Dealing with Things in the Night

. September 26, 2014.

With the arrival of Halloween comes the desire to scare others. My kids, though, don’t limit their desire to scare dad to this one time a year. Knowing things I dislike, they have fun taunting me all year long.

I don’t like snakes and bats. Snakes have been something I have always had an aversion toward– an inborn repugnance. My loathing has been interpreted by my children as a fear which has led to their regular acquisition of fake snakes to put in front of me.

Bats are more of an acquired distaste. We live in an old house and every summer, it seems, we get one in the house. Our most recent visitor appeared while I was reading to my daughter. We were sitting on the bed when a black-winged mouse flew in and circled the room. My daughter screamed and quickly got on the floor trying to crawl under the bed. The dog perked up and tried to smell the intruder. The bat, sensing all the confusion in the room, decided to move to a quieter part of the house.

I yelled for my wife who was in with our son. Why? Well I don’t like these things and I want some kind of moral support as I go on a search and remove mission. We gathered the kids into one room and shut the doors.

Heading downstairs, I armed myself with a broom, my wife close behind me. As I turned on the light to each room I ducked, looked around, and not seeing any winged creature, stood up with mild confidence. We searched everywhere and finally found our invader clinging to a living room curtain.

“What should I do?” I asked my wife. I knew what to do 

but I wanted to involve her in the operation.

“Hit it!”


I reluctantly held the broom looking for the best approach angle. 

My concern was ‘where will it fly to if I don’t hit it hard enough?’  I took great care in my set up.

“Hit it already! What are you waiting for?” my wife encouraged me.

I swung and the bat flew against a wall and landed behind our antique pump organ. I carefully looked behind, sure it was going to fly in my face.

“Do you see it?” I asked as my wife looked with me.


Oh, there it is.” I saw it on top of the organ.

Do you want me to get it?” my wife asked.

“No I can do it.”

I pushed it with the broom and it fell even farther behind the organ. 

Luckily I saw it and was able to push it out. My wife brought a waste 

basket over to carry our guest out of the house. I pushed the bat into the basket. My wife could see that I liked none of this.

“Do you want me to handle this?”

“No, I’m the dad. This is my job.”

I carried the bat outside and disposed of it. I didn’t like it at all. When I returned to the house everyone was upstairs gathered in our room.

“Were you scared dad?” my daughter asked.

Telling the truth would invite more taunting from the kids and 

attempts to scare me. Lying didn’t seem right.

“Not as much as you.”

  I guess that was true.