Today is Halloween so I want to tell you a creepy story about something that happened in this old house that I can’t forget. Some of you have heard me tell this story but I want to see if I can write it as well as I can tell it.
If you read this, will you let me know how I did?
We have a history of an occasional bat entering the living space of our house. Every bat is unique and each story has its own twist and unusual turn. In fact, just a few months ago I wrote one of those tales here on my blog. I’ve got another account which is far more troubling.
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A Bad(t) Encounter
In the last week of August 2017, there were four bat sightings at the house on the corner of Grande and Forest. Usually only one or two bats each year would be found flying around inside the house; but this particular week beat the norms by a mile. The first three came as past bats did. The family was sitting around either talking, watching TV, eating or sleeping and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a bat appeared. Just bam, there it was circling the room. It always startled the family and sometimes terrified them especially if Deane was woken up by Brian yelling in her ear, “Deane, I think we have a bat in our room!” But the good thing is that a well thought out and mostly successful plan was put into practice whenever a bat unexpectedly entered their space:
First they hid in a closet until bravery overcame their fear.
Then creeping out of the closet and crouching to avoid being hit by the bat who was continuously circling the room, they would close the door and stuff something under it to prevent the bat from escaping.
But before leaving the room themselves, Brian would open a window and remove the screen, all the while bending and swerving to avoid an unintended hit in the head by the swiftly moving creature.
Lastly, if this happened in the night hours, they slept in a bedroom down the hall. Well, after all the adrenaline that had rushed through their systems I should say they tried to sleep.
In the morning, the bat would be gone!
This formula for bat expulsion eliminated the need for any violence acted out with tennis rackets, fly swatters, brooms or blankets flailing in the air. Also, I should add, there would be no need to hire a bat-catching man who costs a lot. Believe us, we know.
The fourth bat sighting that week was not quite so text book. This one showed up the night before so technically this little guy was the second sighting of the third bat, but details really don’t matter here. Brian and Deane followed their prescribed routine. The bat entered the room while they were sleeping. It flew around clicking and flapping until Brian woke up. Deane didn’t wake up because she sleeps like a log but became wide awake with the familiar shake on the shoulder and frantic voice announcing the arrival of another black beast.
“What? Another bat? How can that be?”
Jumping out of bed, they hid for a second hoping it would choose to fly to another room but NO, it wanted to be where they were. So Brian scrunched down making his way to the window. It was dark but he opened the window, trying not to bend or break it in his hurry to get the thing up and the screen out. Together the two left, closing the door and stuffing the towels. Sleeping restlessly in a nearby room, they envisioned their bat friend eventually finding the open window and freedom into the outdoors while receiving his abundant mosquito reward.
The next morning the bat was gone! Whew. The plan had worked again!
It was a beautiful Saturday so Brian wanted to go to the Farmer’s market for one of those delicious Iowa grown watermelons. But, due to the wildness of their night, Deane decided to stay home. She wanted to take a hot bath, get a cup of coffee, have a quiet morning.
After Brian left, Deane ran her bath water and hung her robe at the door. Setting her glasses on the closed toilet lid, she stepped into the tub. Ahh! It felt just right. She laid back to enjoy the quiet and the warmth of a peaceful moment.
Finishing her bath, she stood, lifted the handle to let the water out, and reached for the towel from the towel rack just inches from her right side.
That’s when she heard it.
Tugging at the towel on the hanger, she heard a squeak and, wouldn’t you know, the Friday night bat fell out from the back of the towel where it had been hanging and dropped into the water at her feet! She let out a dreadful scream and threw her towel down into the emptying tub and jumped out as fast as she could. Who could blame her for this dramatic reaction? Grabbing her robe, she rushed out of the bathroom and blindly flew down the stairs, hoping Brian had not left yet. But she knew better; he was long gone.
What in the world just happened? And what should she do next?
Realizing, in the emotion of the moment, she had forgotten to pick up her glasses, without which she could not only not see, she felt she could not think without them either. So carefully she headed back up the stairs to retrieve them.
On her way up thoughts rushed through her mind. Where is that bat now? Did she drown the thing by throwing the towel on it? Do bats swim? Would it still be in the tub or would it be flying around the room?
Stepping timidly into the tiny bathroom she fetched her glasses and was able to see clearly that the bat was gone!
Oh no! Now what??? She scanned the room and found nothing so she decided that this job would be best left for her dear Brian. She anxiously shut the door hoping to keep the bat inside (if it was still in there). And, in need of sympathy, she sat down to send a few frantic texts to her adult kids, who probably had a really good laugh over their mom’s predicament.
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I’m happy to report that all ended well because hero Brian came home and after a brief search found the little tired bat sleeping in the corner on top of the door frame, drying his wet wings. And you know I told you about that bat-catcher guy who will come and retrieve your bat for a cost? Yeah. That’s how we know. And you know what he used to take that bat away? A Parmesan cheese container! He simply stepped up on a chair, put the open container in front of the bat and the sleepy little guy just scuttled right in, ready to continue his morning nap.
As far as we know that particular bat has not returned, but his effect continued to be felt for many months because I was a bit traumatized by this very unconventional, disconcerting, too-close-for-comfort bat encounter.
Maybe that’s why my sister hand-made this Halloween card just for us.