Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going Batty

Dear George,

With Katja still working and me retired, I’ve been tring to do a few more household tasks. The other day Katja asked me to do the dishes in the sink which had been piling up for a couple of days. I got to work on it in the afternoon, wiping off each item with a scrubbing pad before I put it in the dishwasher. I was almost down to the bottom when I picked up a bowl and noticed some kind of ugly pile of garbage at the bottom of the sink. Then, whatever it was, it moved slightly, and I realized it was some sort of living creature. My first impression was that it was a large frog, perhaps from South America. When it moved its limbs, it appeared to have webbing between its legs and its body. Then I looked more closely, and I realized it was a bat – fullgrown, waterlogged, sluggish. I grabbed a large cup and placed it upside down on top of the animal, moving it this way and that to capture all its feet. I’d been cooking a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, so I tore the top off the cardboard carton and slid it underneath the upside down cup. Then I picked the whole thing up, bat firmly encapsulated, and took it outdoors. I set it down and let the bat out on a large paving stone between our property and the dentist office next door. The bat seemed near death and started crawling slowly away. I left it and went back in the house to call and tell Katja, but I was unable to reach her. Then it occurred to me that I should take a photograph. When I went back out with my camera, the bat had crawled a few feet over and was resting on the sidewalk, perhaps drying itself in the hot sun. I stepped up to it, camera in hand. As I approached, however, the bat took off flying, at first almost straight at me. At the last moment, it veered away and flew down Whitfield Avenue, looking to be in perfectly fine condition. In fact, it looked more like a bird than a bat. It had about an eight-inch wing span. I was sorry not to get my photo, but was happy that the bat was feeling good enough to fly away with ease.

Katja was not as shocked by my story as I expected. At first I thought the bat might have climbed up from the sink drain, but that didn’t seem likely. Katja thought it might have gotten in when I’d gotten up the night before at 4:30 a.m. to set the garbage out at the curb. She said she was glad I didn’t put it down the garbage disposal. Yuck == that would never have entered my mind. We had lots of bats in my family home on the river, and we children always liked it because we got to chase them with brooms. Katja asked if I remembered the bat at my brother Peter and sister-in-law Faith’s wedding. I remembered it vividly. The wedding was in the living room of the small house at my parents’ Birch Creek farm. The marrying couple was standing in front of doorway between the living room and the kitchen, and, just as the minister reached the critical part of the vows, a large bat zoomed across the length of the living room, flew over Peter and Faith’s heads, and disappeared into the kitchen. They never did see it, though everybody else was startled. The whole thing was very mysterious. Peter regarded it as a good omen, signifying that they would have exceptional lives, filled with surprises and unexpected happenings. And I guess that was true.



G-Mail Comments

-Vicki L (9-16): Hi D... This is a truly horrifying story and makes me think I should get married right away. Also, I can't believe that Katja was so calm and matter-of-fact about this given her habitual response (eg. Raid) to common insects like mosquitoes. It's going to take a few days to recover. Love, Sis

-Linda C (9-15): the photo is amazing, but shouldn't you have call health department to come get it see if has rabies?

-Jennifer M (9-15): I can't believe you're both so calm about this! I'd be freaked out!

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