(A Short Story)

But for my lovely friends and many good-hearted faculty and students of this campus, I would not have survived up to this age. (Please do not ask for my age). Even those who know me well do not always support me. Many of them say that they do not like my looks and the way I creep around in the campus. Others say, my tail-pouch is botheration. They say I bring them bad dreams in the night. (One at least told me in all fairness that the days he chanced to see me he was invariably visited by dreams in which he saw blood sucking vampire bats and winged giant-scorpions trying to lift humans with their claws and pincers.)  Most others detest me for reasons which neither they nor I understand. The moment they see me they pick up stones and throw at me, trying to kill me. Or, they chase me with a stick. Of all, the most hurting thing they do to me is to call me venomous as if the whole world is filled with the most harmless, the nicest and the sweetest of beings.

It is nothing like the ancient Greeks, the most civilized in history in my opinion. (I do not extend this to the contemporary Greeks). They only recognized our universal existence and honored us with the title Skorpios. Babylonian astronomers of Chaldean period shrewdly understood our mysterious powers that obtained in the cosmos and included Scorpio as one among the twelve signs of Zodiac. The Muslims of the Middle East till this day treat us with veneration. They use us as an important motif of their art….you know why? Because they firmly believe that we scorpions have the power to counter any evil as their own dervishes can. One of our very ancient grandmothers was worshiped as goddess Serket in Egypt. Jews and Christians hate us because of the Law. I do not know about Hindus.

But I really curse Charles Darwin. By creating the taxonomic hierarchy, he placed us very low in the phylogenetic ladder. How self centered was he, to have placed humans on the top of the hierarchy as ‘highly evolved’. This has made men and women very boastful today.  They always talk as if they are the true owners of this earth. What an irony! As a species, we scorpions have lived on this earth for about 430 million years compared to the ephemeral 9 to 10 million years of existence of humans starting with their earliest hominid ancestors.  Like them we have also occupied all the continents except Antarctica. Who has produced such wastes and pollutants as we would have it today in the name of civilization, sufficient enough to destroy the earth?

Take us Scorpions as a matter of useful comparison. Even our giant uncles and aunts who live in Amazon and Congo (who grow up to one foot) do not even eat anything beyond small lizards and insects. (The day the Bishop called me venomous I gave up being an insectivore and stopped using venom even for my own survival. Now, I am a vegetarian living on tree saps and flower nectar). Not only do our species not eat the quantities the humans eat but also virtually do not produce wastes. (Imagine the billions of tons of processed and unprocessed food – animals and plants – that pass through human intestines everyday in toto, churned and passed out as shit). We are quiet neat. We keep our food only in our mouth and break it with digestive juices sent upward from the intestine. The nutrients, after the digestion in the mouth, are sucked in only as a liquid like your I-V fluid. We eject the indigestible solid from the mouth. Mind you first, we only spit a bit, but not shit a lot like you in great heaps and release hellish stinks. Do you know another self-restraint about us? When we are deprived of food for some reason or other, we do not go to the streets like you to riot or loot shops. We have developed capacities to starve even up to 12 months.

I do not have the time and space to tell you about our social behaviour. You know I am planning to write a lengthy article about our courtship etiquette, intensity of romance and code of conduct during copulation for the next Valentine Day. (That will be certainly a more subtle and restrained account compared to the very sensual accounts in your famous novels like Akil Sharma’s, Obedient Father or Shyam Selvadurai’s Cinnaman Gardens or even Lolita)

Your scientists go about spending a lot of time, energy and money researching on our venom. They say some of us produce neurotoxin that can cause cramps, vomiting, convulsions or respiratory or cardiac arrest; others produce haemotoxins that cause haemorrhage, red-blood-cell breakdown, circulatory collapse and allergic reactions. These bounders lie to the world that humans do not in fact produce venom of their body like the abominable scorpions et. al.  Will they admit at least that they only manufacture poisons of different kinds artificially and kill intentionally and unintentionally million of their fellow beings, animals and plants? (These killings and destructions are very ironically caused by your so called civilized activities and we cannot blame the scientists or manufacturers or users. Do you not see the vainglory of your civilization over the use of nuclear weapons and power resulting in holocausts in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima? In an attempt to kill and control pests like us, you killed thousands of your own innocent people and left nearly half-a-million of them permanently handicapped in Bhopal with ethyl isocynate. Now some row has started over endosulphan…when are you going to stop all these…?)

            I, no more accept the views of your scientists saying that only creatures like us, are venomous.  My recent understanding is that compared to the neurotoxic and hemotoxic ones, you humans seem to be more complicated and ominous.  Your venom glands I know are very deeply buried in your viscera.  You do not need specialized organs like stings and barbs which we the less evolved creatures are condemned to use.  (Darwin be damned).  

            For you, your moving lips are enough to spit your venom infused in words, phrases and sentences as you quarrel, abuse or gossip.  I hope, for at least the love of science you people have, you will permit me to call you humans as verbotoxic animals.  The irony is that unlike in our prey-predator relationship which is solely driven by hunger and thirst where we kill our prey with our venom, you don’t.  Driven by greed, jealousy, and vainglory, the verbotoxins you use on others, only debilitate them psychologically and socially.  It is after all a game you play.  Maybe, this is possible for only those who have reached the pinnacle of evolution.

            This morning I received a report from our new research laboratory which we started after the campus crisis visited us.  You read the report yourself and come to conclusions on several of my daring hypotheses on verbotoxins of humans.  Here is the report: 
(click on the image to enlarge)

The above report should have given you some valuable insights. Our people say that the verbotoxic effect can go up to Level VII. As we do not have higher knowledge and sophisticated equipment, at this stage we do not collect specimens of lethal concentrations endangering our own lives. Perhaps we might do it in future as we grow.

Though our research initiative was small, I think we have made a major breakthrough. Unlike our venoms which define our prey-predator relationships, your verbotoxins are used against your own fellow beings. It is genocidal in intent. Further, it can decompose and develop into spores spreading hideous epidemics. More than the toxins, the spread of them, are lethal. It is important therefore to reduce gossip, the primary medium lest your species would loose out to other species in the struggle for survival,  that too through genocidal violence.



Anonymous said...

//...the verbotoxic effect can go up to Level VII.//

expecting the continuity of 'VENOM'.

dharumi said...

Thanks a lot for the digestive physiology.

தருமி said...

Prof. O.G.BERLIN writes ...

That was a nice write-up about the humans that is hurting and slowly killing our alma mater. Animals do not kill others just for pleasure (just for their survival), On the other hand, only humans kill other animals and fellow humans for pleasure. All we have to do is look back at the history, and yet, we commit the same mistake over and over again. American College (just like our mothers) nurtured and sustained us, and yet it is being hurt badly; its survival as a premier institution in southern India is questionable.

Thanks again to D.S. Laurence for the thought-provoking article.

May the "Scorpions that are trying to destroy American College" rot in hell.

George Berlin

தருமி said...

Dr. Berlin

this article VENOM is not by Prof, DSL but from one with the pen name, SCORPIUS.

தருமி said...

Prof. RAJENDRA PANDIAN writes ....

Scorpius and his shitticism seem inseparable like satire and witticism.

I’m afraid an intellectual posturing doesn’t improve what reads like a low level gossiping in the name of a short story. Please resist the temptation to take the viewers for granted.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which part of the article made Prof Rajendra Pandian offended.
I think its a well 'researched' story well written with a scorpion's point of view. By the way is 'scorpius' a biologist?
In a nut shell the author clearly tells in his/her own funny way that the readers should take Bishop's 'gossip mongers' rumors as damn shit.