The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

25 August 2011

Of the end of the bat

When we last left the bat, it had attached itself to the screen of the bathroom window.  Bil had cleverly (and with quick stealth) shut the window closed on it, ensuring it would not be swooping unfettered through the house. We lived through two quite unreal days of family members updating each other on which corner of the window the bat was recently hanging from, and whether any movement had been spotted.  It seemed unreal, for through the bubbled privacy glass, the batesque shape seemed to merely reference a bat, rather than to actually be a bat. Until it tapped on the glass that is. In those moments, his limbs would come into sharper focus as they got closer to the window and there was no longer any doubt that it was, in fact, a real bat.

I began to know its habits - how it would turns right side round to perform certain functions, then hang upside down again. We speculated it was eating bugs that came too near the screen, and remarked how fortunate it was that we were having cooler weather so the poor thing wouldn't bake in the sun.  But then we remembered the poor creature in question was likely harbouring nasty pestilence and would as soon scratch or bite us as eat a peach out of our hand - something Two would very much have liked to try.  Oma informed us that bats can live up to 30 years.  "Great," said my sister.  "It will outlive me."

Clearly something needed to be done.  It was becoming depressing, yet none of us were willing to try any of the methods of trapping it helpful friends had suggested.  We kept thinking about a couple we know who abandoned their bedroom to bats who have been trapped, released benignly into the wild, then returned 'home' again.  They now sleep in what used to be the dining room.  We're packed to the gills already; we haven't any room to donate to wildlife!  The bat simply had to go.

Then the earthquake happened.  Earlier that morning, we noticed the usual bat-hanging-upside-down-from-the-screen shape had morphed into a bat-hiding-in-the-window-well shape. We thought afterwards the bat must have sensed the coming tremors (animals are known to, aren't they?) and worked itself under a tiny cover that sits over the runner, getting itself stuck in the tiny space. We didn't have to try to cover it with a box, or trap it in a bag, or gas it out, or risk life and limb on a tall ladder, nor yet surrender our home to it.  Bil covered himself in all the protective gear he owns, and used the longest-handled grabbing tool he has to remove the departed bat.  It has left our house and will not be coming back.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. And let's hope none of his'friends' learn of your bed and breakfast spot!