Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Love in Seventeen syllables

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Hello readers, an interesting thing happened the other day after posting a humorous haiku about poo to the email list belonging to my guide dog school training program. The outpouring of love and respect for our canine partners overflowed into dozens of haiku. The edited collection is below. It is one of the best things about the creative experience: passion drives creativity and our incomparable companions keep us passionate, for sure.

Thanks to all who contributed; while there were over 8 pages of poems, the pieces here are only a small sample representing the love and respect I think we could agree is a reflection of how we feel about our dogs.

Haiku
Poetry Collection
A Profession of partnership
Guiding Eyes for the Blind Graduates

What does your dog do
Alight upon the sun beams?
Yes, each day we fly

Mac has love so blind
My faults hidden from his view
So simple, so real

Rub Prince’s tummy
Safely Guide Judy day/night
Gifts of Love for each

The squirrel runs fast
Legs are twitching as he runs
In the Guide Dog dreams

People, subs, shadows
Julia’s loves in six years
Julia the first

Yankee Doodle guide
Buses, sidewalks, and streets
Guiding quick and true

Blind, alone, afraid
Geb guide no longer alone now
Guide is my best friend

Amos, my sweet boy
Soaring through crowds to targets
Lying on my feet

Henley is so sweet
Sugar and candy can’t match
German shepherd love

The Concrete Jungle
Where Kit and I stroll daily
Freedom beyond dreams

Small, fast, and agile
Like supercar and driver
Dog and I are one

Dixon, first in line
He wanted to lead the pack
When not on my lap

Jada is my wings
Watch us fly across the sky
We don’t see the ground.

Adler went too fast
He taught me trust and patience
How to replace him?

You are my best bud
My loud and lively Lawson
Thanks for all the joy!

JJ son of “Wildman”
Playful when out of harness
All focus in harness

Squire, dark as night.
smart, strong, and ever so sweet.
Ever and always.

Observant guide dog,
Counters sadness with face licks
Makes me laugh and smile.

Pip, out of harness,
my social butterfly girl
Has more friends than me.

Irish cream doggie-woo
Giant heart spirit of two
Taken hold of me

Hadley is two dogs
At play: run and slide! Bounce! Fly!
Harness on: a king.

Quincy was my first Guide,
That Golden boy stole my heart,
Always in my Heart

The trees and sky breathe
My golden girl goes forward
Our hearts together

Curled asleep at feet
Waves of love from guide Ryan
Smiling a tear falls

My vision’s as wide
As a dog can see, hear, smell.
Guiding Eyes radar.

Liza is so quick!
Gave that candy a big lick.
The clerk put it back!

Walking by my side
You safely show me the way
Teamwork everyday

Flying through our world,
Brilliant mind and stellar step . . .
Marli’s guiding eyes.

My dog is Cici,
She is my guiding Eyes girl,
Without her I fall

Two Years together
Yankee and Mom a great team
Working and playing

I walk in snowshoes
Dog is in four black Mukluks
Home, now there are three

Guides. Finds, loves to play
Always willing willing to retrieve
Muzzle stuck in shoe

Hadley loves to love.
He’s all cuddles, no kisses.
Mouth’s reserved for toys.

Naughty puppy face
Harness on, working face on!
What to do without?

With sudden blindness
Clare became my light and sight
My guide and friend

Our talks as we walk
Open volumes clearly spoken
Unheard by strangers

Night comes, harness off
Naughty puppy face once more
We dream together.

Akron, gentleman
Needed a much slower pace
Sleep contortionist

Tessi bouncy girl
Met no one she didn’t like
Glad at work or play

Find eighty-eight keys
That is where you will find Mac
Snoring underneath

Sweet but sneaky Pip,
will commando crawl for food
Dog foodaholic.

The one that started it:
Brown nuggets drop from
Dog to snow, hidden in white
Lost until spring thaw.

