13 hours ago
Friday, August 10, 2007
This is NOT a Tall Tale
Last Saturday, I went to the neighborhood picnic a few doors down. Our neighbors are very friendly and we know more of them here than anywhere else we have lived. In the summer you see neighbors chatting with cold drinks in their hands while their kids play in the yard. Other neighbors stop to say hello when they walk their dogs around the circle. Beautiful weather perhaps promotes neighborliness.
At the picnic everyone brought a dish to share, there were sack races for the kids, a bike parade, a pinata smash, a wheelbarrow full of buried pennies in sand for the children to find. Bringing home a dollar fifty in pennies and three bags of candy lit up our kids faces as if it was fifty dollars and a mobile candy store. Sadly, Ben missed the enjoyable evening as he was on-call.
That night Alex, Fritz and Emily fell asleep to dream about the candy they would eat in the morning. I stayed up late as my custom when Ben's on-call. When I did fall asleep it was with the happiest thoughts of sweet neighbors and pasta salad.
BUT at 3:30 AM my dreams became terrifying. I contributed my vivid nightmare to the heat. I heard skittering sounds of nails scratching the wood floor and fluttering sounds as if something was flying above the four poster bed. I can remember thinking this dream seems too real and that's when I opened my eyes and turned on the light. Then I screamed. A bat was circling above my head. Our room is by no means small, but the bat could circle it incredibly fast swooping under our rod iron canopy and far too close to me. I know that bats have terrible eyesight so I was relying on my screams to keep the bat away from me. Being half asleep to be woken up to that was frankly the most frightening thing to happen in my young life. There was nothing brave about me, I sweatily squeezed my favorite pillow and resolved to charge for the open door on the bat's next circle. Once in the hall I slammed the door and stuffed some rags under it, so not a crack of light could be seen and the bat could not pursue me. Being panic stricken, I gave the bat far too much intelligence.
I tried to hunker down in the empty bed upstairs. I was hot, restless and worried that the bat would fly into my lamp and start a fire or drop guano over every square inch of the room making it a toxic waste site. I went downstairs and tried to sleep on the couch. I wished Ben had been home, he would have known what to do. Then I realized I could pray about it. And pray I did. And as I finished praying the garage door began opening and Ben walked in at 4 AM, unexpected by me of little faith, but a direct answer from God. He donned leather gloves took his fishing net and matter-of-factly marched upstairs. In a brief moment he had swooped the bat into the net. He released it outside as it tried to bite his fingers with its sharp teeth.
For those who don't know, Ben use to own his own nuisance wildlife extraction service. Being a master trapper of an armadillo duet, he won my father's approval for my hand in marriage, but that is another story. Last Sunday in the wee hours of the morning, Ben won my eternal gratitude and pride as he caught the creature of my nightmare.