroes, weighted down with beasts.
She takes aim with clear eyes, flings the weapon with hate.
Sure, straight, deadly, it plunges from high,
Lands smack on the monster, sends it sure to dark death.
Scorpion no longer, and feared no more.
PS. (It was only two inches long, and even that might be an estimate exaggerated by the imagination.)