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scorpionThe scorpion approached slowly to the edge of my boot and touched me hesitantly with an outstretched claw.

The desert wind ruffled my hair in a guff of hot air that brought the smell of poppies and of death down from the mountain valleys and into the wadis.

We looked at each other for a while; and then he moved away.

The harsh wind blew again with fine sand that smarted my eyes and I covered my head instinctively with my keffiyeh.

I thought, my mind is going strange in this place so far away.

I will not die I said to myself, this is not my time; one day but not here.

And then I remembered the laughter of my children and I smiled with joy.

It was what kept me alive.

afghan warThe scorpion looked at me and said  “I am your friend. Don’t be afraid. We all help each other here.”

I replied my friend “I have seen too much. I cannot go on living in this way.”

The scorpion answered with his claws raised in the air “Then fight for what you believe in; I will always be beside you.

Because you must always have courage and the will to live.”