They were building something from scraps of wood. Virginia and her crew had left for the day and in the quiet of the evening I had heard the little tappings and intermittently Adonie's voice.
She squatted among the scraps tapping with a hammer, explaining the design, size and shape to Olive, setting her hands around Olive's small dark ones and guiding them, showing her where to hold the pieces so that she, Adonie, could nail them together. Olive nodded soberly and earnestly endeavored to assist. She was always earnest, but that didn't prevent upset glasses, spilled cereal boxes, ripped papers, and dropped ripe fruit splashing the floor and walls. What they were building looked like a bird house, except it was awfully flat.
"Olive has found a bat."
She would, I thought. No bright little song bird for Olive. She finds a bat.


"There's a little group of them at one end of the attic, but it's easy for the little ones to fall through a crack and down into the upstairs bathroom so we're making a bat house."
Adonie shifted and hammered down the last corner of the roof. "We'll put it up under the eaves near their entrance and exclude reentry."
"Out but not in."
"That's right."


Of course she would. No frantic or irate calls to the pest removers for Adonie. Flame and fire-hosed poisons. She'd never think of such a thing. They could live here, too. We all could.

I looked up. I supposed she would go up a ladder and construct the excluder and mount the bat house. It was more my type of job, but if I didn't offer I guessed she would do it.
She did all right. It was a competent job. She tested the firmness of the new house while balanced at the top of the ladder and then turned to tell us, "It's set."
And she still looked down on us instead of descending so I said, "Do you see the family resemblance?" with what I hoped was a sneering grimace and moved away from Olive.