Sara called me at work a few days ago to tell me that the mystery of the vanishing bat had been solved.
One night last year while Sara and Lucy were on a weekend vacation, I heard Ben yelling from his room, “Daddy, daddy, there’s a birdy in here!” My first thought was that he had been struggling to fall asleep and decided to come up wth a creative way to quit trying. When I arrived at his room and asked him where it was, he said it flew away—a response that normally would have increased my incredulity, yet there was no guile in his visibly shaken mien. He was genuinely terrified. So I told him I’d look around.
It didn’t take me long to find the “birdy.” It was a bat, and it was perched on the picture rail in the upstairs hallway just above the bathroom door. I quickly closed Ben’s door, assuring him that I would get rid of the birdy. No sooner did I turn around than that bat swept through the hallway, nearly flapping in my face and fully freaking me out. It plunged down to the first floor, and I tumbled down the stairs after it. I grabbed my racquetball racquet and crouched down, waiting for its next offensive maneuver.
But the bat didn’t come back. I grabbed a flashlight and searched every room. Still no bat. I scoured the basement—the cobwebbed corners, the darkened nooks, the cluttered dry-goods shelves. Nothing. After twenty minutes or so of good bat hunting, I trudged back to Ben’s room to give him the less-than-satisfying explanation that the birdy must have flown away all by itself. I fully expected, of course, to see the bat again, if not the same night, then at least within the week.
So, how did Sara end up seeing the bat more than a year later? She scheduled furnace maintenance. The service technician replaced the furnace filter—and removed one very old, very dry bat.