Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Three: Case File No. 10-114
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Where We Left Off:
Gus captured one of the estate’s most magickal types of creatures, a gorgon juvenile.
It was June 22, 2019. Gus and I were on our morning perimeter patrol. He takes his time walking around on the areas where can avoid the wet grass until absolutely necessary. We had said our good mornings to the birds and observed which ones were fluttering around.
Gus’ keen hearing tuned into high-pitched squeaks of something near the garage. He took the straight route from the rock fortress through the dewy grass to the lily bed. I noticed that though Gus was clearly focused, he didn’t take off in a mad sprint as he does for certain things. He also wasn’t in his panther crawling form low to the ground either. He was alert but calm.
Oliver Winchester was heading up the mountain in his stroller chauffeured by Alfredo Pesosvalor. They took time for a brief meditation overlooking the hills and valley then came back down. Oliver was acting a little weird signaling that he was finished with his stroll and wanted to go out to his balcony observation deck to keep an eye on things from higher ground.
With Ollie in place calming himself by the catnip, Gus took over the ground investigation. He looked into the stems of the lilies to see what was there. Still, he remained calm. He never reached out a claw to take the creature into his custody as he normally would. He observed then backed out an walked away. I was too curious at the little squeaks to ignore it. I crouched down and slowly moved the stems around so I could see into them. It took some maneuvering, but eventually I spotted a tiny living thing.
It was dark in color and awkwardly moving like it didn’t have much coordination or strength. There was so much skin that it bunched up in wrinkly folds like those goofy Shar-Pei dogs. The head was long like a rectangle with soft curves instead of sharp corners. The adorable fingers and toes stretched the wrinkly skin when they moved.
Do we rescue or leave it?
You might have seen our Instagram and tweets that day as I asked any scientists out there to help us out. This was clearly a baby who needed its mother, but there are so many warnings about touching baby animals. You don’t want to move babies normally because they might have mothers who come back for them. The parents could be out searching for food or relocating their home. If you’ve discovered the mothers injured, dead, or positively abandoning the baby, then you can call a wildlife rescue to help out. Hopefully everyone remembers that devastating lesson of the humans with good intentions that thought they were saving a baby bison in Yellowstone only for the calf to be taken by rangers and shot because the human intervention removed the baby from its herd.
“In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.” Peralta, Eyder. “Baby Bison That Was Placed In A Van By Tourists In Yellowstone Is Euthanized.” NPR, NPR, 16 May 2016.
Besides not wanting a ticket from a wildlife agency, I mostly wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing for the survival of this delicate squeaking baby. I posted pictures and got some replies. Only one reply said that the baby looked to be in distress and immediately needed a rescue operation. Everyone else said it looked like a situation where a mother temporarily left the baby or the baby fell, but that the mother would be back to pick it up for relocation. I felt like I was gambling with the poor thing’s life, but erred on the side of the majority and left it there in the lilies.
What was this tiny adorable creature?
When I first heard the squeaking, I thought there was a rodent, but that wouldn’t have made much sense regarding how Gus was behaving. I’ve never known him to leave a rodent unchecked physically. This critter got a glancing observation but was never touched. The squirrels I’ve seen as babies weren’t dark colored either. Though I’ve never seen a baby flying squirrel before, I thought that was an unlikely identification.
Most people would have assumed it was a baby bat based on the interesting wrinkly skin and the formation of the fingers and toes attached to it. It was clearly going to grow into some kind of wings. There is a bat house directly above the location of the creature (now there are two houses). Gus and I stayed out on the balcony one night and waited for the bats (video below). We counted six leaving the roost this year! That’s two more than last year which is tremendously exciting news for the bat population which had been nearly exterminated by white nose syndrome.
PS – if you’re interested in a scifi political thriller take on white nose syndrome, read the brand new Chuck Wendig book, Wanderers.
Your logic may dictate that this precious little baby was in fact a Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus). It would make sense and most people would likely concur. They are the common bat species of this area. They only have a few natural predators. And as noted, the bat residence is located right above in the overhanging tail of the rafters.
But you know our response to that by now. Screw Occam’s Razor.
Gus wasn’t interested in the creature because it was a delicate maging baby which he knew to leave alone. It was something never before documented by scientists nor cryptozoologists. This was a newborn Jersey demon. The agency would love any credit for the discovery and first ever documentation of this presumed mythological species.
In the past, we’ve only seen the hybrid species of the Jersey demon with the white-tailed deer which we’ve come to call the Jersey devil-deer. They pass for whitetails and not all have wings. It’s a subject the Winchester-Nabu agency has extensively studied and documentedSearch our cases for devil-deer..
Since we couldn’t handle the baby, we have only our videos and photos to study the anatomy and any behavior indicators.
- good clinging and climbing dexterity
- appeared to be blind
- didn’t have enough strength for moving its head without some struggle
- vocal communication
- found in the daylight in a shaded growth of plants
- appeared scared and constantly cried
The next morning, we looked for it. It wasn’t there anymore. Hopefully that’s a great sign that the mother came back for it when it was safe for her to do so.