The Farm Chronicles: Gone Batty

It must have been about two in the morning one late spring day and I was dreaming. My dream had this eerie darkness to it. I remember it seemed heavy with a cloud inside my room. There were areas on the edge of the room that were even darker, as if they fell deep into an abyss. Then all of a sudden out of my dream came these bats. It seemed as if there several of them flying around my bed above my head. In my sleep, I must have started screaming for help. And when I did, all of a sudden the dream morphed into reality and I was awake. My pulse rate was racing. I was breathing hard. And my mother was kneeling down at my side with her hand on my forehead, asking her eight-year-old son what was wrong.

“Mom, I was dreaming and there were these bats swooping down on me. And when I woke up they were still there flying around the room, coming close to me and then flying off,” I explained through my deep breaths. By then, Mom had turned on my Conestoga Wagon western lamp on the stand beside my bed. She said, “Now, Now, Billy,” as she hugged me, “There’s no bats up here, no bats in your room. It’s all OK.” “But Mom,” I replied, “There are bats and they are flying around right now.” Her eyes fixed on me, she calmly said, “No, Billy, you’re just upset from the dream, there are no bats up here.” All of a sudden she felt the wind of a bat wing blowing in her hair and she looked up. To her horror, it was a bat!

“Carl, Carl!” She yelled to my Dad. “Get these bats out of here! There are bats in our house!” Of course, Dad was in a dead sleep and by the time he staggered out into the hallway, the bats were gone. Disappeared. Just as fast as they came. He didn’t believe either of us. Mom soothed my nerves and I went back to sleep, somewhat vindicated that I saw a bat. Mom went back to her room and was telling Dad the story for I don’t know how long. Dad still didn’t believe there were bats in the house. So many weeks went by. Dad was at a friend’s house and Mom and I were alone. I went out to the back room, which we used as an office, trophy room, and back entrance, and behold, there was another bat,

It was flying about and clinging to the ceiling. This time it was not clouded by a dream. And sure enough Dad wasn’t there. I put on a plastic toy army helmet and a heavy jacket. Mom got a broom. It was quite a sight me opening the door and her, in her hair scarf and Dad’s old barn coat, swiping at that bat, trying to get him out the door. I had a toy grenade launcher trying to shoot it with plastic grenades. We looked like a spin-off of the Lucy show with Lucille Ball. Finally, the bat flew out the door into the darkness. Leviticus 11 gives a list of birds that are unclean, saying in verse 13, “they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination.” Verse 19 lists the bat. My Mom was a clean freak to the max. To have bats in her house was definitely an abomination. And Dad eventually became a believer because there was no rest until the bats were gone.

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Bill Wilson