Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bat in a Basket

So, there I was this afternoon, innocently playing the part of Public Health Nurse Extraordinaire, when I decided to reach for my laptop and sync it with the town network. But, lo and behold, a furry little bat had decided to make its home on my laptop bag, and as I stood, aghast and dumbstruck, it began to crawl and creep in its inimitably bat-like way around the top of my file cabinet.

Closing the door behind me, I calmly made my way to a colleague's office. He's a health inspector and sanitarian, level-headed and pragmatic, and I recruited him in my bat-catching endeavor.

Meanwhile, while said colleague ran in search of heavy-duty gloves, my boss and our administrative assistant insisted on seeing the bat, peeking in behind me as I reopened my office door.

"Don't touch it, Keith. You can't. Please don't," said my boss.

By now, the bat had descended to the table next to the file cabinet and I feared I might lose him. I dashed to the kitchen, found a small wicker basket (the size that might, for reason of illustration only, hold two medium-sized lemons) and rushed back to my office to see the creature still lurking (in quintessential bat fashion, I may add) on the aforementioned table.

At the very moment my favorite health inspector/sanitarian arrived with heavy duty gloves donned, I raised my basket into the air, took three steps---not two, but three---and trapped the bat with a rapid descending basket-like arc.

The bat immediately began to squeal like an otherworldly creature from the Lord of the Rings, and my sanitarian colleague slid a piece of cardboard beneath the now quivering basket. Holding our prey tightly between the cardboard and wicker with our four hands, we traipsed through the Health Department to a blessedly large window intelligently opened by our boss, and the bat in question was released into the cool June New England air, landing with a confused yet simultaneously gentle thud on the roof below. Moments later, he (or she) lifted into the air and vanished into the trees.

Resting on our bat-catching laurels, we returned to our individuals duties, each to his or her own desk once again, and the bat summarily forgot all about us and its adventure inside a local municipal health department.

They don't teach you this stuff in nursing school.
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