Ewwwww... I get goose bumps just thinking about it! We've had more uninvited critters in this house than I care to remember, but bats top the list as freakiest!
Freakiest as in freaked. out. As in, jumbles of small children and full grown adults tripping over each other squealing like little girls, freaked out.
We've had a couple encounters, but the one that stands out in my memory is the one that happened first. It started out as a quiet, summer night, cicadas humming over the sound of whirring fans. We had six or seven kids at the time, the big boys were between 8 and 12 or so...
A sudden hollar from upstairs startles us first. Then loud bumping and thumping and stomping of feet. A stampede down the stairs, and all the children tumble into the living room, tripping over each other, all talking and screaming at once.
The little girls don't know what's going on; they're just upset because the brothers are upset. And the brothers are upset because:
"There's a bat in our room!"
"A BAT in your room? Did you say there's a BAT in your room? Are you sure it's a BAT?"
"It's a bat alright!"
I look at my husband and he looks at me. A silent exclamation point hovers in the air between us. We both know that this is definitely HIS territory, but he doesn't want to have to take care of it any more than I do. Nevertheless, he steels himself. A real Dad shows no fear in the face of difficulty, danger, and wild animals ~ including bats. So, he takes charge, with Dadlike authority, making a secret grimace in my direction before he leads the charge back upstairs.
"Paul, take the screen out of the window! You and Kevin grab a pillow and help me shoo it out! The rest of you, stay out of the way!"
Our oldest two, Paul and Kevin, manfully obey orders. Not a flinch. This is a great adventure for them! The rest of the children crouch on the stairs to watch the fun. I obediently stay out of the way. Way out of the way ~ like in the kitchen. Behind the door. Where I can hear the fun.
"Where is it?"
"There it is! Right there! Agh!"
Thump! Bump! Thump! Stomp! (Loud Scream.)
"Shoo it out the window! Out the window!"
Bump! Thump! Stomp! (More screaming.)
Then there are sounds on the landing overhead. Obviously they had succeeded in scaring the bat out the bedroom door instead of out the window. Lots of thumps. Girls squealing on the stairs. Thunder of footsteps herding down the stairs. Screams! Squeals!
"It's coming downstairs, Mommy! It's gonna get us!"
Mommy screams. "Where!? Where is it?!"
I know it must be down here, but I can't see it. Everyone's screaming and yelling and running around, tripping over furniture. Daddy and the boys are flailing around in the air with pillows. I peak around the kitchen door, dodging children, trying to figure out where the stupid bat is.
And suddenly, I know where it is! It's coming at me! A black blur with a 5' wingspan. (I swear ~ Big as an eagle!) I scream. Run for the living room. Dive into the couch and pull a pillow over my head. (I'd heard about bats going for your hair, and I had a lot of long hair I didn't want a bat tangled up in!)
Little girls are squealing. One dives into the couch next to me. Boys are running around , yelling, hitting things indiscriminately with pillows. I can hear it. Fwoomph! Crash! Fwoomph! Bam!
"Open the front door!" my husband yells.
"Got it, Dad!" I hear the door fling back and hit the wall.
Fwoomph! Fwoomph! (Right over my head!) I scream. Fwoomph! Fwoomph!
"Head it off, Kevin!"
Little girls' squealing. Boys hollaring. Daddy grunting, "Go, go, go, you danged bat..."
The front door slams!
It's over. The bat has exited via the front door. With a little help.
I pull my head out from under the pillow, extract a little girl from the crack between the couch cushions, and tentatively look around.
Oh, the devastation. Lamps askew, chairs knocked over, rug corners flipped, boys scattered about, breathing heavily ~ but with a triumphant gleam in their eyes.
They have ousted the beast.
Post Script: I've learned since, in bat unit studies with the children, that bats really are our friends. They serve an important and very useful service for us, eating insects like mosquitoes, for instance. They really present no danger to people and have no interest whatsoever in our hair. Nevertheless, I'm with Laura on this one. Reason cannot overcome instinct. I hate bats. I hate bats. I hate bats.