Have you ever met a bat up close and personal? Not the baseball kind. The bat, who flies through the night. I have, four times so far. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you some true stories about me, and my bats.
Story # 1 – The Bat and the Mop
The first bat flew through this backyard in Lengerich, Germany. If you were a bat, you’d stop in every night to feast on its bug buffet, but not that night . . . it tried the door.
Most German windows don’t have screens, and the back door, it was open. So that bat flew inside and did a few laps. I called it a bird, and my German friend, night bird.
We argued until she pulled out a big, thick book. I thought she was going to hit the bat. Nope! It was a dictionary, and she pointed at a German word, Fledermaus. Beside it, in English, I saw bat, and that’s the moment it hung upside down from the curtain rod. No Fake, Jake!
What should we do? Well, we argued some more, and that bat watched and listened. Finally my friend tried the garage, and I was stuck with the bat. I had to do something, so I tried a mop. I held it up to the bat, hoping it would fly away. Nope! Three limbs clutched my mop. The fourth, held tight to the rod.
We stared at each other, like forever, at least until I heard my friend’s footsteps. I yelled door. Thank goodness she left it open, and that bat finally flew a few laps, then left through the door.
That’s the short version of my brush with a bat. If you’d like the one with more juicy details, try this link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/the-true-bat-story
Story #2 – A Pillow Fight, with a Bat!
Believe it or not, I wasn’t the lead actor for this story . . . that role went to my husband, but I guess I was still the leading lady, and the villain . . . the bat. This is my only bat story where it got to be the villain. The other three times, poor bat! It stumbled into the story.
This one started when my husband woke me during the night. He called, cover your face. Note – I hate doing that. I get too hot, and then I have to kick off the covers. When I asked why, he said there was a bat in our bedroom. I know – a bat, flying laps, around my bedroom. YIKES!
It was enough to keep me undercover, because this bat wasn’t nice, not like the others. My husband said every time he popped his head out, the bat dive-bombed him. And the sound it made, I don’t remember the syllables, but they were high-pitched and squeaky. They sounded mean, like he was shouting, this is MY room. Not Yours!
Finally my husband had enough. Not me, I stayed undercover. He grabbed his pillow and started swatting. The bat pillow fight was on! But it wasn’t the nice kind, the slumber party kind. My husband swatted the bat to the floor, and it screeched – I’ll hurt you, I will! I was terrified, but my husband and the bat, they were still fighting, with that pillow.
A few minutes later he yelled, get a shoe! Why? So he could knock it down, for good. Every time he swatted, that bat flew back up a moment later. NOT NICE! It could have flown away. So I scrambled for a shoe, staying close to the ground. I think I tossed it. I wanted it there, fast, but I didn’t want to knock my husband out either!
He grabbed the shoe, hit the bat, and the battle was over. That fast! My husband carried it outside. My guess – he didn’t touch it. A bat that mean, might have had rabies. Afterwards I was so thankful it picked our room, not our daughter’s. She was probably middle school age back then, and a bat would have totally freaked her out.
Our two boys wanted to keep it as a souvenir, but we said NO! We called a park ranger. He lived two doors down, and he took it away before we got home. We never heard if it had rabies, but I’ve always wondered.
PS – I always think of this as my second bat story, but now, telling it for the first time ever, our kids must have been much younger. My guess – in grades 6, 4, and 1. No wonder I was so thankful that bat never crawled into our daughter’s room.
PPS – How did it get in? Our guess – it flew in the fireplace. It’s on the bottom level of our house. Then it flew upstairs and crawled under the door. It had too . . . it was the only way in . . . Both of our bedroom doors were closed. What an adventure! Thank goodness we lived to tell!
Story #3 – Tennis Anyone? Game, Set, Bat!
Have you ever swung a racquet at a bat? I have, but my heart wasn’t in it. It was the third time I’d met one up close, but it was the scariest. Maybe, because I was all alone this time.
It all started when my husband decided to cap our chimney. It sounded like a good idea, but I had no idea what it would set in motion . . . Not one. Not two, but three bats flying through our house. They must have called the chimney home, until that cap trapped them inside. There was nothing they could do, except fly through our house. They were looking for a way out, but the doors and windows were all closed.
My husband was in Tennessee the night the first one flew through. I was in Ohio. His advice – grab a tennis racquet. Easy for him to say! He can hit the ball, and I can’t.
That racquet made me feel a little safer. At least I could defend myself, sort of. My other defense, the one I was good at, hiding in our bedroom with the doors shut tight. Thank goodness that bat never crawled under either door. I think we were scared of each other.
The second night the bat flew up and down the stairs a few times. I swung and missed each time, but it finally disappeared. I didn’t search, not me. It was bigger than the other bats, with wings that filled the stairs. He flew up and around me and my racquet. What an acrobat!
My husband came home the third night. It took a few days, but he took out each member of our tiny bat colony, all three. I wish they’d found their way back into the night again.
Story #4 – My Latest Bat Adventure
Would you believe my last one was in May, this May? Or that my other bat experiences helped me face this one? Yes, it was this May, and yes, to those experiences.
This time it started with me sitting in our living room at the lake. I was working on my newest manuscript. It’s a middle grade novel, and I’m so excited about it.
Anyhow, my husband came inside and said, there’s a bat on the porch. I thought, in the middle of the afternoon? He also said he wanted me to take care of it. I said, huh? What?
He said that I was the batlady. Okay, I have said that, and a lot. Then he said I could take care of it. I thought a moment. Then I thought suck it up buttercup, and I headed outside, armed with a six-foot piece of baseboard. And no, I wasn’t going to hit the bat with it.
I got outside and of course I didn’t see the bat, like usual. My husband pointed, and there it was, hanging onto the base cap. I googled to find that word. It’s the baseboard that goes around the top of a wall, or the top of a porch.
My tiny new friend was on the base cap beside the front yard. It looked like a small bird, but birds can’t land on a base cap. I looked, then wondered if I could really help it leave. Then I thought suck it up buttercup again, and I held my baseboard up to that bat.
Nothing! I wondered if it was ignoring me, or sleeping. Did you know bats sleep during the day and fly at night? I tried again. Nothing again! The third time – it stretched out its wings. Yowzah! Suddenly that bat looked a lot bigger, but I sucked it up, and I held that board up one last time.
OOOPS! I forgot to tell you I was talking to the bat the whole time. On that last try I told my winged friend it couldn’t sleep on the porch. I said fly away. Find a better place to sleep. Guess what? It worked! My friend flew away, and I haven’t seen it since.
BTW – My tiny new friend probably lives in the mini-woods on either side of our house, but this is the first time we’ve met. Why? Bats avoid people the way people avoid bats. I thought I should build it a house, but I realized I don’t need to – my bat has lots of houses to choose from. They’re called . . . TREES!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!