I was in bed watching television late one evening when my then college-aged daughter came out of her bedroom and said, “Mom, look at Jo, she’s just running back and forth in the hallway.”
I looked towards the doorway of my room and saw Jo, our Cocker Spaniel, shuffle past my doorway, then shuffle past again, going in the other direction.
“I don’t know what she’s doing,” Kinsey said as Jo ran by again, her nose pointed up towards the ceiling.
“It looks like she’s watching something,” I said.
Kinsey looked up. “Bat!” she yelled as she ran back into her room, “It’s a bat!”
I got out of bed, walked to my doorway and peeked out to see a bat flying up against the ceiling headed down the hallway into the living room. Jo was following, running below it.
I looked over at Kinsey who was standing in the doorway to her room and I said, “We have to get it out of here.”
“I don’t do bats!”
“Me neither, but we’ve got to get it out of the house and I need your help,” I said.
As we stood there in our bedroom doorways arguing, the bat continued to fly between us, silently gliding up and down the hallway. As we watched, we noticed that it would loop the perimeter of the living room, then fly above the stairs and down the hall. Based on the bat’s consistent route, we decided that our best bet was to follow the bat down the hallway by making a mad dash from our doorways when it flew past us to head back towards the living room.
And that’s what we did, but as we reached the stairs, the bat changed it’s flying pattern and turned and headed right towards us. Because we were at the top of the stairs, the bat was at head level, so we did the only thing we could do; we panicked. I did a belly flop and slid down the stairs on my stomach, screaming. As I was sliding down the steps, Jo was running up them to my left, still following the bat. Kinsey slid down the stairs right behind me on her butt, also screaming. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I quickly crawled to the dining room on my left while Kinsey scrambled off to the right to other set of stairs leading to the family room.
Once we were out of the way, the bat continued on as it had before, flying the perimeter of the living room before heading to the hallway only to turn around and return. As we stood there, I told Kinsey that maybe if the front door was opened, it would fly out on its own. The front door of our house opens to the living room, and since she was the closest one to the door, I told her she should be the one to open it. “I’ll tell you when to go. Just run to the front door and once you’re outside, lock the screen door in the open position,” I said.
As soon as the bat began to fly over the stairs to head down the hallway, I told her to go and she made her escape. After securing the screen door in the open position, she stayed outside on the front porch. But the bat didn’t leave; it continued to keep making loops around the living room and hallway.
“I need something to knock it down with,” I told Kinsey, “Go to the garage and find me something.”
“I don’t care! A badminton racquet, a broom, whatever… go find me something!”
She left the front porch and headed around the house to the attached garage to find me a weapon. A few minutes later she opened the kitchen door and threw a broom onto the floor. She stayed in the garage.
“Come back in here, I need your help,” I said.
“I’m not coming back in there!”
“The bats not going in the kitchen. Just stand in the doorway and tell me when it’s headed this way to go up the stairs. When it flies by, I’ll whack it with the broom and then sweep it out the front door.”
Because our main floor is made like a big square, the living room opens to both the kitchen and the dining room. Kinsey took her position in the doorway between the living room and kitchen and I took up mine in the doorway between the living room and the dining room.
“Just watch it and tell me when it’s coming, I’m going to get ready to hit it,” I said.
After a few seconds she said, “Here it comes.”
I counted to myself, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi,” and it flew by. Twice more we did that and each time the bat was in front of my doorway on three Mississippi.
Holding the broom with the bristles at the top, I took a few practice swings in the dining room and said, “Okay, next time it goes by me, I’m swinging.”
“Here it comes!”
I counted to myself, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi” and right when I thought “three Mississippi,” I took a generous swing with the broom. Although I hadn’t played baseball in years I hit the bat squarely and sent it across the living room and right through the open door where it landed on the front porch.
I ran to the open living room door and standing in the doorway, I frantically tried to sweep the bat, which was alive and lying on it’s back, off of the porch. Kinsey, who had followed me to the door asked, “Mom, what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to sweep it off of the porch so that it can’t get back in!”
“Mom,” she said, but I ignored her, intent on sweeping the bat away.
Finally, she yelled, “Mom!” and when I turned to look at her, she grabbed my arm, pulled me into the living room and shut the door.
Of course….shut the door! I was so focused on getting the bat off of the porch that it never occurred to me to simply shut the door once it was outside. A few minutes later the bat recovered and flew off, seemingly no worse for the wear.
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