All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
I fancy myself a lover of all creatures great and small — I’ve never met a dog or cat or horse or cow I didn’t like.
Of course, I’ve never really met a cow, but if I did, I’m sure I would like it.
However, there is one category of creatures I not only don’t like, but actively, and unashamedly, hate.
Bats. I know the Lord God made them all. I know they’re part of the ecosystem and keep the insect population under control. I don’t care if they spin gold and lobby for world peace, I can’t help hating them.
Over the years, we have had several of them appear uninvited in the various homes we’ve lived in. I can recall every incident in painful detail, even though I’ve forgotten whole chunks of our past history. Now that’s a redundantcy, since all history is past — goes to show you just writing about bats has me unhinged.
When we lived in the house two doors from where I am now, not one, but two, of the evil critters came swooping into our living room. I, of course, screamed and ran into the next room (I’m very helpful that way). Bing, my football hero husband, turned white, but managed to retain his composure, although I know perfectly well he was as undone as I was.
He tried valiantly to swat them with a tennis racket, to no avail. Finally, I announced I was going to call Algona’s Finest to come rescue us. Bing was horrified, not wanting to appear to be a wuss. He struggled with what it would look like and finally said, “Okay call them, but tell them that I’m at a meeting.”
I stared at him — seriously? Who goes to meetings at 11 o’clock at night?
We moved into this house 12 years ago and have been blissfully batless. Until last week.
I was watching a British mystery on Netflex when a huge — HUGE — monster swooped in and proceeded to circle over my head at 100 miles an hour. I screamed bloody murder (I’m nothing if not consistent), vacated the room and slammed the door behind me. A very nice police officer responded to my frantic call within minutes.
(By the way, has anyone else noticed how very young police officers — and airline pilots, and doctors — have become? Like 14-years-old. O well.)
The officer dispatched the uninvited visitor quickly, earning my everlasting gratitude.
Another officer who earned my everlasting gratitude years ago was then-Chief of Police Eric Swalwell. My mother lived in this house then and called me when a bat dropped by. I came over, called for backup and Chief Swalwell appeared. We hatched a plan. The bat was hiding behind a large painting at the head of the stairs. (It was a painting of the Holy Family — there’s probably a message there somewhere.)
Eric said he would push hard on the heavy, ornate frame, hoping to squish the varmint while I stood behind him with a tennis racket in case it didn’t care to stay around to be squished. And of course it darted right out. I swung the racket mightily, missing Eric’s ear by a half-inch, but connecting with Mr. Bat and knocking him to the floor. I then hysterically pounded and pounded and pounded on him until he was dead at least 10 times over.
Chief Swalwell stared at me open-mouthed and, when I finally quit, said in awe (and, possibly, horror), “Good grief, Molly — you’re vicious!”
Well . . . only if you’re a bat.
Original article appears here on Algona.com