Home improvement

If I were a bat, I’d prefer the fruit trees.

Dave was lying in a dog bed because he wanted to trim the fruit trees.

He needed an extension trimmer so he could get to the spindly branches that have shot past the others on their way to the power lines in the sky. So he went to Home Depot. But the only extension trimmers they had were already open and missing their blades.

Dave decided to install a porch light instead. He picked one out, got it home, got the ladder, removed the old light, cut the wires, did some investigation, tapped around on the ceiling with his hammer to see what was solid and what was hollow, wondered if he should pull new wire for safety, was thinking… when he noticed a bat sleeping about 18 inches away. Tucked into the corner of our very small porch. Strangely furry.

Dave googled how to get rid of a bat. He read instructions for donning heavy gloves and getting a towel which you cover the bat with as you grab it, one site advises singing softly to keep it calm, and then taking it to a safe place, which would be where?

So instead of trimming fruit trees, Dave was lying on the back porch, in a dog bed. Thinking, he said.

Burn

tree stump Not pictured: Tree.

“Can you believe they cut down that tree?”

“I know, it seemed perfectly healthy, didn’t it?”

“And why do the signs say Tree trimming when they never trim trees like the one out front with branches that hit passersby in the eye, but they chop down entire other trees just because they lost one branch in a storm?”

“It’s sad.” He and his dog are walking north; we’re walking south. He pauses another moment and tells me about a neighbor who had the city chop down a tree because the roots were damaging her pipes. Instead of dealing with roto-rooting the pipes every year, it was cheaper and easier to get rid of the whole tree. Years later, when she was old, her caregiver would set her out front in a wheelchair. The lady would sit uncomfortably, squinting into the sun because the shade that would have shielded her was gone.