Baby-sitting an acres large property out in the wilderness – as a poor near starving student on a sabbatical this was a dream job. The old caretaker/conservationist had passed on and till a new one was appointed, this was to be my gig.
The quarters were actually a quaint old cottage perched on a clearing near the woods, run down, but the stuff on postcards none the less. The isolated road lead up to a rock wall cottage that had ivy creeping up its walls, with little violet flowers peeping from between. There were hedges and vines and honeysuckles all around. A little dirt path with pebbles led down to the forest at the rear. The windows were rickety and the insides sparse, a tiny stove, two small wooden chairs, a circular table, a not-so-large mattress and that was all. But there was heat and electricity and it was a tired yet happy camper who went to bed that night.
When my eyes opened it was sometime really early, like before daybreak. I was not one of those wake at the crack of down from sheer ingrained habit types, so I knew it was something that had roused me. Suddenly there is a rattling on the windows and I look out to see hundreds (OK maybe a little less) of golden eyes looking in on me. I let out a scream, which I knew was pretty futile. I mean, it’s not like there was another person within screaming distance. The eyes disappeared. I sat there rocking myself, awake, desperately needing to pee, but too terrified to get out of bed. I mean, who knew what lurked under the bed in this crazy place.
Years passed, although my watch showed it as just an hour, and I finally got the courage to get up and go to the bathroom. But as I passed by the window I glanced out. Hanging gracefully from the tree with her unblinking eyes focused on me was a white almost translucent form. A white lady!
That was when I pissed myself.
Eventually the sun did come out to disperse the shadows and restore a fraction of my courage and reasoning.
I was a student of science. I did not believe in ghosts and ghouls. I was not a coward who was going to cry spook and give up a very comfortable paying job, especially not when I had spent a part of the salary upfront.
With those words of self-motivation I resolved to venture out into the woods.
Prudence made me stick to the pebbled path which eventually led to a grove of old trees that appeared to encompass what was probably a sink-hole. Curiously enough the area around the grove had been cleared, as if people had frequently walked about.
There was nothing special about the trees, so logic dictated that it was the sink-hole that attracted visitors. I looked around, picked up a pebble and with great temerity aimed for the opening.
Before I could fathom what was happening, with a great big whooshing sound that seemed to arouse the entire habitat, a furious Swarm of creatures charged out. I was knocked back on my butt and just about managed to curl up in a fetal position with my arms over my face. Around me there was furious wind and storm. What had I unleashed? Would I even survive this? Dang, I was far too young to die.
Eventually the sounds subsided and I meekly uncoiled to look around. It was then that I saw the sign board…
The Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation – Bat Hole No. 2
Photos Courtesy Monfort Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation