Field Notes, Tomfoolery

Where There is No Doctor pt. III: Yarre Toofi-am

One night going to lock up (and having lived in my house for over a year), I decided to not bring my torch.


No torch.

Suddenly…ALL THE PAIN. It was as though the world’s biggest ant bit me. But, it couldn’t be that since the pain continued…


Image of me in pain.

Hopping back to my bedroom, I grabbed my torch and came back to discover…



Quickly, I grabbed my shoe and killed it. Grabbing my handy dandy Where There’s No Doctor, I hopped back to my room, where I consulted the book.

Upon learning that I wasn’t going to die, I then withered in pain for several hours until the pain subsided enough for me to sleep.


Waiting for pain to subside on a moonless night.

Long story short, I survived and learned a few fun facts about scorpions:

  1. I do not recommend being stung by one. Very painful.
  2. After the pain subsided, it will feel numb for at least a day.
  3. Scorpion in Fulfuldé is yarre. A useful word that I eventually learned after someone took pity on me trying to act out a scorpion with my pinky multiple times and taught me it.
  4. Fulani people find scorpion stings to be very painful. Upon hearing about it, my friend’s mom’s reaction was, “now she knows pain,” which says a lot coming from women who don’t wince during childbirth.



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