Batman!

Our story begins a couple of days ago, when we visited a friend’s holiday home near us (outside the village, but still in the Metropolitan Daglan Area), to see how their stone work was going. Like us, they have an old home with limestone walls, and the walls need to be cleaned up and then properly pointed. That involves filling in the cracks with a type of sandy cement, and then brushing them clean.

When we arrived, we spent a few minutes talking with a couple of the English stone masons who were hard at work, with an energetic female dog — an Alsatian cross, we figure — running about the work site. One of the stone masons explained that the dog was six years old, but became his only recently.

It seems that while on another work site, he and his team saw this dog chained up in a neighbouring yard. As an animal lover, he went over and patted it, and could see that it was anxious for affection.  Eventually they learned that while the dog’s owner fed it, he didn’t allow it into his house, never walked it, and simply kept it chained up outside — no matter what the weather was.

Then one day when the stone masons arrived at the site, they found the dog chained to the scaffolding they had erected. Clearly, the dog’s owner had chained it there. So one of the crew went over to the owner’s house, and found that he would be glad to be rid of the dog — and so our English stone mason claimed it for his own.

Now we come to this morning. My wife Jan had gone back to our friend’s house, to see how the work was progressing over the past few days. With her, she took the son of friends of ours, simply because the young guy felt like going for a drive (school children are currently on vacation). Once they arrived at our friend’s house, they again met our animal-loving stone mason, and a new discovery — a young bat.

It turned out that the mason had been spraying the stone walls with a type of bleach to clean them up, and suddenly saw the young bat emerging from a crack in the wall, dripping wet. Thinking fast, he quickly washed the bleach off the bat, just at the moment when Jan and her young friend arrived.

And here is the little creature, sitting on the mason’s work gloves, and probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by the recent events:

Here's one view of the little creature.

Here’s one view of the little creature.

And here’s another photo, taken by Radio Free Daglan’s chief Staff Photographer, Jan:

A closer look at the young bat.

A closer look at the young bat.

All of this made for an exciting morning for Jan (herself an animal lover) and our young friend. As for the bat, we think that things have turned out well, as the friendly stone mason — now known as Batman —  found a safe (dark) place for it, well away from the ongoing stone work.

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