The Stray Bat…

~Nigel Mumford+
Last year I was driving home from work with my car windows open. Suddenly, out of the corner of my right eye I saw a black object land on the head rest of the passenger seat. I turned to see a bat clinging to the head rest. I nearly went off the road. I pulled over as soon as I could thinking where is the bat now and thinking if Lynn had been sitting next to me the bat would have landed in her face!
I tell you it is not a good feeling to know there is a bat in your car! A bee is freaky enough but a bat? I pulled into the next road, parked, opened the doors and carefully searched for the rat with wings! I could not find it. My adrenalin was rushing off the charts. I shut the doors and gingerly got back in. I drove a hundred yards and saw the thing fluttering around the back seat. For the second time in one day I nearly had a heart attack. I pulled over again. This time I was on the bridge in Greenwich, a very well traveled spot. I put the flashers on, got out and opened the passages side doors. I stepped back wondering what to do next.
A police patrol car was on the other side of the road, the officer said, “Are you OK father?” (I was wearing my clergy shirt). I told him there is a bat in my car! He replied, “Be careful, they can hide in very small places…” He then turned on his red and blue lights and parked his car behind me. He got out putting in black leather gloves.
So here’s the thing, can you imagine driving by such a scene?
Police lights, doors all open. Priest. The officer then says to me, “Lets see if we can find this bat.” Car search. People driving by… Why is a police officer searching a car with a priest… Why is he searching a priests car? People were really looking at me… I wanted to shout, “It’s a bat, it’s a bat…”
We could not find the bat.
The next day I had to go to the doctors for a routine check. I told the nurse what had happened. She had a fit. You must get the car checked out. Did the bat touch you. She then told me all about rabies. Oh joy. So I took the car to a local mechanic who spent a lot of time searching my car. He could not find it.
I drove home with great caution and then searched the car again. Actually I searched it many times!
The next day Lynn was with me as we were driving. I was in shorts. I felt something touch my leg. I let out a yelp. Another close heart attack! I looked down expecting to see the bat, the illusive rat with wings.
It was a tiny white moth!
Ok God, you got me.
Post Script:
After telling the nuns my story they dubbed my car the Batmobile.
During the past two Welcome Home Initiatives we had a Chaplain from the Canadian forces called… Wait for it…. Robin.
If a bat is in your car get off the road and out of the car as soon as you safely can.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Canticle 12 (BCP)
“And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.”
Deuteronomy 14:18-19
– Nigel Mumford+

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