It’s So Batty, by Will Saunders
When I left home to go to work the other day, it was still a little dark out just as it usually is. A bird (or what I presumed was a bird) flew past my head into some bushes near the spot where I parked my car. I had to duck to keep it from slamming into my face. It startled me quite a bit. I thought, “That sure is a strange looking bird.”
The shape of it was odd, and it had odd-shaped wings. I was thinking of some of the eerie animals I’ve seen from the movie or video game, Resident Evil. But more than that, it didn’t seem to be healthy based on how it was flying. I initially figured it was the early morning darkness that kept me from getting a good look at it, and the fact that I still may not have been fully awake, that caused my eyes and imagination to be doing its work on my judgment. I still kept thinking it was odd, as I know most birds typically do not fly when it’s dark. But I pressed on and thought no more about it.
Fast-forward to later in the day when I got back home, I saw flyers posted around the neighborhood warning residents of wild bats in the area. I also received an email from the condo association about it and that the county animal control office would be dispatching a crew. Seeing those notices scared me. At the time, it didn’t dawn on me that the creature was a bat. I soon realized that’s exactly what it was. That explained why it was out in the dark …it’s not uncommon for bats to be out in the dark… and why it didn’t fly with grace the way a bird might have flown. Recently, a coworker who lives in Maryland and a Facebook friend who lives in Pennsylvania each had a bat get into their homes. I think the only thing worse than having to deal with a bat in my home is having to deal with a snake in my home – although maybe the snake would be a viable solution to bat problem. Bats are a delicacy to snakes.
Fortunately, the bat didn’t find its way into my home. That’s a good thing too, because I know I would have been emotionally out of sorts if it had. Bats are like other rodents. They can squish themselves down and squeeze through very small openings. The average bat can squeeze through openings with a diameter of between 20- 25 centimeters, which is roughly the size of a quarter. That’s not very large at all. For the past few days, every little sound I have heard – the dishwasher changing cycles, the sounds of the printer, a noise outside, and the imaginary sounds in my head – all left me a little jumpy. Bats are known carriers of rabies, so I’m very elated and fortunate that the creature didn’t slam into my face. Even without rabies, I do not want to face a bat. I hope those bats go back to where they have been hiding all winter.