For a minute Lulu held her breath and listened hopefully for the
sound of Bubba’s return. But the old house was completely silent and
she heard nothing. “Oh dear”, said Lulu to herself disconsolately,
“I’d not like anyone to say that I’m one to feel sorry for myself,
but now that Bubba’s gone, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else to
do it. So I might as well.” And she settled down to think sorry-for-herself
thoughts in the warm and dimly moon-lit darkness of the old living
room while idly sketching pictures of pitiful little lost lizards
in the dust on the floor.
“Besides,” she said out loud and defiantly to the world in general,
“I’m NOT an alligator!”
“Well,” said a flutteriness in the dark air above her, “I never really
meant that you WERE an alligator. It’s just something my Dad used
to say whenever he flew off.”
“Oh Bubba!” cried Lulu, “You’re back!”
“ ’Course I’m back. I just had to check out the route.”
“ But how did you..”
“ I went down inside the wall, and then out through the lattice just
as you said, and then up to the old knothole and into the attic; down
the crack I found in the upstairs hall ceiling, and Zowie! Here I
“Oh. That’s wonderful,” said Lulu. “I‘m so glad you’re back. It’s
nice to have company even if I am stuck here. Did you see my mother
or my father on your way out?”
“No I didn’t,” replied Bubba, “It’s all quiet down there. I suppose
they’re all asleep. Besides, I wouldn't know where to look for them.”
“Yes, I guess they would be,” replied Lulu, beginning to feel sorry
for herself again. She had tried to imagine a distraught Lizard family
up late and searching everywhere for their dear lost daughter, but
she hadn’t quite managed to make the picture convincing even to herself.
Her older sister Ernestine had run off with a handsome traveling
sales lizard and it had been days before anyone missed her.
After a while, Bubba, who was again hanging comfortably upside down
from the bottom edge of their door, (the former electric outlet hole),
mused, “Y’ know, I don't mean to brag, but I’m a pretty good flier.
Ahem. .. I mean they don’t call me Bubba just, I mean only, because
I sometimes stutter. I mean we Bats have made a whole way of life
out of sort of stuttering! It’s how we find our way around in the
dark, after all. Chittering, stuttering, you know---”
“I’m sure you’re a very good flier, Bubba,” replied Little Lulu,
“And you’re ever so nice to come back to keep me company, but you
don’t have to stay. You should be out catching millions of mosquitoes
and enjoying the night sky. I’ll be all right here. It’s very safe
and warm, really.”
“Well, er ..yes,” replied Bubba, “But what I meant was that I’m a
very STRONG flier, and maybe I could lift you up to this door. That
is, if you wouldn't mind hanging on to my feet.”
“Oh Bubba!” cried Lulu. “Do you really think you could? I’m kind
of chubby. I mean my mother says I’m kind of heavy.”
“Well, I think we are just about the same size,” replied Bubba. “In
fact, I think we are exactly the same size. It’s just that maybe you’re
a little, er ..thicker than I am. I mean my wings are very thin.”
“Well, I wasn’t evolved for flying,” replied Lulu defensively, “Do
you think we could try it right now? I’d really like to get back to
my family. Not that I don’t enjoy your company. I mean, I really think
you’re just wonderful, and I hope we can meet up here every afternoon,
and maybe sooner or later I can find a way to get back to the underhouse
without you lifting me.”
While Lulu was chattering on excitedly this way, Bubba dropped down
to the floor and spread his wings out like an airplane about to take
“Grab a good strong hold on my feet, Lulu, and we’ll see if we can
fly,” he said.
Lulu held firmly on to Bubba’s feet, and then, with a lot of flapping,
Bubba and Lulu rose into the air.
“Don’t let go.” cried Bubba, “Let’s circle the room!”.
But it’s so dark!” cried Lulu.
“No problema Senorita. We do it all the time. This is really pretty
easy,” said Bubba, not a bit breathless, “Maybe I couldn’t catch many
bugs flying this way, but just flying the two of us is no strain.”
“I. ..I’m kind of nervous”, said Lulu, hanging on for dear life.
“Could we try for my door now?”
“Sure”, said Bubba, “I’ll make my usual bat-type flip-and-go-in-backward
landing on the door sill, and you’ll find yourself halfway home before
you know it.”
“Oooooo. It sounds scareeeee,” shrieked Lulu, but suddenly, sure
enough, there she was inside her doorway, her head spinning and her
eyes wide with excitement.
“Wow! she exclaimed, “I’ve never flown before. That was wonderful!
Thank you so much, Bubba. How can I ever repay you?”
“Hey. For nothing, De nada, as they say south of the border. You
found me a way out, and I found you a way home.”
“I’m sleepy,” said Lulu. “ I should go home.”
“And I’m hungry,” said Bubba. “I should be out catching dinner. Let’s
meet here again tomorrow afternoon, a little earlier than today, Okay?”
“Oh yes!” said Lulu. “Let’s! I’ll scoot home now. See you tomorrow.
‘Bye Bubba!” And with that Lulu disappeared down inside the wall,
leapt to the ground, and made her way in the dark to her family nest.
Bubba, following, whispered, “‘Bye, Lulu” over her head so as not
to disturb her family, and flew out through the lattice to disappear
among the treetops on his way down to the river where the bug-catching
On to Chapter 5
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