I am currently working on a middle school production of The Music Man. Basically my job is to keep all of the high school technicians in line while acting as the two directors' gofer.
A few days ago, I was working on figuring out how to fly-in windows, when I saw a group of middle schoolers crowded around the paint sink located backstage. The middle schoolers were all staring into the sink saying things like, "Is it real?" and, "Don't touch it!" So, obviously, I went to investigate.
The backstage paint sink is disgusting. I don't mean gross, I mean disgusting. I try to avoid it whenever I can. It is coated in at least an inch of dried paint, making it look more like modern art than modern plumbing. It Is always clogged and there is always a pool of stagnant water sitting in the bottom. Honestly, I'm shocked none of us have gotten malaria yet.
So, in spite of my disgust, I went over to the sink and looked in. Inside was what looked like a toy mouse, or a bat missing its wings. It was a bat. The kids began explaining that they were trying to figure out whether it was a real bat or not. I leaned in for a closer look. I smelled death.
At this point, one particularly eager eighth grader offered to pick up the bat to see if it was real. I quickly told him no and sent a member of run crew to get me paper towels.
Lots of paper towels.
After I had gotten the towels I picked up the bat with them. I was still unsure as to whether or not it was real, until I noticed the tiny claws, miniature teeth, and the wings folded up neatly beneath it. It would have been adorable had it not been decomposing as I held it.
Even if it wasn't adorable, it was pretty cool. I was holding a real bat in my hands. Well, I was holding a real paper towel in my hand which was holding a real bat. I had to show it off. I ran around the theater showing everyone the awesome thing we had found backstage.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as big a fan of dead bats as I am, including the directors. So, I was kicked out in order to find a place to dispose of the bat. I was first tempted to just throw it away in one of the school's trash cans; but I realized that that would not be a fitting burial for this little life. Plus, it would probably continue to smell and shouldn't stay inside.
So, I took it outside and thought about burying it. But, it was cold and I didn't want to dig a hole. So, I did the only thing that seemed reasonable. I hid it. I hid the bat outside. I hid the bat so that one day I will have a little tiny bat skeleton. Or a dog will eat it. Either way, it seemed more fitting than leaving it in a paint soaked sink.