Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Netted sacks

As I mentioned on the way back we stopped at the Florida's Farmer Market and bought a sack of oranges and a sack of Vidalia Onions.

The both came in netted sacks. The Oranges came in an orange color sack, and I think the onions were more of a natural color.

Netted sacks have been around a long time. I remember dealing with one in the 7th grade.

One weekday evening after dark near the end of the month of May some friends and I were in our front yard talking, probably about women because that was on own our minds 90 percent of the time.

In front of the house at the street was a street light. One of us noticed a bat would fly out of the darkness and swoop at an angle and disappeared away from the light. Then we saw it do it again and again. We finally figured out it was diving for insects that like to hang around the street light.

Then one of us knew that a bats were almost blind so they had sort of a built-in radar system or sonar system.. When they sensed a small object going at a high rate of speed through the air they knew it was probably a juicy insect and would swoop down and snag it.

We experimented. We would throw small rocks and pebbles under the night and each time the bat would dive for it.

Cars would also go over the speed limit down the street.

With our criminal minds we tried an experiment. As a car approached a couple of us would each throw a rock in front of the incoming car. Knowing the car was going at a fast rate of speed, if we threw the rock in front of the car it would likely hit the car because the car would advance at a rapid rate.

Aw heck, it was worth a try anyway. Two of us had our rock and was stationed behind a bush and tree ready to fling that rock at full force. We reasoned we had to do it higher than the car, because of the angle the bat was diving, in a down motion there was a possibility he would dive right head on with the car.

A car was approaching. We held our rocks in our hands and was ready. When we judged it was close enough we threw. The bat did as we predicted, swooped down, but by the time he got even with the car, the car was ten or fifteen feet away, so the bat missed the vehicle. We tried a couple more times until we got it right, learning from our errors each time.

Finally, a bat swooped down to nab the rock or pebble and the windshield of the car hit him hard. A bounced on the side of the road.

We went over and studied him. He was out cold, but we were not he was dead or not.

Anyway, it was a nice trophy to carry in and get some points with our teacher Mrs. King.

I put it in an orange netted sack.

I have a tendency to be places early. I do now, I did then. I usually was the first student at school. That morning, the bat was still either dead or out cold. I walked to school carrying the sack with the bat in it. I remember a couple of kids, both girls, and I were standing by the door of our class. I had already showed the girls the bat and I think they were either impressed or mortified of the thing.

I almost forgot about the bat when one of the girls pointed down screaming. The hat was working itself out of the netted sack. It had pried the mesh apart and was squeezing through - then it was airborne.

Within a minute it was at the stop of the ceiling in the hallway flying and little kids were screaming horrified and leaving a swath, sort of like a people-wave. Behind it was Cliff the Janitor and Mrs. Whitehead the principal, both swinging brooms.

By the way, Mrs. Whitehead taught my father and my uncles and aunt at the same school.... this was no time to bring up the subject.

The kids were herded into their class rooms and you could hear Cliff and Mrs. Whitehead hollowing and "thump thump" of them running after the bat and hitting at it with brooms.

Mrs. King looked at me with a kindness like, "I wish I could help you out on this Eddie."

Not long later Mrs. Whitehead swung the door opened and called me out. Her face was red and she was shaking. She told me for me NEVER bring anything like that to school again... NEVER!!!!

I didn't think it was wise to remind her we had just a week or two left of school, then if I passed I would be in middle school. I let her shake and carry on.

I thought I was doing a good thing, like a science project or maybe a show and tell.

I tried to look guilty and sorrowful.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.) I hate bats. they fly all around at times when i try to walk my aging dog.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2.) great experiment! Don't mention it to my son when we get to have our dinner or lunch in a few weeks.

3.) The bat- being brought to school- you would have fit right in with my ball players.

2:38 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I didn't know you had a dog, aged or otherwise.
Everytime I see someone with a dog I am busting with envy.

2:49 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

But I bet you weren't sorry at all, were you??!!

When we use the pool at night time, bats will swoop low over the water catching mosquitoes and other bugs. We need them!

5:46 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Well, er- , that is.... uh...

9:06 AM  

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