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Bat Trapping

Bat Trapping as a family is usually not an organized, pre-planned event, and it certainly is a terrible thing to attempt in the middle of the night.

A family member wakes up in the middle of the night, and heads for the kitchen, visions of last night’s enchilada’s dancing in their head.  Leftovers sound pretty great at 3 in the morning when you can’t sleep.  A light switch is flicked on and he walks over to the refrigerator, grabs out the pan and sets it on the counter.  It isn’t until he turns to the silverware drawer that he sees it, a large black smudge on the wall that wasn’t there before he went to bed.  Then, the smudge moves, and he realizes it’s a bat.

His yell wakes everyone else up, and they come running into the kitchen, only to have mixed emotions when they find out what the yelling was about.  An older brother mocks him for being scared of something so little.  A little sister screams even louder than he did.  Mom shudders, wondering if it flew into any of the bedrooms while her children were sleeping.  Dad’s mad and wants to trap the bat so he can get back to sleep.

Of course, no one is thinking very clearly that early in the morning, so the family becomes a living, breathing Laurel and Hardy movie, running around, waving things, throwing things, bumping into each other.  Through it all, the bat just sits there on the wall, oblivious to everything.

Finally, Dad takes charge and calms everyone down as best he can.  He grabs up a towel, and heads towards the bat.  The moment he gets close, though, the bat is off and flying.  People scream, but no one wants to admit it was them.  Dad runs through the kitchen into the front room, following the bat with his trusty old towel.  Someone turns on the light to the front room, which just causes the bat to fly around more frantically.  More screams.  Big brother thinks he’s being helpful when he comes running in with a large plastic tote, waving it around, and bonking into Dad and his towel.  No one is quite sure what either Dad or big brother intend on doing with the bat, armed insufficiently as they are.

Finally, little sister brings in a butterfly net and waits until the bat has landed on a wall again. She hands it to Dad, who creeps up to the wall, intent on bat trapping.  He slams the butterfly net over the bat and Mom asks, “Now what’re you going to do with it?”  Slowly, unsure of himself, Dad maneuvers the net until the bat is trapped within.  He opens the door and throws his new bat trap, bat inside, out into the front lawn, and jumps back into the house, slamming the door behind him.

It took a while for everyone to calm down enough to go back to bed, for the rest of what was left of the night.  Everyone hoped that bat would find its way out of the net and back into the open sky, but no one slept very soundly until they could go out and make sure their bat trap had worked.

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