Wednesday, August 10, 2005
For those of us who have traveled many summers with our Native American outreach team, it will always be remembered as the Night of the Bat. I was with a team of about 35 young Native Americans on a reservation in the Northwest. Most of us were staying in tents or teepees, and a few girls were sleeping in the dining hall. A few of us were in that hall wrapping up for the night, and suddenly a bat somehow got in the room and began doing aerial laps around the room. The reactions were priceless. The girls crawled into their sleeping bags, they covered up, and they screamed like "wolf man" was on the loose. There, huddled in one corner, was this mound of moving, screaming sleeping bags. And the rest of the camp was waking up fast. Everyone was running toward the dining hall to see what awful terror had invaded.
Meanwhile, the bat continued to dart and fly and dive around that room. Some of the guys tried to intercept the bat by throwing bath towels in the air. Needless to say, that was totally ineffective. One team leader was wildly swinging a mop handle in the air. It’s great exercise, but the bat soared on, continuing to terrorize the girls in the room. Except for my wife - Ozark Mountain Woman! She watched that bat make a couple of circuits around the room, she raised a broom above her head, and she took one mighty swing - bam! Direct hit! The dazed bat was taken outside in one of those useless bath towels. And the next morning, one of our Native leaders conducted a brief ceremony to honor my wife with an Indian name - Kills With One Swing.