Bats freak me out: warm-blooded, furry animals with teeth AND wings.
Some bats shriek, too – because they’re blind and they want to warn everyone to get out of their way. (Come to think of it, I know some drivers who are like that.)
I have two Italian bat stories.
BAT STORY NO. 1.
One day I was in our garage, which also doubles as a laundry. I noticed that there was a rolled-up, black sock in my laundry bucket. I grabbed the black, misshapen ball and immediately realized that it was not a sock. Oh no: It was a bat. A dead bat. A dead, squishy bat and I’d given it a good squeeze with my bare hand! Eeeek! (I tell myself it was dead because the alternative is too creepy to think about.)
I made my husband dispose of the dead bat when he came home from work.
Since that day, I always wear my glasses when I do the laundry and I inspect rolled-up, black socks very, very carefully before I touch them.
BAT STORY NO. 2
This week I was putting my car in the garage in the afternoon. I went to close the garage doors but couldn’t because a bat was lying in the doorway. It was twitching its wings and moving its little face about. It seemed to be injured.
Clearly, in order to close the garage doors, I was going to have to move the poor creature. I grabbed a broom and gently tried to sweep the bat out of the way.
The little beast was not amused. It did an impression of a Tasmanian Devil and hissed and snarled at me.
So I retaliated and took a photo of it with my iPhone.
Then I swept the bat against an exterior wall into the full blaze of the sun. (The area around our garage is all sun in the afternoon.)
I left the bat there and went upstairs but felt guilty because I know bats are nocturnal creatures and they probably hate to be out in the hot sun without any protection as much as I do.
Bats have a good side too: they eat mosquitoes – and the mosquito population here is completely and utterly out of control.
So I went downstairs to check on the bat, but it had disappeared. There was no sign of it. I just hope it had managed to gather its strength and fly off to the shadows somewhere.
THE MORAL OF THESE STORIES
The moral of these stories is that I do not have a good batting average.
The next time I encounter one of these flying, furry mammals, my goal is to be of service to it. I will try to rescue it in some way (if it needs to be rescued) so that it can do its bit to control the mosquito population.
Bats: you still freak me out but I’m on your side.