Love in Seventeen syllables

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

News and Notes

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Hello Readers,
It’s February, the month dedicated to love and inklings of spring. Here in New York, we have been experiencing yo-yo weather and I am ready for the warmer weather. Bailey and Verona, my Labradors, would love it to snow a few more times just for fun, though. Silly dogs!

I have a few announcements this time around – first is the ACB Radio Mainstream podcast on February 21 at 10:30 p.m. eastern. I talk to the host, Brian McCallen about being a writer and coping with blindness. You can subscribe to the podcast for other interviews and informational segments.
Here is the listing: Ann Chiappetta – Wednesday February 21st 10:30PM Eastern/7:30PM Pacific (and replays every two hours throughout the next day)

To listen to “Speaking Out for the Blind,” go to: http://acbradio.org/mainstream, and choose one of the links under the headings “Listen to ACB Radio Mainstream” and “Now Playing;” or call 712-775-4808, and when prompted, press “1” for ACB Radio Mainstream. You may also listen to the program live on the ACB Link mobile app.
For more info related to the show, go to: https://speakingoutfortheblind.weebly.com/list-of- episodes-and-show-news/for-more-information-episode-160-ann-chiappetta

For all you local folks, I am hosting a book signing on March 15, 2018 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Westchester Disabled on The Move in Yonkers, New York. Printed, signed copies of FOLLOW YOUR DOG A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST are $10 each, and UPWELLING: POEMS are $8, cash only. Call 914-393-6605 if you have any questions. Directions are on WDOMI’s website,
www.wdom.org

I’d love to give a multi-book discount to organizations, programs, and schools, so email me at [email protected] to find out more.

Thanks for reading, here is a little haiku for you:
What does your dog do?
Alight upon the sun beams?
Yes, each day we fly

Be well,
Annie, Bailey, and Verona

Reaching Out

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

I recently sold 37 copies of my new book, Follow Your Dog a Story of Love and Trust www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta in January. I am proud of this accomplishment because although the number is modest, I am an Indy writer managing my writing career without a publicist or agent to push sales on my behalf. My colleagues, friends, family and social media contacts have helped me, too – something I thought would be impossible just a few years ago.

The most difficult barrier is time. I work full-time, so whatever promotions I engage in must be squeezed in judiciously; weekends are crammed with secretarial duties like stuffing envelopes, ordering promotional materials, scheduling guest appearances and podcasts or radio interview’s, , and catching up on email. Phew! Often, the household duties fall to the wayside or are completed between these other tasks. ‘Tis the life I choose to live.

If an interviewer asked what is the most difficult part of being an Indy author who is promoting her books, I’d reply it’s about asking others to help me do it. What I mean is, being bold enough to make a cold call to a book seller, artist’s guild or friend and ask for help with a recommendation or book review. The risk of being rejected or told no, sorry, I can’t help you is the one fear I work through while selling my book.

If the interviewer asked what is the most fulfilling part of being an Indy author, I would say the people’s responses, of course. It is about touching a reader, connecting the emotions and resonating with them through the written word that keeps me going and fills me with joy.

Thank you, readers, for keeping me going.

Thank You Verona

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

I got on the bus last week and took out my cell to pass the time. I opened Face Book and fingered through my status and read that it has been 9 years since I met Verona. I shared the milestone like a good little FB user but the nostalgia stayed with me all day. I wasn’t able to reach out and pet her to say thanks for a wonderful first guide dog experience. It was like not saying “I love you,” to my human family upon leaving for a day’s work.

There are so many reasons for writing this post, from appreciating the people involved in bringing Verona and I together to those who helped me make the decision to retire her and supporting our family so we could keep her and let her live out her retirement with regal dignity.

It’s a little overkill, perhaps, to keep writing about this dog, but, hey, I write about relationships and the most meaningful ones have been with dogs, so, you know, write what you know, right?

