Friday, September 2, 2011

Dominion...over a bat?

Bees grazing on black-eyed-susans in the sunshine, bats swooping to catch mosquitoes at dusk... nature is grand when each does what it was created to do where it was intended to do it, but in August one little guy got off course, to his dismay and to mine. Usually at least once each summer, a bat finds its way into this old house and I cannot claim to be much braver now with white hair than I was as a little kid with pigtails.

Once I know one is in the house I am able now, in my golden years, to go back to sleep - if I know it is not in my room and the bedroom door is closed with something stuffed along the bottom of the door. Can't imagine the poor thing crawling under the door from the hallway, but I feel safer with that space covered. One night sometime after 4:00 a.m. at the peak of this episode in August, Mr. Whiskers patted on the bedroom door to go out. I opened the door, battened down the hatches immediately when he'd made his exit, and Whiskers and the bat had some together time in the rest of the upstairs rooms and hallway. When they both were tuckered out, Whiskers knocked on the door and came back to bed and the bat eventually found somewhere that he felt safe for the day.

I had an appointment in the morning and, in the midst of rushing around to get ready and be on my way on time, I grabbed a hoodie that was hanging on the back of another bedroom door and plunked it on t
he railing post. The hood didn't seem right and I flipped it to straighten it. Out plopped that poor little critter! It landed with a smack on the tiny landing two steps down at the top of the stairs. For him to be thrown out of that hood at nine in the morning was probably like someone tossing us out of bed at midnight. He never spread his wings. He was huddled in a small black ball, comparable to our fetal position I'm guessing. No wonder, with this woman screaming and jumping in the hallway just above him!

I called the gracious neighbour who does the bat rescue for me faithfully every summer - no answer. In order to get downstairs and outside to see if
he was working in the garden, I had to step down and around that bat in a very small area. I had heard a message the day before about God giving us dominion so my frantic prayer was something like, "Okay, I'm the one in charge. He's the one in terror of death, but please, Lord, make him stay put and give me the courage to step around him and down the stairs."

When I connected with Ken, he was on the run too. "Throw something over him, and we'll get him out when we both get home." I remembered in one of Jean Little's stories, a bat was trapped in a waste basket and the child put a book on top and sat on it. I have waste baskets! God, in His mercy kept that
bat from moving for several minutes. I placed a waste basket upside down over top of him and plunked a six-pounder, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, on top. Then, for good measure I added another copy of the same volume in case Mr. Whiskers decided to investigate and tried to move the pyramid.

By mid-afternoon I wondered if the critter would have suffocated, but he was very much alive when Ken slid the wastebasket and our prisoner into the huge landing net kept for bat detail. God is so good! I just happened to have chosen a small round wastebasket that fit perfectly inside the round mouth of the net. Ken freed him in a wooded area and we encouraged him fervently to head for the river or the next town. By dusk he was probably cruising for mosquitoes with his siblings in the yard again, but I did gain fodder for this post. When I told Lawana Blackwell about these doings, that dear lady replied, "It's an ill wing that carries no good."


  1. Mary, this was hilarious! Glad to see you're claiming your territory. Live safe, now.

  2. Oh Mary, all I can say is "EWEWWW!" You're brave. Good for you.
    Michele D.

  3. It's a funnier story now than it was at the time, I'm sure. I figure, any creature that eats mosquitoes is okay by me. But we don't need them in the house.

  4. Years ago, I went to the Huron Country Playhouse, a theatre built in an old barn, near Grand Bend, Ontario. It was a hot night and the doors and windows were all wide open. The stage was alive with bugs, drawn by the lights, and I was waiting for one of the actors to swallow one right in the middle of a song (they were doing Annie Get Your Gun), but, blessedly, it didn't happen.

    At intermission, the lights went up. I heard a woman sitting behind me say, "Oh, look at all the birds!"

    I thought, "Birds! It's dark out. Birds should all be in bed by now." I looked up to the ceiling and saw a dozen winged creatures swooping back and forth, back and forth, up in the rafters.

    "Those aren't birds," I thought to myself. "Those are bats!" But I decided I'd keep that information to myself. I knew the woman would enjoy the remainder of the play far more if she thought they were only birds.

  5. Hi Mary,

    I laughed out loud reading your story of the bat. It is so well told. I too recall putting a bucket over a bat on my landing and heavy duty books on top of the bucket!


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