A Bat in the Flowerbox
I lifted the screen in my upstairs bedroom window. Outside, on the ledge, was a flowerbox full of blooming geraniums. I turned the first pot, picked up my watering can and poured in some water. The second terra cotta pot was a smidgen too large and rested on its rim, leaving space underneath. I lifted it and gave it a turn.
Two claw-tipped, leathery legs connected by a brown membrane skittered back under the pot. The screen came down with a slam followed by the glass windowpane.
There was a bat living under my geraniums. My heart was beating double time. Every bat scene in every horror movie I ever saw flashed through my mind. I peeked out of the window and into the flower box. One savage little foot still protruded from under the edge of the pot. But he must’ve sensed me looking and pulled it all the way back under.
My brain knows bats are good creatures, eating tons of mosquitoes and bugs and they don’t really suck the blood from hapless, sleeping maidens. I’ve sat on my front porch at sunset and marveled at the way they dive and swoop, so fast, after the insects.
I’ve also had one in my house. I can still see it flying toward me down the hallway, wings beating in slow motion, its eyes locked with mine. It scared the day-lights out of me and turned me into a hysterical, screaming ball curled up on the floor as my husband trapped the bat in a towel.
Back to the problem at hand; the geraniums still needed watering. It meant opening the window, giving what my quaking heart insisted was a rabid vampire bat access to my home. Do I close the bedroom door to contain the bat if it does fly in or leave the door open so I can run like the devil? I decided to leave an open route of escape.
I lifted up the glass windowpane and looked out through the screen. No movement. The bat was lying low, considering its options, still under the second pot. I decided to make a deal with the little squatter; if he promised not to fly in through the window, I’d let him camp out under my flowerpot for as long as he liked. I took his lack of response as a yes.
I eased up the screen, ready to slam it back down if the bat made a move. All was quiet. I poured water into the remaining geraniums, closed the screen and watched. The water flowed out the bottom of the pots, making a thin puddle. It spread out under the second pot.
The bat’s hind leg kicked out. He shook the water off then pulled his leg back under. I watched and waited but he didn’t so much as twitch. It looked like he was going to keep his part of the bargain. I named him Butch.
- Posted in: Just for Fun