Verona continues to provide unconditional love dressed in ebony, a constantly wagging tail, and a gentle nature. She is the only dog in our lives that has generated a fan club and a long list of possible retirement homes when folks heard she was hanging up the harness. All the paratransit bus drivers talked about her, how intelligent she looked, that she “has smart eyes,”. We are featured in the para transit taxi program brochure; when she retired, the local newspaper wrote an article about how much the veterans would miss her. She saw her trainer the other day and actually jumped up to lick her face, prancing around like she was two years old. It is in these moments for which I feel grateful. I am appreciative of the dedication and expert attention to her training and breeding. Our family has benefitted from such a phenomenal dog, she is a true Labrador retriever and the kind of guide dog who became an ambassador because of her character. This is why I write about her so much, have written a book, two poems and dozens of articles about her. She is exceptional. It is this piece of canine personality which grabs our attention and stays with us. It is this type, this definition that sticks to our hearts like Velcro and owns a part of our hearts making us grieve when the animal passes.

People talk about soul mates, and a great guide dog match is similar. Some folks refer to it as a spirit dog, or a heart dog. I felt her unique energy the first time we met and don’t ever want to forget it. The energy still keeps me grounded, gives me confidence.

Here’s to you, Verona, sweet girl, whose ability to trust me and to have been able to take us places and lead us into adventures is the most powerful partnerships I’ve known. Happy ninth anniversary. I love you.

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The Authenticity Gnome

| Filed under Relationships Uncategorized

I picked out another fossilized pine needle from my sock; it was so dry I thought it was a tooth pick. How did it get in my shoe, then poke through my sock and the my tender tootsie? I believe it is the curse of the authenticity gnome. Yes, the bug-eyed eccentric mini-man is related to the elusive cousin, the elf on the shelf and looks similar to its country cousin, the garden gnome. It takes the needles from the old Christmas trees and sprinkles them into the radiator, the closet, and the bowl of water left for the dogs. This nefarious little creature also infuses the needles with a special energy that pushes them out from under the vacuum and broom.

You see, it does these things to keep us from deciding to opt for a fake tree, what is now called a fiber optic tree. It works like this: when a human is picking the old pine needles from the clogged vacuum, the human thinks, I should really buy a fake tree so I don’t have to do this anymore. Then the human looks off into the distance, recalling the many holidays, the smell of fresh balsam and gifts given that brought smiles and thanks and as the human sets down the unclogged vacuum, the thought of the facsimile tree is wiped from the human’s frontal lobe by a magical flick of a stubby authenticity gnome finger. Classic reverse psychology and it works. I wonder if they get kick backs from the tree farms.

A Kiss From Arrow

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

The photo depicts Arrow kissing my face.
What could be more comforting than puppy kisses? This is what I thought as I held yellow lab pup Arrow. She wagged her tail the whole time I held her and she tickled my cheek with her warm tongue. Every time I get the chance to hold a puppy, I think, is this pup going to grow up to be a guide dog? A detection dog? A search and rescue dog? The only fact I can rely upon for a pup like Arrow is this: no matter where it goes, it will be loved and cared for and given a rewarding life, whether it guides or is given a place in a forever This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.home. Thanks to Guiding Eyes, A pup like Arrow will learn to develop its innate traits so it can grow to become a well-rounded and confident dog.

As someone who has marveled at and given much thought on the psychological growth of puppies, knowing a purpose bred pup like Arrow is nurtured and encouraged to embrace its true potential is amazing; every pup has a gleam of potential and when graduation time comes and I hear their name I send up a huge thanks to those who have contributed to make it happen.

May you and your loved ones share a happy and peaceful holiday season and Merry Christmas from all of us here at Castle Chiappetta

Being Pawsitive

| Filed under blindness Fiction Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Thanksgiving is about staying connected and sharing love and companionship. For guide and service dog teams, it means so much and more – here’s to our partners and how much we appreciate their unconditional regard, trust and protection of us.
Whatever you bring to the table, Bailey, Verona, Nikka, Titan the cat and the humans in our home wish you all peace and warmth.

Read on for a book update.

