If you’ve read my column in the past, you may know that I can frequently be seen running the track around the Shawnee Regional Airport.

I’m not going to claim any time, distance or fitness records, but my running has become such a part of my life that it’s often the high point of my day. Exciting life I lead, isn’t it?

If you’ve read my column in the past, you may know that I can frequently be seen running the track around the Shawnee Regional Airport.

I’m not going to claim any time, distance or fitness records, but my running has become such a part of my life that it’s often the high point of my day. Exciting life I lead, isn’t it?
On one such day this week, I was taking my usual jog, heading downhill along the long, straight stretch of path beside North Leo Street.

I was coming around the curve, ready for the stretch of the track that takes you up to the Expo Center when I saw something brown inching it’s way across the asphalt.

A brown leaf, I thought, how nice. The everlasting symbol of fall. Odd that it’s everlasting, because it’s also a universal symbol for change.
Every year I look forward to the turning leaves. It reminds me of the time my brother and I were hired by a little old lady to rake some leaves beside her house. Little did we know, the stack of leaves she’d collected was up to our shoulders. I think she gave us $10... to split.
Ah yes, how I couldn’t wait to crush this leaf under my the steady stride of my worn-out Nikes. I love the sound it makes, a little crunch that — OH NO THAT’S NOT A LEAF!
I pulled my foot up at the last moment and was forced to hop on one foot for a few steps before clumsily coming to a halt.
That leaf was no leaf. That leaf was a scorpion. And that scorpion was no scorpion. That scorpion was a gigantic mama scorpion who was carrying what could have been hundreds of babies under its curled up stinger (I wasn’t getting close enough for a precise tally).

I watched the mama scorpion inch her way into the grass. I wonder if she was aware of how close I came to crushing her and probably wiping out her entire family line?
The moral of the story here? Look before you leap... into a pile of leaves... it could be a mound of scorpions. Or don’t let mothers wander into busy interstates.
I’ll shut up and keep running.