My mom pointed to the air-conditioning unit in our living room. Guess what's there, she said. From where I was, it was right across the room and being myopic and not wearing specs, I only saw a dark little blob of something at the top.
A frog, I said disinterestedly.
She raised her voice a little to tell me how ridiculous my guess was, for how could a frog jump that high. Then she said it's a bat - probably the same one which flew into our house on a couple of occasions previously. I remember encountering a black winged-creature flying around the place late one night, some weeks ago. I thought it was a bird, got out of its way and went to sleep without paying it any more attention.
Well, said my mom, get it out of house.
I really didn't think it was necessary to do anything, for the little fella looked comfy and contented where it was. Furthermore, it had wings, and I really don't like having panicky things with wings aimlessly swooshing around me. Some readers might remember the incident of the unwelcome visitor in my office.
My mom, however, insisted. What if it died up there, she said. I really didn't think it would die, resting (or sleeping) on top of the air-cond, but - well, getting a little guy out of the house isn't too much to do, if it pleases Mommy, so fine, I said, I'll do it. I'll get my man to fetch the tallest step-ladder in the house and I'll prod it with a broomstick until it flies out, I said.
Now, Reader, you may be wondering why I didn't just tell the man to do everything. I have a fear of heights so I definitely can't be looking forward to climbing up that ladder; if the bat took off in a haste and flew towards me, I'd be hit right in the face and may even fall off the ladder - I can't want that as well. By logic and reasoning, anyone would gladly let men take on such assignments. Well, my logic goes a little differently: if I fell and hurt myself, the man is strong enough to pick me up, dump me in a car and drive me to the hospital. On the other hand, if he fell, I wouldn't be able to do the same - I'd have to resort to calling for an ambulance and perhaps be told there are none, or to pay RM500 for it to come, or to wait 85mins and then have the undertakers arrive before the ambulance does. No, better by far for the person who has the ability to save to be safe. When I was in university, I once locked myself out of my third-floor hostel room. To get back in, I decided to "borrow" a couple of pieces of scaffolding from the nearby construction site, and climb in to my room through the window. Some friends helped with the "borrowing" and setting up of the metal frames, and a security officer came by to offer help. My friends suggested I let him climb instead. I declined - he was a middle-aged man with a belly, while I was much younger, fitter and smaller in size; I didn't want him getting hurt falling or whatever, because of me. That, and I really didn't like the thought of him stepping all over my study table which was right beside the window. So I climbed, despite my fear. Logic supersedes phobia. Pardon me, for I have digressed.
My strategy was to get the little fella to bite onto something - and then haul it up and bring it out. I remember rather vividly an encounter with a baby bat in primary school. My primary school was situated on top of a hill, surrounded by wild trees and bushes, and all their usual inhabitants. The baby was sprawled on the ground outside the canteen, and being curious, some of us prodded it with a twig. The tiny thing attacked the twig viciously, caught it between it's sharp teeth and held on tenaciously. It wouldn't let go even when we lifted the twig, and with it along, clean off the ground. It bit till the twig was broken in two. We left it alone thereafter. Come to think of it, it might not have been a baby after all... I only assumed it was a baby because it was so small. Anyway, pardon me for I have digressed yet again.
So, I climbed up the ladder, prodded the fella with the end of a cane, taped to a mop-stick, and hoped it'd bite and not let go till I'd gotten it safely out. But it didn't. Several times it bared its cute little fangs and let out ferocious little squeaks - no, that really wasn't as oxymoronic as it sounded - the bat was really quite intimidating, even in all its tininess. Right, maybe only to me. Anyhow, though it bit the cane a few times, it didn't take a solid hold of it with its mouth. It took me quite a while to get it to cling on - using its claws. When I finally lifted it off the air-cond and got ready to climb down the ladder, the man stopped me.
Wait, wait! he said, he wanted to take a photo first.
I don't blame him, for the bat now clung to the cane on both its hind legs, and hung upside down, with it's wings wrapped around its body. It was beautiful. Absolutely stunning. I paused mid-step and hurried him.
He rushed to get his phone and just as he held it up, the bat launched into flight! It flew back and forth and all around over and over! I was still perched precariously high up on the ladder, terrified to death that it might crash into me or attack me (and all sorts of silly thoughts like that). I spent probably a good part of a minute screaming at the top of the ladder, then recovered enough sense to jump down (yes, I jumped!) and then spent the remaining portion of the minute screaming behind a sofa. My mom, who was upstairs, came running down, and told me to hush it or the neighbours might think something awful actually happened.
I don't really know what happened while I was cowering and busy being freaked out - somehow, the bat fell to the ground after a while and was swept out of the house by the man! Finally!
Please, please... I beg you... don't ever, ever come back again... please!
But it did... it flew right back into the house today. I can't be sure if it's the same fella, but it sure looks it.
It's still clinging onto my mom's curtain. I'm wondering if I should gently "coax" it to leave, and I'm wondering if drama is going to repeat itself...