Well, readers, since the last post, FOLLOW YOUR DOG has taken off at a solid trot. It seems like just about every time I’ve asked businesses and other entities to consider a partnership the answer is YES. I am pleased and just a little bit intimidated by it. Don’t worry, though; I have been practicing for this for what seems like years and Bailey and I are ready for the attention. I hope, gulp.

Go to http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/ to fill up a stocking or two with the new book.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind has been gracious and supportive, too, which is an added bonus. If you are reading this blog post, consider them as one of your organizations of choice for monetary giving. Go to www.guidingeyes.org/

If you are in the Yorktown Hight’s neighborhood on December 9 for the Guiding Eyes graduation, I would be happy to personally sign your copy of the book. Stay tuned for more information on the event or visit my personal website to find out more about other events to promote the book: www.annchiappetta.com

Ahead of Schedule!

| Filed under blindness Fiction Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

For Immediate Release

Contact: Ann Chiappetta, author 914-393-6605 [email protected]

Writer tells Compelling Tale, and it is all for the love of dogs
New Rochelle, New York — October 24, 2017 – Local author and poet, Ann Chiappetta, celebrates the release of her second book, a memoir titled, “Follow Your Dog: a Story of Love and Trust”.
Legally blind since 1993, Chiappetta received her first guide dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind in 2009. The nonfiction book tells of her struggles growing up as a visually impaired child and learning how to cope with progressive vision loss while working and raising her family. Throughout the book, her relationship with each dog in her life at the time shares a prominent place.

“It’s all about the dog,” she says, summing up being out in public with her guide dog, adding, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The latter half of the book focuses on the human and canine bond that develops when matched with a guide dog. Chiappetta writes, from the back cover: “With this book, I hope to take the reader on a journey of understanding: learning what it’s like to overcome the darker side of disability by walking the path of independence with a canine partner. “
Chiappetta will be scheduling book signings and readings throughout the United States, beginning with a book signing at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights on December 9. The book is available from popular eBook and print on demand booksellers.

To purchase Ann’s book, go to http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Or, to access Ann’s schedule of book signings and interviews, past interviews, or request her as a guest speaker, go to http://www.annchiappetta.com

To find out more about the publisher, go to http://www.dldbooks.com
To find out more about Guiding Eyes for the Blind, visit http://www.guidingeyes.org

An Oldie but a Goody

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Ann Chiappetta
Iona College
Dept. of Pastoral Counseling & Marriage and Family Therapy
CNS-510 Lifespan Development
Br. K. Barry
3/15/05

The Breakfast Club and the Systems Within

They are sometimes morbidly, often curiously, preoccupied with what they appear to be in the eyes of others as compared with what they think they are
–from Identity, Youth and Crisis (1968) by Erik Erikson

Dear Br. Barry;
You asked each of us to watch this movie and comment on it. To make inferences based on implications. I accept the fact that I had to sacrifice five whole days to write this paper because I had to take this class. Call me crazy but I think it’s crazy. What I really want to know is, with which character do you most identify?
Sincerely,
A breakfast skipper

Introduction
The characters portrayed in this film dramatize what it is like to be human, to grow, to stagnate, and to take chances. For instance, Mr. Vernon’s midlife crisis reminds us that teens are not the only ones who struggle with identity. According to Erik Erikson, midlife crisis is referred to as “generativity vs. stagnation, the seventh stage of human development called middle adulthood. Mr. Vernon is suffering from disillusionment and is questioning his decision to become a teacher and administrator. He is essentially seeking out the very same things that the five teens in detention are seeking: a sense of purpose and belonging.

The following is an analysis based on a systemic perspective. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the elements of what defines the family system and the peer system. Additionally, pursuing connections and/or identifying the differences between the two groups exposes the motivations of the individual and his/her interactions in a group setting.

