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.
That’s one of those experiences that can easily get lost in memories that get fuzzier as the years go by (just ask me – I probably won’t remember). How nice that you’ve recorded this for future reference, and provided your kids with stuff about incidents in their childhoods that they are too young to remember on their own.
Ok, ok, so that’s a fine story and all, but it doesn’t dramatically top the bat experience we had while I was living with you guys. You were so brave, Karl, and it was so much fun being awake at 3 am to see you erect a path of blankets, ushering the unwanted house guest (the bat–not me) out the door.
I was so proud that the next day I donned my Batman shirt in homage to you, remember?
At any rate, here’s to the old dead bird and to the one that got away.
What a great story. Now you know why you should have your furnace cleaned/checked every year in the fall. When I used to clean/check furnaces I found birds and squirrels in furnaces. I guess it was too old to have furnace kill for dinner.