While relaxing in the living room one night with my niece Shayna, our dogs jumped up from their place of rest and ran top speed into the kitchen and dining area. Shayna was certain they were after some small beast so we got up to investigate. The door to the cellar was open and my niece was positive something came up from the basement into the house. I was doubtful because no access to my basement was available for any critter to get in. Nonetheless, I grabbed a broom just incase I had to defend myself from some vile beast.
I peaked around my father’s antique room divider to see what the dogs were after and all I could see were two dogs anxiously trying to get under the small rocking chair to whatever was behind it. I leaned down to try and get a better look (from a safe distance, of course) but still couldn’t tell so I grabbed a flash light and looked again. There, tucked between the rocker and a large roll of paper (really large roll, I use it to cover sold prints) was a small brown bat.
Well that just about did me in! I didn’t want to kill it but DANG! I certainly didn’t want it to fly up into my face as I tried to rescue it! I paced around the room asking, “What do I do? What do I do? Shayna, I don’t want it to fly up at me!” So, she called my son.
“Jonathan,” Shayna said when he answered, “there’s a bat in the house! What do we do?!” Meanwhile I am pacing around the house with a large cookpot in my hand, trying to get up enough courage to put it over the bat. My son, who knows I’m terribly afraid of spiders but knows I’ve learned to deal with them on my own, suggests that I put the pot on top of the bat and slide a piece of cardboard under the pot as I do with spiders using a cup and paper. “Good idea, but WHAT ABOUT THE BAT FLYING UP INTO MY FACE?!?!” I proclaim. His wife, Doni, suggests that we turn off all the lights inside the house and turn on the outside light, leaving the door open. Shayna and I were dead set against that idea cuz , well…WHAT IF THE BAT STARTS FLYING AROUND THE HOUSE!!!
They wished us luck and hung up but shortly after started texting us about what they had found on a google search. And oh, what a wonderful piece of information they shared…bats cannot take flight from the ground. Phew! I could relax about the bat flying up into my face! They also told us that because bats cannot take flight from the ground, to set the pot (with said bat in the pot) against a tree trunk so it could climb up. Riiiiiiiiight! Sure, I could now cover the bat with less anxiety but what about the part of carrying it outside…in the dark…to a tree at least 50 paces away! What if I felt the bat move on the piece of cardboard while carrying it outside? I would surely panic and ruin the whole rescue mission! So, I got a long, thin piece of laminate board and slid that under the thin piece of cardboard. Now I was ready!
I chose to navigate, in the dark, to the closest tree, the one near the river. All was going well until a frog, unseen in the night, decided to jump from my path and hit my bare leg. Okay, yes….I screamed. What do you expect at this point?! My nerves are already on high alert and some unforeseen thing jumps on me?! So I screamed. And then I started laughing cuz, well, let’s face it…it’s either laugh or just give up and I don’t give up easily. My niece, standing bravely at the door, shouted, “What?! What was that?! Are you okay?!”
I had finally reached the tree! Phew! Take a deep breath cuz now I had to lean the pot up against the tree. “I can do this,” I say to no one in particular – okay, maybe the bat. As I lean in to slide the pot off the board, the pot falls off the the board and starts rolling and then clanks down two concrete steps toward the river. “OH SHIT!” I think to myself, “now where’s the bat!” In the dimly lit night, I look toward the end of the board where the piece of cardboard is and quickly ascertain that if the bat is there….well all reason left my head. I flung the board and cardboard up in the air, turned around and made my way back to the house. All would have to wait til morning because I had reached my level of heightened anxiety, coming short of what I was certain was an imminent heart attack.
I laughed like a crazed woman as I made my way back toward the house, telling Shayna about the pot falling down the steps toward the river. She asked about the bat and my reply was, “I have no idea but I hope I didn’t kill it.” Then I said, “I need a drink.”