The Scorpion's Opera

a watercolor of a scorpion walking up some steep steps

The scorpion sat still, perched on the edge of a red velvet cushioned seat. Its eight hairy legs folded neatly in front of it. The opera house was filled with people of all shapes and sizes, bustling about in their tuxedos and sparkly gowns. It was the kind of place that the scorpion had never been to before - grand, elegant, and full of life.

Yet here it was, the scorpion, in the midst of it all, watching the show like everybody else. But, of course, it wasn’t just everybody else. It was a scorpion. It wasn’t like the scorpion had any ill intentions - it just wanted to be here, to see what all the fuss was about. It had been curious to know what humans found so fascinating about the high-class, fancy shows.

It was all rather strange to the scorpion. The music was loud and overpowering, but it seemed to make a lot of people happy. Its sting wasn’t itching or hurting - it was just sitting, watching, and listening.

The scorpion couldn’t help but wonder what it was to be like one of those people - dressed up, enjoying something as simple as an opera.

Time passed, and the scorpion grew hungry. It had no idea what to eat, nor did it have any idea where to look. It decided to seek food backstage, where nobody would be bothered by its presence.

But that turned out to be a mistake. As the scorpion moved behind the curtains, the scene of the dressings rooms captured its eyes. This was where the cast members went to prepare, to apply their masks and make-up, and put on their glittering costumes.

The scorpion felt out of place. It felt like it didn’t belong here. It felt like it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

It heard footsteps approaching - large, heavy footsteps that echoed through the cold, tile floors. With no time to lose, the scorpion hid in the corner.

As the sound grew closer, a tall, thin man appeared dressed in all black. He had white hair, pale skin, and cold grey eyes, and he carried a clipboard in his hands. His black suit and tie instantly made clear that he was the director of the operatic show.

“What on earth is a scorpion doing in the dressing room of my opera house?” The man exclaimed.

The scorpion wanted to reply that he had no right to speak to it that way, just because it was an insect. But, of course, it had no means to do so.

It remained still, hoping that the man would just leave it alone - that he would just let the curiosity of it pass. But he knew better than that.

“I’m sorry, little scorpion,” he said in a surprisingly soft voice. “I’m afraid I can’t have you running around my opera house. I can’t take the risk of anything happening to my performers.”

The man reached out and grabbed the scorpion by the tail, lifting it up from the ground. The scorpion tried its best to struggle out of his grasp, but it was no use.

In a split second, he threw it out into the open, into the audience’s view. People gasped, and the music stopped. The scorpion had been exposed, and there was no hiding it now.

The man puffed up his chest and spoke, “My dear audience, I want to make it clear that we do not condone the presence of a scorpion in our establishment. Please remain in your seats while we deal with this unexpected intrusion.”

The scorpion tried to scuttle away fast as it could, but it was not fast enough. The man in black reached down and crunched it under his shoe. The audience groaned, and the scorpion was now nothing but a smear on the wooden floor.

The scorpion had no words to how it felt right then. Only a hollow emptiness filled it as its life faded away.

Despite it all, however, the scorpion had learned a lot from that day. It learned what it was like to be amongst people - to be one out of sight, one that wasn’t supposed to be there. It learned what it was like to feel curious, and at the same time, unwelcome, which led it to its tragic demise.

It learned, too, that sometimes the world could be cruel, that people could be cruel - even to those who didn’t mean any harm. But more importantly, it learned the importance of recognizing one's place in the world and to stay in it despite the lure of curiosity.

And with that lesson learned, even in death, the scorpion was filled with a measure of understanding - even if it had come at a terrible cost.