John’ Bender the Criminal
“Eat my shorts.”
He is the bad-boy; neglected, tortured, and lost; he elicits your attention because without it he knows no other way of affirming his own existence. A trained clinician would note that John is angry, resentful, and insecure. Conversely, the same clinician would note that John is resourceful, observant, and able to create cohesiveness in the group by challenging them. We see this in the beginning of the film when he sabotages the library door. No one reports him to Mr. Vernon assuring him that he can take charge. By the end of the day, John successfully roots out and exposs everyone’s foibles as well as sharing the ugliest parts of his home life, like the cigar burns on his forearm. The clinician watching this film would make an educated guess that he likes being in control of others and feeling powerful boosts his self-esteem. It is suggested that John is living in an abusive household with and alcoholic father. Because of his unstable home life, the only way John can communicate is by creating chaos and finding out about others through his/her own negative experiences. This particular group provides John with a sense of belonging, a dynamic he cannot find at home. The peer system is a surrogate for the things he is missing in the family system.
Whether he is aware of it or not, John symbolizes the desire to rebel against authority in order to affirm his place in society. He has already found that by being an outsider, he does not need to conform. Erikson asserts that when someone like John is “driven to the extreme of their condition [they] find greater sense of identity in being withdrawn or in being delinquent than in anything society has to offer them (1968, p. 254).” This is apparent in John’s disdain for authority and others, like Andy and Claire, who have made the choice to assimilate into the larger peer group. John holds back but it is not clear if he does so because he is afraid or if he has found another secure group outside the school’s influence.

Allison Reynolds the Basket-Case
“When we grow up our soul dies.”
Allison is the least differentiated person in the group. She is the basket-case, symbolizing the least developmentally evolved personality. She is the least attached to the peer system, her identity evolving through out the entire film. Because the family system appears to be disconnected, Allison’s own sense of balance is affected. For example, her confrontational way of speaking at awkward moments and/or refusal to speak leads this clinician to extrapolate that Allison is not skilled in the social graces. She admits to lying, stealing, and sexual promiscuity to seek attention from the others yet is reluctant to speak honestly about herself when asked. Seeking negative attention is Allison’s preferred way of communicating with others. She most likely learned this maladaptive skill from her family system. When pushed, she admits to being ignored by her family and that her home life is “unsatisfying”. A good clinician would hypothesize that Allison is being emotionally neglected and quite possibly physically neglected as well. For example, her hair looks unwashed and her clothes appear to be borrowed. She has strange eating habits, as if pop-tarts and cornflakes are all she is offered or accustomed. She is missing the little bits and pieces of parental instructions and/or demonstrations, like her mother making sure she has a nutritious lunch and clean clothes. Things most children in middle-class America take for granted. These clues point to parental neglect.
Allison’s place within her peer group is precarious, evident by the way she often hesitates joining in and holding back. Her fear of rejection is stronger than her need to belong, to test where she fits. A good clinician would conclude that her hesitation in joining her peers is a result of feeling lost within her family system.

Claire Standish the Princess
“I hate it! I hate having to go along with everything my friends say!”
John calls her a “richie”. Andy is her friend, Brian lusts after her,and Allison , well, her opinion of Claire changes by the end of the film. It’s hard to feel sorry for her; she is priviledged, attractive, and intelligent. She lives in a world that all of the other kids can only imagine. She is the popular girl, a role model for the other girls in the school to emulate. She says she hates it yet she seems to be quite comfortable in her role until John uncovers what’s going on in her family system: divorce, alcoholism, infidelity, and perhaps a bit of high-brow rebellion. After all, she did cut school to go shopping.
Since Claire is the top of this particular peer system it is noteworthy to pay attention to how guarded she is throughout most of the film. She fiercely defends her place in the group by magnifying the faults of others while defending her character. It works quite well in keeping everyone else in his or her place, except for John. A clinician would surmise that this is how Claire’s family system operates, or rather, how she operates within the family system. She likely has to guard herself against the conflict between her parents. She mentions that she disobeys her mother only when her father compels her to and that if she had to choose who to live with, she would choose her older brother instead. Claire, like all the others, cannot escape the parallelisms that exist between the family and peer system. The more she struggles against the yoke of preconceived expectations, the tighter she is entwined.

