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The Night Visitor

John Robinson
John Robinson

Sometimes I can’t sleep so well when Marybeth is away but on this recent cool August night I was sleeping like a baby. It had been a busy day and it had felt so good to finally let my head hit the pillow.

Sometime in the middle of the night, however, I was aroused from  dreamland reverie. Coming to I noticed fluttering sounds in the air over the bed, and this was – shall we say – unsettling.

I was at once fully awake and, clutching the sheets to my chin like Scrooge, I peered into the darkness. “Oh boy, what is it?” I  wondered briefly before realizing that my uninvited guest was a bat. I mean A BAT! In my bedroom, fluttering and diving about just above my head!

Gosh how did he get in here, I wondered. Maybe Mr. Bat swooped into our abode by mistake, when I left the back door open in the predawn blackness the day before.  Come to think of it, it was the time of day that bats finish up their night’s work. Perhaps, after a big night of foraging and ready to hang, the bat in question took a wrong turn into our abode where it hid from the light of day in the sleeve of a jacket or something.

Growing up, when I was six or so, we also experienced a visit or two by bats. One evening a majority of the six of us were in the living room doing whatever it was that we did then, like reading or siblings tussling with each other or playing with Inky the cat, when a lively bat entered the fray. It caused quite a stir for a few minutes darting about the room, then disappeared. Mr. – or Ms.- bat  made a repeat performance on several evenings after that, managing to evade capture or discovery of its hiding place.

Then my mom found it one afternoon hanging, in elegantly composed and compact posture – I know because I saw it – from the inside of the dining room drapes.  At the time the little rascal possessed very little get-up-and-go, so we – ok not me but my mom – could lightly knock it into a basket and transport it to the backyard where it was gently deposited into the bushes. I was so very fascinated by the whole affair, as one can imagine.

Anyway, back to the present bat adventure. Under the protection of my pillow held over my head (so very brave) I stumbled across the room to close the bedroom door, along with the closet  one. I thought it best to contain the beast, who continued to merrily proceed with its chosen flight pattern unabated.

Next I crept to the window and disassembled the screens and cranked opened wide the casement sashes. Then I leaned – cowered actually – against the wall to watch Ms. Bat depart.

But not so fast. it seems she was in a loosely-defined holding pattern which kept her up next to the high ceiling, above the window openings. “Ok, is it going to be you or me?” I found myself asking aloud, as I considered exiting the room to sleep on the sofa, but I decided to try to knock the Bat out of the air with a well-placed pillow whack. (Then what, I hadn’t planned)

I repeatedly missed my target, but I did cause a considerable alteration in its flight pattern and what do you know, out the window it flew. I bid it a not-so-fond farewell – the feeling was mutual, no doubt – and I hurriedly closed the windows again.

It took me a while to get back to sleep.

– Johnny Robinson

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