I stayed in Oaxaca in a large old building that had been a stable back in the days when the property had been a working hacienda. The walls were heavily plastered so I was never clear whether they were stone or adobe, but the walls were thick and held the night’s coolness through the heat of the day and gave no alarm during the occasional earthquakes that trembled up the Valley. I had a fine, sunny apartment on the second floor, with tall French doors looking out over a garden and across the lawn to the old great house, and my hostess had a large, airy apartment downstairs that opened onto the garden, which was utterly charming, though sometimes creatures wandered in.
Hearing a commotion one afternoon in my hostess' quarters, I went downstairs to see what had happened.
She had found a scorpion on her dressing table. It was green.
She was upset, but pulled herself together.
“It is good luck to find a green scorpion on Friday,” she said, calming herself and putting the matter into perspective.
I am glad I recorded her words at the time; otherwise, I might not have trusted my memory.
In my journal I go on to remark that I would have thought it good luck any day you found a scorpion before it found you and, in any event, it was not Friday.