Andrew Clark the Athlete
“He is like this mindless machine that I can’t even relate to anymore.”
Andy is describing his inability to connect with his father. Andy sees himself as less than human. He feels as if he’s being used for his athletic prowess and that his emotional needs are being ignored. Andy wants to do the right thing but is easily influenced by his father’s worldview. A clinician would conclude that Andy is also an angry young man but for different reasons than those of John Bender. Simply put, he is being exploited by his father’s overpowering need to excel, to win at all costs, even at his own son’s expense. A clinician would try to find a way to help Andy use his athletic gift to free him from his father’s control. It is implied that Mr. Clark is domineering and this could be why he and his son are struggling for control. It is natural for Andy to test his father and it is often the parent who resists the shift in the relationship, causing the adolescent to resist, resulting in a stalemate.
Andy’s place in the peer system is the most stable due to his family’s position (working-class) and his innate desire to excel and good social skills.

Brian Johnson the Brain
“I don’t like what I see.”
A truly intelligent, intuitive person, Brian Johnson is the group’s observational conduit. He is the door mat, pitied by John, ignored by Andy Claire, and Allison. He is overly solicitous to adults and other kids who outrank him. By all appearances, he is a geeky ass-kisser, an overachiever, a genius who failed shop. Unlike the others, instead of lashing out, Brian holds in his emotions. When pushed he cries rather than becoming angry. A good clinician would take note of this and ask Brian if he ever gets angry, and what happens when he does. It is possible that Brian internalizes his anger and frustration because in his family system, tears and fits of anger are not how an intelligent person behaves. A responsible, mature young adult does not entertain suicidal thoughts. Like Allison, Brian struggles with his identity; he doesn’t like what he sees and yet he has not attempted to change or express how he feels until John challenges him.

Conclusion
In the social jungle of human existence
there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.
–from Identity, Youth and Crisis (1968) by Erik Erikson

Who among this group has the most potential to become successful? The answer is all of them. Each teen has a chance to either succeed of fail depending on what the future unveils. For example, Andy may very well blow out his knee and this may upset his father’s plans and add more distance between them. Claire’s father could remarry, or Allison could run away and become a crack addict. For that matter, John could graduate, get discovered by a film producer and star in a movie about teen angst. Brian could become a firearms instructor/left-wing anarchist. My point is that there is no such thing as a sound future. They all have great potential and a good chance to find a positive direction and purpose. Discovering who they are and who they want to be is what adolescence is all about.

References
Breakfast Club, The (1985) A&M Films Channel Productions. Universal City Studios, Ca.

Erikson, Erik. (1968) Identity, Youth and Crisis. Norton, New York.

Santrock, John W. (2004) Life Span Development. Mcgraw Hill New York.

Surprise Visitor

| Filed under blindness Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Got this from my old writing folder. Enjoy.
Surprise Visitor
© 2007 By Ann Chiappetta

