Old Wives' Tales
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Legend: A vengeful Muslim wife did in her husband's new wife by hiding a scorpion in the bride's wig.
Origins: A 20-year-old Yemeni bride was stung to death by a scorpion that a jealous older wife hid in the younger woman's wig, Middle East news agencies reported in October 2000. (Some Muslim men are traditionally allowed up to four wives.)
Reports from Taiz, in south Yemen, said the creature was hidden in the hairpiece with the help of a hairdresser. The bride felt the stings as she was dressed to be taken to her future husband's house, but the coiffeur told her the pain came from hair pins.
Doctors said that the girl died of 24 stings and that far less poison was enough to be fatal.
We don't know if this story is truly on the up-and-up, but it has been reported in the news, hence its inclusion here.
This report echoes a well-known urban legend involving venomous spiders who take up residence in an ornate but untended hairdo. Our "Tressed to Kill" page discusses that legend.
Barbara "d(r)eadlocks" Mikkelson
Last updated: 26 August 2005
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