The one thing Biggest never managed to do was get arrested. Even at her worst she never resorted to actually being a criminal though she was sometimes in situations that brought her in to contact with the police. She did however have a special relationship with the local police department. My town is about 3 square miles so this is a small force. Because of the way we are set up there are actually 4 different towns and police departments within a 4 mile radius and she had run ins with all of them but this story concerns our towns officers.
Halfway through ninth grade we took Biggest out of school in an attempt to separate her from the people she had fallen in with. After a short unsuccessful stint at a small private school I began to home school her.
One morning I woke to "one of those days". Both the little girls had become sick over night and were stuffed up and running fevers. I had enough Motrin left for one dose. I had to head to the store but it was kind of nice because Biggest was going on 15 and I could leave the girls with her for a few minutes instead of dragging them out sick. I was gone a total of about 15 minutes at most.
As I pulled in to the driveway I noticed that all three girls were on the front porch in their pajamas. I immediately was annoyed, what were they doing outside? I got out of the car to see 5 year old Littlest holding a stick of bamboo, 7 year old Middlest clutching a mop handle and Biggest resplendent in pink plaid pajamas with her unbrushed hair flowing wildly, a look of pure murder in her eyes, wielding a baseball bat...and a steak knife. My eyes fell to the driveway and the twisted carcass of a fallen and bludgeoned purple bike.
What was going on here!
Bike thieves. They picked the wrong seemingly empty house on the wrong morning. She saw them sneak on to the back porch from the windows. They had been surprised by Biggest who chased them from the back yard and halfway down the street with her baseball bat. They were lucky she didn't catch up. She had a lethal swing. Biggest explained that they had gotten away with my sister in laws bike that was parked out front but had abandoned one of their bikes in the hurry to escape her. She informed me that she had killed it. The tires were suffering from multiple stab wounds so that if they tried to come back for it they couldn't get away fast. She had her army on the porch waiting to launch an offensive. Her eyes were narrowed and her nostrils flared. She may have been hanging out with a bad crowd but how dare another bad bunch come to her home and attempt to steal. I could only imagine the look on the boys faces when this unexpected vision came blowing out the door headed in their direction.
I called the police and proceeded to lecture Biggest about bringing her sisters outside much less going out herself in that situation. She informed me they were just middle school aged kids, 12 or 13 and she could have took them all out. An officer came and I told the story from my end and then he questioned Biggest. "You chased them with a bat, he asked?" I thought I saw the corners of his mouth turn up. She told him everything and led him to the abandoned bike. "It's probably stolen too" he told us. "I'll take it and see if it's been reported." As he lifted it up to roll away he said "the tires are flat". Biggest explained how she had attacked the tires with the steak knife to sabotage any rescue attempts. I thought I saw a struggle going on in his face as he took this in and then repeated my warnings about not confronting people. After she went in he actually did smile with an expression of pure admiration and told me "Well, I bet they weren't expecting that. She's a brave girl."
Crazy was what I was thinking but didn't say it, I was kind of tickled at her too.
It was some time later I realized that I had given birth to a Local Legend.
The first time Biggest ran away my husband went to the station to report it. The officer who had come about the bikes began to take the report. He looked at the address and asked my husband, "This isn't Bat Girl is it?" My husband was confused for a minute and the policeman explained, "the one who chased the bike thieves with the bat." He told him yes. My husband said he seemed very disappointed and told him that was a shame.
Over the next few years things with Biggest deteriorated and more than once we needed the assistance of the police. One time after she had disappeared for a few days she called to say she had a place to stay and was coming by for some things we wouldn't be a problem right? Because she wasn't going to stay. "Yeah. Right. Come on honey and just get your stuff that would be fine." In this case it was the "mother" of a "friend" who had been harboring her. While she waited out side for My Child my husband went out and told her Biggest would not be going anywhere, please leave or he would contact the police. She was drunk and started screaming and cussing him and then tried to run him over with her car. After she took off, Biggest started having a fit and we called the cops anyway to report the whole situation. When one arrived he told my husband there wasn't much they could do but he would talk to her. As they walked in the room where she sat he paused for a minute and whispered something to my husband and my husband answered "yes". The policeman talked to her, telling her she was a lucky girl to have a nice home and a family that cared about her but it fell on deaf ears at that time.
Afterwards I asked what he had whispered. My husband answered, " he was asking how old she was and then he asked "Is it Bat Girl?"
Then there was the night I have written about before that was very bad. It was 2 A.M. She was extremely impaired, had physically attacked her father and was threatening to kill herself and us. We needed to call them in for an emergency Baker Act. When they arrived Bat Girl had disappeared. She got out the door and we weren't sure where she went but she wasn't capable of getting far. They began searching our property and then called my husband to "look at this" trying to stifle their mirth. Bat Girl may be able to navigate in total darkness while mere humans need light but as she crouched hidden deep in the trees she had forgotten something. A tiny red beacon flashed in the underbrush to point the way. She was smoking a cigarette. Bat Girl was Busted. One warned the other they were dealing with Bat Girl, be ready. She proceeded to fight them and make things as difficult as possible but her kicking and screaming and calling them names didn't thwart them. They knew Bat Girl was tough and they had sent two who were tougher, and very kind to her as well. I think even they were surprised though at how bad she looked at that time.
From time to time if they saw my husband out somewhere they would ask how she was doing.
In time things had calmed down considerably and the last time Bat Girl put in a public appearance was when she was 17 and we got a call at 11:30 PM that she had been with a group who had gone to a strip club for someones 21st birthday and the guys had been involved in a brawl. She was sober, but some of her friends were going to jail, did we want to just come pick her up? Well sure we did, this was an episode of Little House on the Prairie compared to just a year before. I had to laugh at the idiots who ran the club and had let her in, they were in more trouble than anyone.
Bat Girl grew up and went into semi retirement. I sometimes wonder if the police recognize her. The lovely young woman walking down the street in her work scrubs going to lunch. The very personable and efficient professional with the incredible smile if they happen to be clients at her place of business. She is in disguise and has been laying low but.....
Bat Girl has a mission in life. To be the savior of all animals. She now lives in her own small bat cave that is a haven for all creatures great and small. An unseen watchful eye on the lookout for speeding and careless drivers on her street. Recently she found an injured squirrel in her yard. It had been shot. There have been sightings lately of a pack of tween aged boys who have been seen strutting around, scouring her neighborhood with their BB guns.
Unbeknownst to them, at a sunny little house, beyond a neat and cared for little yard bursting with flowers and greenery, hidden from view on a tiny screen shaded porch hung with cheerful hanging plants...she sits.....
..... quietly..... patiently.... she watches.......and.......she waits.
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