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Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Captive Audience - A Halloween Story

This has very little to do with painting, but the story takes place in my studio:

I live in an old house and my painting studio is a roughly finished upstairs attic. I was painting in my studio the other night and I heard a chirping sound behind me. My first thought was that it's a bird in the chimney which runs through that room. But I turn around, and see a bat squeezing himself through a gap in some loose ceiling tiles.

I yelled and told him to "Go Away!" But he just screeched back and kept working his way out.

I quickly grabbed a 5 gallon plastic bucket and trapped him against the ceiling. So there I was, standing with one arm pressing a plastic bucket against the ceiling, a wildly screeching bat trapped inside, wondering what the heck do I do now...


What now...

With my other hand, I pulled some nearby shelving over a little closer and started building a tower of boxes and turpentine cans - anything within reach until I eventually wedged the bucket so it would stay in place. It seemed secure and I was out of ideas, so I finished my painting, and then went downstairs to watch the American Masters special on Bob Newhart.

The next morning, the bat sounded like he was tired out, so I carefully and every so slightly pulled the bucket away from the ceiling, and quickly slid a lid over it. I took it outside, and set him free, but Mr Bat just sat there with wings spread out on the lawn.

I thought maybe I injured the poor thing but didn't know what else to do. So I went back into my house, and turned around just in time to see the bat flying straight for my open door! He wasn't injured, he was just waiting for his chance to get back inside. Sneaky! But I closed the door just in time and he sat on the side of my house screeching for a while. Later I saw him flying laps around my house. Chances are that he's back inside my attic already, but I'm trying to fix all of the gaps where bats might get into my living space again.

So that's my tale of painting for a captive audience, a bat in a bucket, a few days before Halloween.

1 comment:

  1. Nice house, and a cute story! We lived near an old school building that had a big chimney on the top. Every night, it looked like smoke coming out of the chimney as bats flew out on their nightly journey. Later, in one school I taught in, bats found the cracks in the overhang over the sidewalk. They didn't get inside, but the excrement on the sidewalks were pretty gross. The only way that they finally got rid of them was to build a new school and bulldoze the old building. I wonder if the birds and critters have returned to the new school yet.
    Happy Painting!


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