Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Scorpion King

I was walking back to the pad from the MWR last night. I had just left the MWR to use the internet. It was around 2100 hours when I left and I was getting tired. As I was walking out I and walking back towards my crib I noticed something crawling along the ground really fast. I couldn’t see that well because there wasn’t much light but whatever it was looked big. At first I thought it was a mouse at the speed it was moving. But then I noticed the legs and started to assume that it was a scorpion.

It was running across the ground really fast and I wanted to stop it to see what it was. That’s when I started assuming it was one of those mythological camel spiders that I’ve heard stories about. It really was huge and didn’t take my eyes long to notice in the dark. I stepped on it lightly enough not to kill it. It was fairly easy since it was running in a straight line instead of running an irregular pattern. I turned my flashlight on to take a closer look and moved him with my keys. He didn’t move at all. I assumed that he might be dead but he seemed to move a little.

Just as a boy would do I picked him up. I was careful as not to get bitten. I wasn’t too sure whether they were poisonous or not. I took him back to the entrance of the MWR to check him out under the lamp. One of the other Joes that were there told me that it was a camel spider. He’d never seen one before either. I had to show him off so I carried the spider back to my room.

I showed the spider to my roommate, The Big Man. The minute I opened the door I yelled at The Big Man to get me a bottle quick. I wanted to keep him in a jar or something. I was thinking of taking him back home but my roommate talked me out of it. He said that if they don’t let us take dirt, do I think they’d let me take wildlife. Then he started making fun of me. Asking me if I remember what they always tell us, “Don’t mess with the wildlife.” It’s almost a common saying in the Army. I think they say it for stupid Joes like me that like to mess around with snakes, spiders, and other animals.

When I picked the spider up I picked him up by his antennae. They were so long I thought they were legs. They extended right out in front of him and Pennis, the kid, called them feelers. He did have eight legs like a typical spider and two noticeable body parts like most spiders, the abdomen and the thorax. He also had two pinchers and I was worried that he was going to bite me. I was ready to drop him any time he tried it. He also looked as if he could jump too but I’m not sure if they could or not. I did injure him when I stepped on him so he wasn’t able to crawl as fast as he usually does. He was very hairy and about 3 or 4 inches long. The Big Man said he was small for a camel spider. One other thing, I don’t know why I keep calling him a he. I don’t know whether the spider was male or female.

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