Outside the kitchen there was a large concrete porch that Daddy had plans to enclose someday and turn it into a laundry room / summer kitchen. There were no railings around it so we children had to have permission before we were allowed to be on it.
Summer evenings as darkness settled in and the first few evening stars came out we enjoyed laying on our backs and watching the corner of the eaves of the attic. We never had long to wait when the first bat appeared and took a funny little leap into the air and then went flapping away dipping and turning as they searched for insects.
We would count them as the appeared and went on their nightly flight but we never did get to stay outside until they had all flown. Mom or Daddy would come to the door and tell us it's time to get ready for bed.
One day Mom and we children were getting green beans ready to can we happened to see a bat on the porch that was making it's way clumsily toward the house. Mom told David to quickly get a broom and knock it off the porch and get rid of it. David went to do as she told him and went out on the porch but instead of getting rid of the bat he just stood there and watched it as it disappeared under the siding of the house.
I was sorely displeased with him. Bats going on their nightly flight were fine, but knowing there was one were there shouldn't be gave me the shivers and I told him rather unkindly that I hoped it would be in his room tonight.
Mom heard my rant and told me that it is never wise to wish harm or anything bad to happen to anyone. I felt a little sheepish but was still not happy that David let it get away.
That evening as we once again lay on the porch and watched the bats take off on their flight I wondered where the bat was that had disappeared under the siding and if it had made it's way back to it's family.
It wasn't long before we had to get ready for bed. After having had a busy day it didn't take me long to drift off to sleep.
I woke with a start. Everything was dark, I couldn't even see any stars through my window. I was sure I had heard something. I pulled my covers up closer as I listened. Sure enough soon I heard a scratching shuffling noise and then a bump. Some more scratching and shuffling and then another bump. I froze under my covers as I realized the noise was come from the attic stairway and the attic door opened in my room.
I kept listening to the noise as I pulled the covers over my head. After a few moments of silence I carefully peeked out from the safety of my covers just as a bat swooped close by my head. I let out a terrified scream which got Daddy to come running to see what was wrong. He saw the bat and told me he would be right back as he turned and closed my door and hurried downstairs and left me cowering under my covers as I listened to the bat flutter awkwardly about my room bumping into the walls and furniture.
Daddy returned soon with his flashlight and a buggy whip that he used to knock down the bat mid flight and then carried it outside. I got up and made sure the attic door was firmly closed and went back to bed.
The next morning at the breakfast table John and David were quite amused how the bat I had hoped would visit David came and visited me. I didn't think it was very funny especially since I hadn't been the one that had let the erring bat get away in the first place.
That evening as I got ready for bed I double checked the attic door to make sure it was latched properly. But once again I was awakened by a scratching shuffling bumpy noise and I knew another bat was making it's way to my room. I jumped out of bed and hurried downstairs and knocked on Daddy's door and told him there is another bat coming down the attic stairs. I stayed downstairs until Daddy had taken care of it before I went back to my room.
Every night the same thing happened. Finally Mom asked me if I don't want to apologize to David for saying I hope a bat goes into his room. I agreed. I had been bothered by more bats than I knew could be possible and was ready to do anything that might make that those nightly terrors would stop.
The next morning I apologized. And that night for the first time in more than a week I didn't have a bat making it's way down the attic stairs to my room.