Actually he’s paraphrasing Arthur Quiller-Couch. But I can’t listen to that guy, either.
I’ve had a scorpion problem lately. Which is unlike any problem I’ve ever had or tried to describe. And each time I find one, I take it outside, into the vastness, and toss it away, assuming its little exoskeletony body will protect it from a three-foot drop, which it will.
I’m not a killer. No, let me rephrase: I am a killer. I just won’t kill for no reason. I won’t deprive a living thing of its life just because I can. Just because I vastly outweigh it, can usually outwit it, and certainly not just because I am afraid of it. And scorpions are the most terrifying of any terrestrial thing. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to create life out of nothingness? I’ll answer for you: you don’t. You don’t know anything about it. Don’t give me that I-bumped-uglies-and-made-babies jive either, that’s making life from life, I’m not counting that. That’s tearing a page and now you have two pages. I am not impressed.
I’m just kidding, I am impressed. But I’m not going to stomp your baby out of existence if one day I’m startled to find it crawling across my linoleum. Even if your baby sucks, and I’ve met my share of sucky babies.
Nah, I’m just kidding again, but seriously, it says something about you if you kill out of fear, or out of laziness, if you intentionally end the life of any given life form by force of habit or due to popular opinion. It says you haven’t ever seriously considered the value of existence, the difference between a living body and dead one. Do you know the difference?
There isn’t much of one. But it means everything. And if I find life in a word, in a sentence or a story, I’m not going to waste it, annihilate it, disintegrate or destroy it for the sake of my own convenience. Yes, you have to know if a darling belongs or doesn’t belong, but the phrase for me would be more like, scoop up your darling in a little tin cup, walk out to the middle of the rocky ravine where it won’t likely sneak its way back inside unbidden but will still find adequate sustenance to watch out for itself, say a brief goodbye and good luck, and then flip your devil darling up and out and away. But don’t watch where it lands; it won’t be there for long anyway. Leave its last location a mystery to you and your all-too-photographic mind. Let it evaporate out of sight and dream. Then get straight back to your keyboard and plug the hole.