"Wool of Bat and Tongue of Dog"*
Ya' know, I usually don't pay attention to what's goin' on with the state politicians around here. (AHM says we're really a commonwealth not a state which sounds suspicious--like everyone's money is supposed to be shared with everyone else or somethin'. That seems to be the attitude of the recent bunch of Capitol occupiers, though, so maybe she's right.) But I never thought much about 'em 'cause when I arrived on the scene Republi-canines were in charge and workin' to get rid of a bunch of taxes.
Then the locals had a collective brain freeze and fell for that Demo-cat snake-oil salesman. Geeze--I tried to warn 'em. Elect a fe-lyin' and all ya' get are higher taxes. They just went right ahead and pulled the wrong lever, anyway. Now they're getting' stuck--which is always the result of handin' power to a fe-lyin' politician. Someone said they got a bunch of rhinos on their side too, which is a real mystery. What the hell are rhinos doin' tryin' to make laws and regulations and stuff? All they're good for is stickin' their horns in placed they don't belong.
For the most part, though, our commonwealth politicos make me think of a bunch of kindergarten kids playin' grown-up. I mean, how can you take 'em seriously when they're givin' us tax wedgies while worryin' about some kid's droopy drawers?
And then there's the business of namin' official state everythings. Someone tell me what good is havin' official state anythings--except for gettin' youself a $40 question on Jeopardy!? Guess it's so the politician who presented it can go home and brag "I did this." So far we've got an official bird, flower and tree, folk dance, and beverage. Now they've stuck us with an ugly-ass official bat.
(If ya' need to see a picture, surf on over to Blatherings. I figure I've scared the kiddies enough with that Dean picture I posted yesterday.)
"A bill sponsored by Del. Jackie T. Stump, D-Buchanan, would make the Virginia big-eared bat the official state bat... The Virginia big-eared bat, listed by the federal government as endangered, is brown, fuzzy and slightly smaller than a sparrow.
"It's kind of a charismatic little fellow," said Claire Ward of Richmond, who asked Stump to carry the bill…
"Supporters hope a state bat would draw attention to the importance of bats, which eat mosquitoes and other insects and, in some places, pollinate plants…
"Enjoy bats at a distance, said Suzanne Jenkins, Virginia's acting state epidemiologist and a bat friend herself. "I wait every year for spring, when I can go outside and see the first bats flying around at sundown."
If she hung around us she wouldn't have to go outside to see 'em.
I know somethin' about bats. 'Course I know more about why you humans have expressions like "they're batty" or "bats in the belfry" to describe someone who's a little nuts. As far as I'm concerned, bats are definitely nuts.
One evenin' when company was visitin', we were all lazin' around, lights off except for Alpha Human Mom's readin' light, and the back door ajar so we could enjoy the spring breezes. Just a nice, peaceful scene--even with Maury on the premises.
Then we heard flappin'.
Continued in Read the Rest!
Everyone figured it was one of those idiot sparrows again (drunken sots, all of 'em) and didn't feel up to a chase. It flew right in and settled down on AHM's shoulder. No big deal, really. For some reason wild things do that around her. Except this wild thing wasn't a sparrow. It was a bat.
You're probably expectin' to read there was a bunch of shriekin' and yellin' once AHM looked around and came eyeball to fangs with a bat. Wrong. In fact, she just stood up, got her gardenin' gloves, and sat back down in her chair. The bat rode around on her shoulder. (Maybe it was havin' an identity crises and thought it was a parrot or somethin'.) Then she picked up the stupid thing and held it in her lap, scratchin' its ears.
And it liked it!
I was hangin' over the arm of my easy chair starin', just waitin' for all hell to break loose. But even my kid Hem and Maury were keepin' their distance, and we were all wonderin' if AHM had gone round the bend. (Admit it--do you know anyone who'd try to turn a bat into a lap pet?) Every time AHM stopped scratchin', that ingrate would bare its teeth at her and make nerve-gratin' scritchin' squeaks 'til she started again. It was beginnin' to look like the little freeloader was ready to move right in.
Guess AHM figured out we were startin' to think about takin' things into our own paws 'cause she finally she took the bat outside, gave it a lecture about catchin' mosquitoes and stuff (yeah, really), and let it go. End of story.
Until the next night. Yep. There it was again. Same routine. Same routine the next night, too…and the next…and the next… In fact, that bat showed up every evenin' for a week just so it could sit on AHM's lap and get its ears scratched. I'm not kiddin', people. A whole solid week of bat ear scratchin'!
Eventually AHM got worried and took it to her friend who was a wildlife rescuer. Maybe she was feelin' like Mrs. Dracula or somethin'. Maybe she thought she was screwin' up its little bat psyche--not that it wasn't royally screwed up already. Or maybe she just figured it would start tellin' all its bat friends what was goin' on and we'd have all the bats in the neighborhood linin' up for their turn.
Whatever, the bat got sent off to another part of the county. Hopefully it got back to the business of bein' a regular insect-eatin', scare-the-hell-out-of-everyone bat 'cause there sure is no earthly use I can think of for a lap bat.
They're kinda' like fe-lyings that way.
I gotta' remind you readers that this is an unusual story. Bats tend to avoid people unless they're sick, so don't go lookin' for bats to pet, okay? Bad stuff can happen.
* William Shakespeare, Macbeth Act IV Scene 1
posted by Harrison at 3:07 PM