Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bats in the Belfry

*I wrote this story many years ago when I was a nanny for my nephews. Enjoy!*

I have to admit, the bats were not actually in a belfry, and there was only one. In fact, I do not think I would have ever noticed the critter if I hadn’t been looking for the circular saw in the dining room.

Yes, I know. Why in the world would a person keep a saw in the dining room? Well, it was my brother’s house, so what would you expect a man to keep in there - a curio cabinet filled with china teacups and porcelain cherub figurines? It will never happen in his lifetime.

Anyway, I went in there to get the saw because he was doing remodeling work on the bathroom. I spotted the tool hanging on a nail that he had pounded into the window frame (the epitome of a man owning his home) when I did a double take as I glanced outside.

A black splotch hung on the outer screen.

A vandal threw a rock at the house, was my first thought until the rock moved. I got up close and spotted the telltale wrinkled nose and curved ears. When black eyes blinked at me, my next thought involved a whole lot of shrieking.

A bat!

I combed fingers through my hair. I couldn’t help myself. Everyone has seen at least one movie where the woman walks into the abandoned house, dank cave, or busy strip mall searching for her friend, nuclear weapon, or really good shoe sale, when she discovers a bat has taken refuge in her blond, auburn, or neon orange highlighted tresses.

By this time, my brother and his two sons had entered the room to see what the ruckus was about. From my hiding place behind the potted tree, I pointed at the winged mouse.

Disgusted, my five-year-old nephew shouted, “Kill it!” Amazed, my three-year-old nephew crowed, “Ooh,” which I translated as, “Kill it!”

My brother walked over and tapped on the window. “The bat probably couldn’t make it home before morning. Since it can’t get inside, we’ll just leave it alone until it flies away.”

My brother continued to tap on the glass - so much for leaving the small creature alone. Then my older nephew began to tap on the glass: like father - like son. My younger nephew kicked the wall since he was too afraid to tap the glass.

I shifted from the protection of tree branches and approached the window. After the initial scare, it was now fascinating to look at a bat up close, although I refrained from knocking on the window. I certainly would not want to have someone pounding on an object that rested against my head, or have people staring at me while I slept. Feeling sorry for the now tone-deaf mammal, I ushered all the men folk out the room.

From time to time, we checked on our little lodger. It slept undisturbed until the sun came around to the south side of the house. As the rays of light began to shine through the screen, the bat crawled its way, upside down, over to the left notch where the lower window would slide behind the upper pane. Inside the shaded groove, it wrapped both wings in tight, and fell back to sleep.

At nightfall we heard a flapping sound in the dining room. Finally awake, the bat had turned itself right side up as it crawled along the screen. Tiny claws climbed until coming to the opening where the screen had shifted down just enough to have allowed the bat access into its nesting place that morning. As if the commissioner had turned on the signal for the caped crusader to save the city, the creature spread out its wings and took off without a sound or a thank-you. Perhaps it had a headache from all the obnoxious, glass-pounding.

Can anyone think of a more perfect Halloween decoration?



  1. Great tale Michelle. I'll bet your nephews loved it. Only you and Mary Poppins could be such an entertaining nanny.

  2. Bats.huh?
    As long as the little sucker is on the outside, looking in, I'm ok but don't let the damned thing INSIDE or I'd be saying the same thing as your nephew! KILL. IT! DO. IT.NOW!

  3. aww... poor wee thing

    glad s/he was not hurt

    one time i was fishing at dusk, and somehow knocked one out of the air... it got up and flew off again

  4. Hilary: Thanks! FYI - Yanno, I never watched the Mary Poppins movie. I know what the gist of it is, but never saw it.

    Buck: Thanks! I was hoping you would like it even though it wasn't another hockey post.

    Jeni: Bats absolutely creep me out. You can read another run-in I had with them. You will need to do the copy/paste thing in your browser. I am a little under the weather at the moment to think of how to set up a link in this comment.

    Laughingwolf: No animals were harmed in the making of this post! ;P

  5. good, no harm no fowl in my #XIII, either :O lol

  6. i KNOW it's 'foul', but hey, MY post :P lol

  7. I see you haven't lost any of your incredible writing skills since I've been absent. Great post for Halloween Michelle! And I really enjoyed all your other posts that I missed.

    Hugs to you my friend, feel better soon! :)

  8. laughingwolf: All puns are allowed here! :)

    Sandra: Thanks! I'm glad to see you are commenting again. I missed you.

    *Attention, everyone! I have a major headcold kicking my patotie. I'll be back to post something on Tuesday (I hope.)

  9. I hope your cold goes away soon, Michelle!


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