Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I are undergoing an unpleasant experience, and I wanted to share it with your readers in the hope that it will save them the same ordeal.

Earlier this month, we discovered a bat in our house. We were able to safely contain it, and, knowing that there had been a few incidences of rabies in Maine over the last few years, I called the police to see what steps we should take to have it checked . I was erroneously told by the person I spoke with that, since the bat had not bitten us, we should release it. The next day I began to wonder about the possibility of the bat’s having deposited saliva anywhere in the house and, on the remote chance it was rabid, made some phone calls to find out how long the virus was viable. One source of information led me to another and another until I spoke with Ted Henfley, the state epidemiologist at the Maine Center for Disease Control (800-821-5821). He informed me that 10 years ago he would have given me the same advice that the police station did, but no longer. He stressed the importance of receiving treatment for rabies because we could have been bitten in our sleep and never known it. After back and forth calls with our doctor and him with the CDC and the doctor for infectious diseases, we began the series of shots to immunize us. Henfley contacted the local police and learned that they DO know the proper procedures to follow, but apparently I spoke with someone who had not been informed of this. So, if anyone has a similar experience and can safely contain the animal, or if someone is actually bitten by an animal they think is suspect, call the CDC immediately so the animal can be tested. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: You have helped me in the past, so I thought maybe you would help again.

For the past two years, I have been looking for a figurine of the Drummer Boy, and I have had no luck. Maybe someone would know where I could find one, or maybe they would have one they were willing to sell. This little boy is so much a part of Christmas. I don’t know why I can’t find one. Thank you for your help. I can be reached at 783-2920. – No Name, Auburn.

Sun Spots would encourage you to consider contacting Dan Poulin at Orphan Annies, who often has those hard-to-find items. If he doesn’t, he’s sure to be able to direct you to where you might locate one. You can reach him at 96 Court St., Auburn, 782-0638. In the meantime, have you considered checking on the Internet? Sun Spots located several references to Drummer Boy figurines on eBay and located one online at The piece is Lenox china, described as with jeweled tones of enamel dots and 24 karat gold. The drummer boy kneels in supplication to the baby Jesus. He is described as tapping out a soothing rhythm on his drum, bringing his own special gift of music to the newborn King. This one is listed for $49.95. In addition, you might also consider contacting The Emporium, Dock Square, Kennebunkport, 800-537-8923. They are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.