Bats in the Belfry

When I was fourteen and babysitting for my brother’s kids, a small brown bat came down the chimney in his living room and sat there stunned, in the cold empty hearth.  It was late at night and the children were asleep.  They say bats are nothing more than rats with wings but it was a sweet, furry little thing and I instinctively scooped it up in my hand.  I held it for a short while, gently stroked its little bat back, and took it outdoors and set it on the front porch.  After a while it took off, looking as good as new.  My brother was furious when he got home.  “You could have  gotten rabies,” he hollered. I haven’t picked up a bat since then but I remember that soft, warm little creature and I still love them. I put up a bat house here where I live, hoping to attract the little dudes and the only things that nested in it were yellow jackets.  I took the bat house down.

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