Bats In The Belfry

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Once upon a time, there was a lovely family living in the suburbs of Milwaukee. We’ll call them the Joneses. Mr. and Mrs. Jones together with their children, Jack and Jill, resided in an old but well-kept two-story Victorian with high glass windows and steep gables. It was the most charming house on the block. They were a friendly but fastidious family who didn’t believe in a whole lot of fuss and nonsense. Theirs was a well-ordered world. That is, until one night…

It was late November and the air had turned bitterly cold. The family decided to light a fire and turn up the heat. Mrs. Jones was in the kitchen sweeping the floor while her children played video games on the living room sofa. Mr. Jones lounged in his easy chair watching ESPN. As the home grew warmer, their sense of calm deepened on this early winter night. Suddenly a quick dark flash caught Mr. Jones’ eye but then was gone. He took off his glasses, wiped them on his shirt, placed them back on the bridge of his nose, and turned back to the football game. Then came a chirping sound from behind. “Kids, turn down those video games,” Mr. Jones sighed. Jack and Jill stared first at their father and then at each other, baffled. Their games had been on mute. All of a sudden, Jill’s eyes widened as she looked over at her father again. A bat was circling in the air above his head! She began to scream! Jill stood up and pointed at the winged creature, knocking into a magazine basket next to the couch. Another bat flew up into the air! By now Mr. Jones and Jack had joined in the yelling, pulling Jill down on the carpet. Mrs. Jones came in running from the kitchen with her broom in hand. “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” she yelled as she swooped her broom at the two circling bats. There was a faint swish as the bristles flew through the air, missing the bats by nearly a foot. Mrs. Jones hit the fan instead, glass crashing and raining down on the heads of all four Joneses. Mrs. Jones continued to swing, knocking books off shelves, and sending a vase off a desk and a lamp nearly through the window.

Bats were chirping and swooping. Joneses were shrieking and hopping. Finally, little Jack opened a window. Jill opened the front door. Out went the Joneses. Two days later, out went the bats.

Moral of the story: When in doubt, let it out.

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