We took advantage of the late season heatwave to head down to Brown County and Monroe Lake for some boating with our friends Brad and Leelee.
Leelee drove the boat to the cabin like she’d been doing it all her life. John and I followed in our car and I was amazed at how in control she was the whole time. My driving would have taken out a few folks on the way.
We like to stay in cabins when we travel. They are typically quieter and have the added bonus of a hot tub somewhere outside if we are lucky. The cabin we stayed at this time had a hot tub and a few more surprises.
When we pulled up to the cabin around dusk we all walked through touring the rooms together. John and I volunteered to take the upstairs loft so Leelee could be closer to the bathroom. As we stood in the loft talking, Leelee asked, “Did you all hear that?” When we got quiet, sure enough, we could hear the sound of several faint squeaks coming from the wall near the fireplace in our room.
My mind immediately conjured up bats, and then it conjured a cloud of them coming at me while I flailed about and shrieked like a pre-teen, pre-hillbilly-cracker-Britney fan. John said he thought they were mice and banged on the wall where the sound came from. Hundreds of wings or scurrying feet flittered nervously on the other side. A million trips through Blanchard Springs Caverns had left me feeling nervous about bats. Seeing their monumental piles of poop convinced me that they fly around with the stuff streaming out of their behinds like jet plane vapor trails. And mice running over my hands as I straightened shelves at Town and Country grocery store in high school left me completely freaked about them, too. I was starting to regret our lodging choice.
John said the chimney in our room was closed off but the one downstairs wasn’t, so he and Brad built a fire in the hearth to smoke whoever was in there out. Once the fire started the squeaks died down, so I felt better. We fired up the grill outside, put some steaks on, baked a few potatoes and by the time we sat down to eat I’d pretty much forgotten all about our rodent roommates.
That is until I started to take a bite of my steak and saw this on the door jam 10 feet away.
If Cesar Milan has taught me anything it is never to appear frightened to an animal that might be about to attack you. So I just sat still and exclaimed, with as much excitement as a whispery and slightly panic-tinged voice will allow, “I can not ______ believe this.”
No one had a clue what I was talking about. I whispered, “Look at the door to the porch! Look at the door!”
By the time everyone had seen it I was slamming the bathroom door behind me. I could hear someone yelling, “Troy, take a picture! Take a picture!” I didn’t even reply. At first all I could hear outside the bathroom was Leelee making fun of me. Then some banging. I’ll admit, Leelee’s taunts were kind of humiliating until she burst screaming through the bathroom door and slammed it shut behind her. “They’re using a broom to push it outside. John’s holding the door and Brad’s swinging at it.”
“Why aren’t you out there taking pictures, Beowulf?” I asked.
“I was until it flew off the door. Then I was done.”
I have to admit, this is a darn good action photo considering the photographer was about to pee her pants. Soon Brad and John sent what we later learned was a Southern Flying Squirrel (communal and nocturnal, which explains a lot) on its way out into the wilderness. A cute thing really. The fact that it was “Southern” endeared it to me. The fact that it flew did not.
It was a pretty quiet weekend after that until about 5:00 Sunday morning when I heard a chorus of squeaks coming from the wall on my side of the bed. I punched John in the side and in a whispered shout said, “They’re back.” He asked me what he wanted him to do, but I was too annoyed and frozen with fear to answer. Instead I just pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep until I smelled bacon frying downstairs.
Next time we’re staying in a hotel.
This entry was posted on October 8, 2007 at 3:04 am and is filed under Brown County, cabins, Southern Flying Squirrels. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments. You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.