Bits and Bytes

Bats

Today’s story is about bats. I think bats are just mice with wings. I was talking to my life-long friend Lorraine last night. She mentioned that she thinks she might have sucked up a dried up bat with her shop vac. Yuck–at least it was dried up.

I first met Lorraine in Grade 2. It was 1979 and we were seven years old. She asked me to chase the boys with her. I can even remember what she was wearing: LIME GREEN pants, a matching vest, and a navy blue turtle neck. She was in another class at the time, but we eventually ended up in the same class though: Mrs. Halleberg’s Grade 2 class at Takhini Elementary School.

Lorraine was my first friend ever to sleep over at my house. Except, she only made it to midnight. Years later, I found out she was so afraid that my parents would make her do chores that she didn’t want to stay the night and find out.

Years later, she tells me that she couldn’t believe the amount of chores the Burke girls did. The Burke girls cleaned house. The Burke girls baked bread. The Burke girls shovelled the driveway, and chopped wood, and had dinner on the table when our parents got home. Years later, I told her that we didn’t know we had a choice. In fact, we didn’t have a choice. That’s just what we did. We didn’t know any better so we didn’t question it. We just did.

Anyway this is a blog about bats and the dried up bat that ended up in Lorraine’s shop vac. She tells me that a few months ago, her and her husband thought they had a bat in their kitchen, but it eventually just went away. She thinks found it yesterday as she was making a quick attempt to clean under the cupboards with the shop vac between baby feeding and baby changing. She doesn’t want to look to find out if she did indeed suck up a dried up bat. Maybe she’ll look in a few days she tells me.

Then, she tells me she thinks she has another bat hibernating in her attic. Her hubby, Rick, was up there putting something away and lifted up a lid to a box and there is a bat in the box–hibernating. They live in Ottawa, Canada. It’s too cold to put it outside, so they just sealed off the attic until spring. I thought that is a pretty humane thing to do.

I have a bat story too. One night, I had a friend over for a BBQ dinner. I guess we left the door open as we went in and out of the house. A week later, there was something fluttering in the bay window at the head of the bed. It was fluttering and faltering and fluttering and faltering. It eventually brushed against Stephen’s face. At which point in time, he sat bolt upright, swiped at his face, and ended up swatting the bat against the window above the bed. We didn’t know it was a bat at the time though. I screamed and jumped out of bed at all the commotion. The bat was now immobile on the window sill–stunned I think. Stephen grabbed his shorts from the pile of laundry by the bed, threw them over the bat. I opened the window and he threw the whole sh-bang out the window.

I think the bat was flying around in the dark and faltering because he was starving and probably dehydrated. He had been in the house for over a week (I’m guessing). I’m glad we captured him and threw him out the window-shorts and all. Months later, we found the shorts out in the yard. We didn’t find a bat.

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