In the past few weeks, my mind has been changed.
Bats, and also mosquitos, are from God.
Inasmuch as mosquitos are for bats, they are from God. (Even though I don’t like to admit that, and would rather that God just eradicate all bugs.)
Thus, since mosquitos are for bats, we need more bats in our lives so that they can eat the mosquitos, which is why we need to dispel of the myth that bats are creepy, scary, violent, full of rabies and disease. They are not. Bats, as I’ve observed and read and discovered, (especially from Merlin Tuttle – the real batman) are actually mostly harmless creatures and are good for the environment.
Do some bats have rabies and bite? Yes, they do. Some. In fact, you can listen to a fascinating story about this here, (which my friend the Rev. Becky Durham brought to my attention). But, bats do not attack humans or other creatures and bite them for no reason. They will bite you if they are scared, say for example, if you picked one up. (Do NOT pick up a bat with your bare hands, by the way. If you ever need to pick one up, put on a nice thick pair of leather gloves.)
Vampire bats, which live in warm tropical and subtropical climates, do suck on the blood of animals. So if you live somewhere in the vicinity of those and you have animals, then you will need to despair slightly and get professional help to repel them. Other than that, bats are harmless.
Before writing the below poem, I would have liked to hold a bat in my hands and looked at it up close. In fact, I even went to a nearby wild animal hospital, of sorts, to find out if they had any bats in captivity. They did sometimes have injured bats, but not for the public to see. And, I did often stand outside in the front of my house to see if a bat would come close enough for me to catch it. They never did, but it was fun watching them, nonetheless. I guess for now, the closest I’m going to get to bats is through Tuttle’s book, and through the one I got in the mail on Friday, which is featured in the picture below.
Today, October 1st, on a whim, I pulled out a cake pan from the cupboard that mom had given us a long time ago. (My mom is a cake-making master and encourages like behavior in her posterity. Unfortunately, for my kids, it has never really interested me.) But anyhow, it is a Batman cake pan and I announced that I was going to make a bat cake, just for fun, today. And so I did. I got carrot cake mix and baked the cake, and tomorrow we’ll decorate it. But the funny thing is that whilst looking through IG posts this evening, I discovered that October is Bat Appreciation Month, according to Bat Conservation International. So, I guess, tomorrow, we eat cake in honor of bats!
(And may the below sonnet also be honorable to bats, and to the God who created them so intricately, as obscure as they are, reminding me that if God has put so much care in their design, how much more care has he put in the design of our lives and stories. Amen.)
Father, in heaven, up there, close to bats, You care even for these, that’s why you made bugs, against my better judgement and that’s good You don’t always let me have my way. Flying mammals, sleeping in dark in day, under tree bark and in caves until dusk, is Your way. At night, they come out to play. They circle in the air, they swerve and plunge, snatch mosquitoes, moths, while doing flips, stunts. Echolocation and finger-veined wings are Your artifice for these night-sky pups who're loyal to their mates and communities. Even obscure wonders, You made with care. How much more ought Your child expect to fare?
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