I helped Linda in with the last bag of clothing, placing it beside the others in the small bedroom of her new apartment. I looked around at what we’d brought in; all she had was a bed, a table, a computer, and a few boxes of personal things. I wished I had enough money to start her out the right way but I didn’t and even if I did, she probably wouldn’t want it anyway. Linda was proud and didn’t accept charity, not even from her own brother.
“Well, I got my work out for the day.” I said, wiping the sweat off with the arm of my tee shirt. The apartment was on the second floor of an eight unit brownstone in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, close to her new job. A long way from Katonah, I thought, but it was a nice enough area. Linda made the decision to move from up county because she wanted to be independent. Mom and Dad, however, tried to talk her out of it but she moved anyway, saying,
“How can I live my life when I can’t even get to work on my own?”
The truth was that our parents didn’t know how to let go, to deal with Linda’s disability. She and I talked about our parents facing the truth, that they both struggled with what it meant to have a blind daughter. Despite mom and dad’s difficulty accepting her vision loss, Linda wanted to get out on her own, just like any other college grad. She met her blindness head-on, with courage and perseverance. I wished mom and dad could do it, too, but they weren’t ready.
Linda rummaged through a box marked KITCHEN and found two cups. She rinsed them off, filled them with water,and handed one to me.
“I hear it’s the best water in New York state.” She said. Grinning.
“”Here’s to your new place, Cheers.” I replied, touching her cup with mine toasting the occasion.
“Thanks, Danny.” She said, “I couldn’t have done this all without you.”
“I would be insulted if you didn’t ask, baby sister.” I said, hugging her. “I’m so proud of you.”
I drank another cup of water, watching Linda unpack the rest of the items from the box thinking about how much she had overcome. She started losing her vision in high school, the retinal disease progressing until she was left with only a small portion of her sight. It was a long, hard road for Linda, but she walked it and now stood in her own apartment, sparsely furnished but all her own nonetheless.
I went to the nearest pizza place and brought back dinner, then went home.
I was opening the door to my apartment when my cell rang. It was Linda
“Hello?’
“Danny, you’re not going to believe this but I think there’s a bat in my bedroom.”
“A what?”
I suppressed a laugh but she must’ve heard the little bit that escaped into the phone
“Stop laughing, Danny, it’s not funny. You know how I feel about those disgusting furry things.’
I closed and locked my apartment door and headed back to my car.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can, just stay out of the room and call the super.”
An hour later, we stood at the bedroom door listening to the bat flapping around, its leathery wings fluttering against the walls as if desperate to find a way out.
“Okay, Linda, I’m going to turn the light back on and hope it lands somewhere where we can find it.” I cracked the door open reached in and switched on the light.
Linda crossed her arms and shivered,
“Yuck, I will never understand your attraction to all those furry, slimy animals.”
“I got them just to torture you with them.” I teased, “Besides, I don’t see what’s so slimy about hamsters or bats. They have fur, not scales.”
“Danny, just get the darned thing out of here, okay? I’m going to make some coffee.” She went back into the kitchen, shaking her head in disgust.
I searched the room for twenty minutes but all I could find was a small hole near the radiator. It was big enough for a bat or rodent to squeeze through. I stuffed the hole with a couple of steel wool pads held in place by duct tape. The super would have to plaster the hole but my temporary seal would suffice until then. I tried looking for the bat again and finally found it in the back of the closet. I missed it before because it was only about four inches long and its grey fur blended in with the shadows. I got a towel and threw it over the bat, then I put it in an old shoe box Linda gave me earlier. I carefully poked a few holes in it for air and carried it out to the living area.
Linda was on the phone,
“… I said I’m being chased around by a bat. B-A-T. Okay, thanks, good bye.” She put away her cell phone and turned to me, “Is it in the box?”
I nodded, “Did you call someone to come get it?” I asked.
“Yes, they’re sending a patrol car.”
I almost dropped the box when the banging at the door began,
“Police, open the door.” Came a muffled bellow.
Linda froze. I went to the door and looked through the peephole. Sure enough, there was not one but four officers waiting to be let in and they looked like they meant business.
I opened the door and they rushed in, two of them covering me, one of them covering Linda and one checking the other rooms.
, “We got a call there was someone being chased with a bat.” Said the lead officer, eyeing me.
Linda and I burst out laughing. I held up the box.
“The bat’s in here.” I said, then began laughing again. The officer took the box from me and peeked inside, then he handed it back,
“Holy cow, the sergeant isn’t going to believe this.” He put away his baton and nodded to his fellow officers,
“Hay boys, you’d better come look at this.”
Ten minutes later, officer Halaran shook my hand and grinned,
“Danny, we’re going to be telling this story for months. The other three officers were still chuckling as they left.
Linda thanked them and closed the door but there was another knock. She opened it, finding the super standing there, a confused look on his face,
“Did the cops get the guy with the bat?”

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0
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