Posted by: Debra LaValley | February 25, 2018

February 25, 2018

No Bats in the Belfry

Excitement at church today(the Immaculate Conception Church in Penacook, NH).

First, a little background. At the stations of the cross on Wednesday. my mom said a bat was zooming all around the inside of the church. My mom is afraid of bats (she thinks they are going to get in her hair). She said she had all she could do to stay at church that evening. She couldn’t believe how calm everyone else was. She told father today – she hardly paid attention to the stations since she was more interested in the location of the bat.

So – when we went to the 8:00 AM mass this morning, my mom wondered if we would be seeing the bat zooming around during the service. She was NOT looking forward to that prospect.

I actually like bats and think they are cute. I wouldn’t want one flying around my apartment – but I like them. We sat in one of the first few rows in the right section. We both scanned the ceiling etc. when we first arrived – No signs of any bat.

When it was time for the collection, three men walked to the front of the church with the collection baskets. I noticed that the basket held by the man heading down our aisle had something on it. At first – I thought it was a leaf. When he was beside me passing the basket to the other side of the aisle, I noticed a “sleeping” bat dangling from the basket near the handle. I quickly tapped the guy on the arm and told him he had a bat on his basket, and I pointed to it. (My mom had not noticed – she said she would have screamed.) He actually reached down and cupped the bat in his hand – but did not remove it. I wouldn’t have touched the bat. Can you say – rabies?

I told my mom that the bat was swinging off the basket. I had all I could do not to laugh hysterically. Our shoulders were quivering as we tried to keep from laughing. I could see others holding in the laughter too.

When the man came back up the aisle to pass the collection basket to us – I gazed around to where the bat had been dangling, and the man jiggled the basket in jest. He had a big smile. I bat was gone. I almost laughed out loud but controlled myself.

After mass, I found out that the bat had been killed. I was a bit sad to hear that – but if they tossed him out into the cold and snow – he would have probably died a slow death. (I also hope that the man who touched the bat – washed his hands and kept the dead bat to have it tested for rabies.)

RIP Mr. Squeaks.

PS – I really really wanted to stop the man with the basket and snap a quick photo with my cell phone – but being in church in the middle of mass, I thought it would not be the appropriate thing to do. So – at breakfast at my mom’s – I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and did a quick sketch. Below is a cropped version of my sketch of the bat hanging from the collection basket.


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