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The Bat Saga

Rachel Labarre

Bats are great, normally. They’re a lot of fun to think about and even more fun to see outside: they fly around, eat bugs, have an exciting nightlife, and really just love being themselves.

Bats are not so great, however, when one of them is living in your house and you can’t find it and it may or may not be rabid but you’re leaning towards the “Mom, it’s definitely rabid” side of the issue.

For my family, it all started in mid-October during the second presidential debate. While listening to the complaints of voters who were somehow “undecided” a mere three weeks before the election, my mind began to wander. As I gazed into the kitchen, I noticed a dark shape flying towards me.

“How strange,” I thought. “I wonder if that’s a bat.”

It was a bat.

As Candy Crowley moderated, my mom, dad, and I jumped up and began to scream. Comments included gems like, “How is there a bat in the house?!” and, “Mom, get under this blanket!” Expletives abounded. Aren’t presidential debates fun?

We raced to open the front door and chased the bat around the house for a bit, which was sort of like playing a friendly game of tag against a potentially-dangerous winged mammal. At one point, my dog tried to eat it. The bat finally landed a foot away from the open door but proceeded to pivot, rocketing towards us once again. Eventually, the bat flew down the hall and disappeared. We searched the room it seemed to have entered, but found no sign of our furry friend.

Thoroughly frightened, we went to sleep. In the morning, we called All About Bats, Inc. to see if there was anything we could do. The company advised us to create “safe places” by keeping our bedroom doors shut at all times, explaining that the average bat typically dies within a week if trapped inside a house. However, we were cautioned that if one of us were to wake up with the bat in our room, getting the rabies vaccine would be highly advised, as it’s hard to tell whether or not you’ve been bitten and/or attacked by a bat while sleeping.

Days passed. Our home became a war zone, and we began to live in fear of the bat. As the sun fell each evening, so did our spirits. It was a dark time.

However, the novelty of   being held hostage in our own house soon began to wear off. On Friday, after four days of not seeing the bat, my parents decided to loosen up.

“There’s nothing to worry about, Ned,” they said. “Either the bat left the same way it came in, or it died somewhere in the house.”

The next day, after much convincing, I agreed to open my door — bat be damned. I felt like a free man. Life appeared to be back to normal. Visions of the creature that had once consumed my mind started to fade.

At 2:35 a.m. on Sunday evening, after a particularly rigorous homework session, I went to bed. While lying in the dark, I heard a slight scratching noise above my head. Intrigued, I turned on my light and looked up. There it was, on a bulletin board right above my pillow, less than a foot above my head.

The bat.

I jumped out of bed, slammed my door shut, and ran into my parents’ room.

“Mom! Dad! Mom! Dad!” I screamed.

“What? What’s going on?” said my mom, sitting up.

“Just let me freak out for a second!” I responded. “The bat—it’s back—above my bed.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said my dad.

I wasn’t kidding.

Indeed, at 3:00 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2012, the universe had decided to let us have another go at Trying To Catch A Bat Late At Night. A combination of adrenaline, fear, and fatigue prompted me to find a tennis racquet and a shoebox. I was ready to kill or be killed.

I asked my mom whether swearing at the bat would be appropriate. She sighed, reluctantly agreeing to my request. Ecstatic, I stood a few feet away from the motionless bat and called it a number of unprintable expletives. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, bats tend to bring out the worst in people. They also tend to bring out the rabies in people!

I never did get the chance to take a swing at my winged nemesis with the ol’ tennis racquet. Instead, my parents put double-sided duct tape on the end of a broom, and we trapped the bat and brought it outside.

In the morning, All About Bats, Inc. arrived to take the now-dead bat away for rabies testing. I went to school fully traumatized, believing that I had been bitten and contracted rabies. I couldn’t eat breakfast. I could hardly speak. My hand shook while taking a physics test.

But the test results came back negative. The bat wasn’t rabid. I wasn’t rabid. Today, I feel great.

But I think I’ll pass on coming over to watch Batman.


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About the Contributors
Ned Hardy, Editor-In-Chief
Ned Hardy is a man of many passions. His latest endeavor? Bringing his expertise and vision to Inklings as Editor in Chief. Hardy joined the Inklings staff his junior year after being impressed by the awesome issues being put out. Having started out as Web A&E Editor, Hardy has the knowledge and experience to help take both the paper and the web to greater heights. He enjoys writing in- depth investigative news pieces. Although he never sets out to stir up controversy, Hardy likes taking difficult, thought provoking subject to write his articles about. But Hardy is more than just the typical investigative reporter; he is also a music enthusiast and enjoys writing album reviews that reflect his interest. Hardy says he is a big fan of rap music, especially Kanye West. When he isn’t writing for Inklings or jamming out to Kanye, Hardy, a self proclaimed foodie, might be found cookie up something delicious. Hardy’s varied passions foster an appreciation for each writer as an individual. As Editor in Chief, Hardy hopes to influence the paper by personally interacting with everyone on the staff. “This could easily become a situation where only the loudest voices are heard’, Hardy Said.  “I want everyone to have a chance to write the article they want to write or to take the picture they want to take.”
Rachel Labarre, Managing Editor
She trades her pointe shoes in for her spiral notebook.  Her dance classes for journalism classes.  Her spot at the front of the stage for her position on the Inklings staff. Rachel Labarre '14 has the unique ability to allow the creativity and passion she has in the dance studio to influence her writing style and work ethic. This work ethic is what gives Labarre the edge it takes to hold one of the most prestigious spots on the Inklings staff: Managing Editor. But what got her there? Labarre’s first claim to fame was her dance career, but there was one thing holding her back. “On top of the problems with my feet that I already had, I broke my foot during dress rehearsal for our big recital,” Labarre said. This forced Labarre to cut back on dance classes the following year.  All the energy and creativity that was once put into nailing a routine needed an outlet.  She found this outlet through writing for Inklings. Labarre landed a job as an editor her sophomore year.  She then went from Editor of Arts and Entertainment to Features Editor.  Labarre’s inventiveness has allowed her to climb the steps to the top of Inklings. “When you write there’s a certain part that requires creativity; whether it’s getting a good angle or keeping your readers engaged.  You have to do the same in dance; whether it’s perfecting the choreography or figuring out what will look the most atheistically pleasing” Labarre  said.  She was able to prove this ability in her article on the Sandy Hook shooting, which got over 50,000 hits.  This passion for the arts and creativity has not only led LaBarre to success on the stage, but in the classroom as well.  

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