i miss out on one of the sweetest pleasures of summer. balmy, starlit summer nights. and especially the silvered hour of nightfall. it's rare that i can sit and sink into the nightness around me and enjoy the gentle air on my skin. and if i do, i can't be alone. there is safety in numbers. i have a fear. i don't have many fears that control me. but this one, i admit, has quite a hold on me. i'm terrified of bats. and our lakeside neighborhood is quite full of them. swooping into our yard nightly on quite a strict schedule. and at the cottage, it's much the same. and at the farm.....don't even let me think about that. you see 39 years ago, we moved to the farm with it's elegant limestone farmhouse, graceful gardens and waving fields. but one of the first evenings....in those silver moments as the day fades, my parents were pushing me on the swing that hung from one of a dozen huge elm trees in the yard and bats started to pour from the eaves. at first my parents were lost in the idyll of the moment, and they thought the air was full of swallows. until my father shouted, 'those aren't swallows, they're BATS'
my father is a determined and driven man, so the next morning, he had a ladder up to the eaves and with a putty knife and pink insulation, he spent the day stuffing every crack and possible opening there was. and then night came again. my little slope ceilinged room so sweetly tucked under the eave, seemed attacked from above. the rush of flapping bat wings, trapped in the attic now, thundering above my head and the squeals echoing and bouncing between the stone of the walls and my ceiling. there was panic. my father had done his job well and the eaves were frighteningly secure. the only escape for the adventurous few was directly into the house.
i don't need to continue do i......the 7 1/2 year old that i was, has never recovered from that day. believe me, that wasn't the end of the drama, but, i panic and hyperventilate and shriek at the first dark swoop and flap of wing. i don't care how many mosquitos they eat.
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