Saturday, June 12, 2010

Going Batty

I'm not a fan of bats. The flying kind. They creep me out.

I know they fly around doing good. Gobbling up a bazillion mosquitoes. Pollinating plants and spreading seeds.

But they creep me out.

I shudder to think how many visitors we knocked down in this old farmhouse and then released before having them sealed out. Before I worked for the health department.

Because now I know the risk.

And bats really creep me out.

A local lady saved herself this week by capturing a bat that bit her. She actually had puncture marks. Testing proved it had rabies.

Reminded me again of one of our many bat experiences.


"Mom! Dad! There's a mouse in my trash can!"

Not the way I want to be startled from a deep sleep. Dennis continues to snore.

"Mmmmm. What color is it?"

I don't know why I asked that.

"Brown. Hurry!"

Brown? Mice aren't brown, are they? In her tall Michigan State trash can? Oh no!

Dennis sleeps on. I bound up the stairs. And there in her trash can--is a bat!

Bat. Bedroom. Sleeping person.

Must. Catch. Bat.

Book over can. Bushel basket with vinyl liner. More books to hold in place. Close closets. Close door. Stuff towels under door. Call . . . who? At 7 in the morning?

Margaret! Our communicable disease nurse!


Why am I freaked? We've had confirmed cases of bat rabies in the area. A bat in the area of a sleeping person means assumed exposure.

Lose bat. Get shots.

I check Abby over for bites, knowing marks could be invisible and that there is no way to tell saliva exposure. Calm her down. Calm me down. Send her off to school.

I call Animal Control who sends two officers armed with long heavy gloves--a man and a woman.

We go upstairs, and the man begins to dismantle my "trap."

He removes the books. He removes the  basket. The three of us peer warily into the can.

No bat!

Uh oh!

He explores the basket. Removes the liner.

No bat!

He removes the paper from the bottom of the can, piece by piece, and we stare at the bottom of an empty can.

No bat!

I see shots in our future. But--are those droppings on that sheet of crumpled paper? I reach down to pick it up.

And the bat falls on my bare foot!

My heart stops. I nearly fall out the window. The lady officer screams. The man swoops down on it with his gloves.

And. We. Wait.

Days later. The news. The bat is (was) clean.



I was and am informed now. But I wonder. How many other bats have we dodged?

While we slumbered.

Or like the one Abby woke up to see settled on her canopy one night?

Or like others seen, chased, and lost?

Not that the risk is humongous. But it's there. And I could drive myself batty with worry.

And I wonder. Am I aware of spiritual risks? Have I sealed the entries? Do I remember to don my armor? How many dangers has He protected me from? Dangers unaware?

I'm so glad that He stands guard even in the night watches.

And I'm not creeped out at all.

He won't let you stumble,
Your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel's
Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you--
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil
He guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
He guards you now, He guards you always.
Psalm 121:3-8 (Message)

Have you had any close encounters of the bat kind?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


HisFireFly said...

Now I'm left singing the old Vineyard song -

Jehovah never sleeps, He Is guatrding you and me

Great post today!

Candy said...

We chased one around my mom's porch with a broom last summer. Great family bonding time :) They terrify me. This was beautifully written, Sandra.

"How many dangers has He protected me from? Dangers unaware?" Lots, I'm sure, and mostly not bats.

S. Etole said...

Bats drive me, well, batty!!! Good analogy.

Sandra Heska King said...

@Karin: Now it's in my head!

@Candy: We used to keep an oatmeal box around. And you're right. He keeps us from way more than we know.

@Susan: LOL. I'd like to see what you could do with a photo of one. ;)

Cassandra Frear said...

Oh, on my hikes I've had several encounters with snakes.

I feel about them like you do about bats.

I worry about bears, too. We've been too close to some of those as well.

Boy, that's when you really hang on to the Lord!

Your new baby is adorable, BTW. Congratulations!

Sandra Heska King said...

The thing about snakes and bats is they just seem to come out of nowhere. Hidden "dangers."

The bat that bit the lady was hidden behind loose carpet on a stair step.

When we hike, I'm also concerned about what might be hiding--like a rattlesnake under a rock--or what might be stalking me, like a bear or a cougar. Well, not so much where we go here in Michigan. And then I worry about people--like do I dare even go walk in the cemetery alone?

My MIL was so glad years ago when we bought a little trailer and put away the tent. She was always worried a bear would come through the canvas and eat us up!

All those thoughts could drive me batty if I dwelled on them. So glad we can just trust Him!

I think that baby is adorable, too! And Gracee just loves her. Thanks.

Duane Scott said...

I'm definitely not a person that enjoys bats. I used to go up into the attic of a friend's house, and we'd both be holding tennis rackets. As they would dive bomb us, we'd whack em.

I like em dead.

I know, reprove me for the cruelty. But we were kids.

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