Scorpion & Possum Teeth

by

Brent CannonI went camping a few weekends ago. I have not been in a few years. We went to the Sequoia National Forest. It was an interesting trip. First – the campground was not officially open – although the park service said we could camp there. When we arrived, all the spaces were taken – except one. So, we took it. I was surprised so many people were camping so early in the season.

We must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving in camp. The pickup was loaded to the hilt. Tied on top of the heap was the 5-year-old’s bike. Who brings a bike camping? I guess he does. And he rode it too.

One day I was gathering dead and fallen wood for the fire. There were spiders and all kinds of creatures on the wood, so I was inspecting it before loading my arms with things that might bite me. Good thing I checked. I turned one over and found a scorpion! This was the hit of the trip. My niece and nephews were enthralled. We had a cricket cage for fishing, and we used it for the scorpion. I then realized this was a total mistake. It would only be a matter of time before somebody knocked the lid off – or stuck a finger in and we’d have big problems. It’s amazing. You tells kids – “THESE ARE POISONOUS” – and it goes in one ear and out the other. I eventually squashed the scorpion so it would not get us, or the next campers to come along. But I had no idea scorpions could be found in the mountains. It looked something like this picture – although I cannot say if this is the specific species.

One night my brother-in-law began jumping up and down – holding his foot. Seems he stepped on something in the tent. He held up a plastic baggie and said, “What the heck is this?” My niece said, “Oh, it must be my possum teeth.” WHAT? Possum teeth? WHAT? Turns out she came across a dead and decaying possum back home and for some “kid” reason, decided to keep a few teeth – and then for some “kid” reason – decided to bring them camping.

The kids loved roasting marshmallows. Oh – not for eating – but to catch on fire and burn like Roman candles!

Everybody must have had a good time because on the way home the 5-year-old asked, “Daddy, how long until we can go camping again?”

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

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