Personally, I’m loving this lockdown… I keep myself entertained. I bake and write, sit with the ellies and read Kruger Books – Currently, I’m reading Mahlangeni (for the umpteenth time). I’m enjoying the solitude, and I guess for me, this lockdown hasn’t changed much of how I was living anyway.
But, I think lockdown is getting the better of the boys. Darryl is longing for his game drives and bush walks in the Kruger Park, and Toni, misses interacting with our guests. The two of them, have found a new hobby though to keep them entertained- online gaming. Not something that I love very much, but each to their own.
The thing with this online gaming, is that I have to constantly watch what I say in their presence, because there are now other people listening, who are also on this game, like a few of their friends, and Toni’s brothers.
So last night, Toni was sitting in the lounge, playing his online games, and I was watching a Hercule Poirot in our bedroom. I had just dozed off to sleep when I heard a large thump on the roof, which woke me. I got up, shutdown my laptop, and was about to get in to bed again, when I saw something above me. It’s that damn fruit bat again, I thought to myself. (This is the second time it’s been in here this week).
I half dropped to the floor, to avoid it flying in to me, (which they often do, and it’s very painful), and I went to the lounge to get Toni.
“Toni, Toni, It’s the bat, he’s back, please can you help,” I said.
I could see he was annoyed, and I sympathized with him. The last time this happened, it had also been quite the mission to evict the “little” guy.
Toni was still on the online gaming, and then I heard him say in Afrikaans (which I’ll translate to English for you), “Guys, I’ll be right back. I just need to go and catch something quickly”.
He went outside, got the pool net, and the bucket, and he came back.
Now I love fruit bats, I really do. So much so, that I’ve let them move in on my patio, and take it over completely. I’m a very good landlord, we don’t have many people over, so we don’t braai out there lot, and so they live a rather peaceful, undisturbed life.
Its only on the odd occasion that Grammy comes past with the host pipe while she’s gardening, and then sprays the patio, and upsets them terribly. They dive-bomb her as they leave, expressing their distaste for the disturbance. The only other time they are disturbed, is if you walk too closely to the patio, in this case I have mastered the art of dropping to the floor and leopard crawling to my car. I learnt my lesson after one flew in to my hand once.
So I was sitting in the lounge, waiting for Toni to catch the little guy, and then I caught sight of him, with the pool net walking around our bedroom in circles, and making these funny little quick movements to try and catch the bat.
I think I was over tired, but hysteria kicked in, this was the most hilarious sight. And why couldn’t he just tell his online people he had to catch a bat. All he said was, “I’ll be right back, I have to go catch something.”
I was howling at this point, in stitches of laughter. Tears streaming down my face. If anyone saw us in this moment, they would have thought we were absolutely insane. Kruger Problems.
It took a little while, but eventually Toni managed to catch the bat, and shift it to the door, which he then opened, and it flew away. He came through to the lounge, like nothing even happened, put his earphones in, wiped the sweat from his brow, and said, “Sorry guys, I had to deal with a fruit bat.”
The same thing happened a few days ago but I was less prepared than now – and got the fright of my life, when this big black thing flew just above my head. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a fruit bat. I went to tell Toni, who went over to my grandparents house in the middle of the night to get the pool net. He tripped the alarm in the process, and nearly gave everyone in the house a heart attack.
Toni came back shortly after, and had recruited Darryl to assist with the eviction. After some time, they mildly stunned the bat, which crash-landed, and then they put him in a tree outside to recuperate and fly in to the night’s sky.
Might I just add that on both occasions, my cat has been sleeping on my bed, and is so horrified by the rude intrusion of the bat, that he follows me to the living room, and sits in front of me meowing. He doesn’t want to be in there with the bats either.
I love “my” pets, but I much prefer it, when they stay in their own personal space and we stay in ours. I can handle a lot, but sharing my bedroom with a fruit bat… not something I think I’ll ever be ok with.
We checked our thatch roof today, to see if we perhaps have a hole in it, where they keep creeping it, but we couldn’t find one.
Perhaps they come in during the day, when our doors are open… I think I'm going to have to start conducting daily roof checks, before I go to bed at night.