I'm a fan of the bat. Have been ever since I first discovered my Gothic sensibilities learned addition and subtraction from the Sesame Street Count.
They're amazing little mammals and so often unfairly maligned as sinister when they actually comprise very little threat to humans. The chance of running into a rabid and/or vampire bat in North America is crazy low.
And I'm used to animal neighbors, having the good fortune of living in something of a natural wonderland. Just today, I've seen deer, rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels and--believe it or not--a wild turkey traipsing through the yard. So, really, a bat isn't all that remarkable and it's certainly no cause for alarm.
The other night we are walking up the steps. Something's inside the house and I've decided it's a sparrow. That's what it looks like in my inebriated state. Unlock the door, open it wide and gently shoo out the sparrow is my plan. But upon seeing this magnificent not-a-sparrow take wing, I found myself so enraptured by its dark chiropteran beauty that I immediately composed a poem in its honor.
By which I mean I yelled, "Holy shit, it's a fucking bat!"
The damn thing swooped at my head and I ducked and covered. I tried to shoo it out and again it swooped at my head and this primal fear hit me--my imagination saw it landing on my face, its sharp little teeth chewing at me. After the bite, of course, I'd have to give up the sunlit world, religious symbols, running water, consecrated ground and garlic. And, hey, I love garlic. So screw that noise--I abandoned the house to it.
Pat the exterminator came out the next day and we searched all through the house for the winged invader. Couldn't find it. "I swear I'm not making this up," I said. We looked and we looked and eventually it found us, ignoring Pat to swoop at my head once again.
"Nick, I am your totem animal!" it squeaked. "Follow me to a land of magical adventure!"
Sadly, I don't speak bat. And that's when Pat stunned it with my racquetball racket.
He didn't hurt it, just knocked it a little loopy, which gave him the chance to gather it into a container and me a chance to snap a picture to show you the monster critter in all its viciousness:
Kind of cute, actually.
Pat set it loose in a field.