Dusk is a magical time of day.
Pink and deep blue saturate the expansive sky as fireflies twinkle in their nightly waltz. Sitting on our screened in porch during this time has become ritual for our family. It is quiet; the still summer air breathes new life after the heat of day has passed. Rocking with my little boy and peering out into our backyard reminds me that life has never been more full of hope and promise than it is right now.
I never anticipated that this time of day would become the few moments I would dread the most.
It was about a month ago when we found out the news as we got new insulation blown into our attic.
“You have bats.”
Let’s review. Bats are the one creature in the world that Ace Ventura cannot tolerate. My favorite superhero, Batman, is terrified of this particular nighttime flying rodent. I’m not saying I base all of my feelings on those of fictional characters, but how do you think little ‘ole me faired against hearing this particular tidbit of news?
It drove me batty: pun intended.
We were fortunate to have A All Animal Control take care of our particular rodent problem. We were grateful that these creatures hadn’t infiltrated our attic yet, they were setting up camp in between our vent and the attic. Our technician came out and spent hours sealing up different crevices that these little rascals can squeeze into. He let us know that there were about fifteen or twenty of these creatures living just above where I lay my head at night.
He set up a one-way door for the bats to escape, and we were all confident they would not return.
Ehem. This next part takes a stronger stomach than mine.
The following morning, I was leaving my house to go sign my resignation paper and realized I forgot something inside our house. I kept the car running, opened up the garage door and started to run inside. I noticed a little creature trapped underneath the garage door. This creature had expansive wings and an extremely unattractive trap.
He couldn’t let go of our house as his home. A bat had returned.
I screamed profanities and promptly ran back to my car. The forgotten item could wait.
I couldn’t tell whether this particular beast of terror was alive, but I assumed he was dead if he spent all night trapped beneath my garage door. I gathered up enough courage to push broom it out of our home and into the ivy and hope that some other creature would have a nice snack.
When I returned, I opened the garage door, and this little bat began to spread his wings and prove my assumptions wrong. I closed the garage door out of sheer panic and went to a friend’s house to wait out my paranoia. I called on another friend, who assured me that she wasn’t scared at all, to help me trap the little bugger.
When I opened the garage door, I was hiding out in my car with my little boy. My rescuer was waiting with tupperware ready. Only, he wasn’t where I saw him. He had limped inside of our garage. She trapped him and swept him outside in between our two garage doors. We weren’t sure what to do. I wouldn’t even walk near it because I had seen his wingspan and devilish fangs.
It is amazing what terrors something so small can bring.
After the bat episode proved that I was supremely wimpy, I thought my battles with nighttime fowl were over.
I thought wrong.
Just the other night, I was out for an evening run to take advantage of this unusual temperate July weather. I was pleased with my pace; I always feel like I am flying without the jogging stroller. I noticed two former students playing in the yard and I waved at them. I wasn’t sure if they saw me, but I was going to wave on my way back.
It was about a quarter of a mile later that I felt something hit me hard on the back of the head. I felt something sharp digging into my ponytail. I wondered if it was my two students who had caught up with me.
It took about a half of a second to notice brown and black feathers flapping against my head. An owl. On my head. Attempting to take me away for dinner.
I sat and glared intently at this huge bird of the night and screamed, “WHY!?!” I took off my hat, shook out my hair, and tried to regain my composure. A young couple was walking toward me at the same time; I am sure my shill screams of terror ruined what looked like date number 2. Sorry, guys.
My aunt suggested I look up these animals as “totems.” I am not exactly someone who is into Native American religion, but both animals suggest a “death” or “letting go,” of something that I once held to be a higher calling and embracing change. If you remember, I’ve just resigned my position at my dream job. Perhaps God is sending a message for me to know that I have made the right choice, despite my lingering grief over losing my job.
But perhaps, it is simply unfortunate run-ins with these fowl creatures. Whatever it is, I never want these particular experiences repeated again.