In the forest behind us you can feel the bats swooping past as night comes, and you think next time you walk through you’re going to bring a hat. Your four-ton dog keeps her head low as they race past and as we race out, keeping our eyes from looking into the depths of the woods.
The next day it got worse.
Our neighbor said to us, “I’ve got bats!”
He pointed to the eaves in a corner. A hole had become the entry point for a bat and then another and then another. He could hear dozens if not hundreds at night above his sofa, living and breeding and feeding in the rafters above him. So he picked up the yellow pages and made a few calls.
The exterminator arrived, an unassuming man. He told my neighbor to cover up any holes leading into the rafters to keep any more bats from going in, even if they are the tiniest of holes.
The words of the bat expert sent us scurrying back to our own house to survey the eaves for any holes, or worse, bat droppings – a sign they were living above us and with us.
Then days later a workman hired to move our water heater to a still doorless outer cabinet said he was finished. Dusk was falling, and he told us that we’d be wise to get a man to patch up the holes he left in the walls, the holes that led into the inner workings of the house and the rafters – and us.
The bricklayer wasn’t due for two or three days.
The workman looked carefully at the holes and then at the forest and the approaching nightfall, and as if he heard the flutter of a hundred wings he told us that we’d better stuff the holes with newspaper.
We flew to stuff the walls.