World Folk Tales – Why do Bats Fly at Night
When a war is going on between the birds and animals, one creature decides to wait and watch from the sidelines…
Once upon a time, long long ago, in a dense forest in Africa, there lived a huge group of animals and birds. This was a time where animals and birds communicated in the same language and lived together peacefully. But one day, during a meeting, it was decided that there needs to be a king, so that things could function properly in the forest. This was when all hell broke loose.
From the side of the animals, the lion and the tiger contested to be the king of the jungle and from the side of the birds, the vulture and the eagle contested to be the king of the jungle. The animals protested as they considered birds to be creatures of the sky. The birds protested too as they said that they lived in trees which were on land. Arguments persisted and as all this was going on, one creature saw all this from a distant tree and decided to join the side that was victorious. It was the bat.
Soon, the verbal fight grew into a physical fight. There was literally a small war as the birds surrounded and attacked the animals from all sides. They pecked the heads of animals with their beaks and scratched the skin with their claws. At dusk that day, the birds emerged victorious as both sides ceased to fight for the day. The injured animals retreated as the birds mightily sat on the trees. The bat then decided to join the birds and so he flew up to them. The eagle then asked him as to how he could join them as he had teeth and feet. To this, the bat said that he had wings and he could fly, and hence he was a bird. The eagle discussed this with the vulture and they let the bat join the birds.
The next day, the war continued as the animals attacked early and gained the upper hand against the birds. The lion pounced and clipped the wings of the eagle, as the tall giraffe helped the animals in catching the other birds. But as dusk was approaching, the birds somehow fought back and escaped into the dense forest. The animals emerged victorious on the second day. The bat was however nowhere to be found in the war. He went to the animals and said that he wanted to join them. The lion then asked him how he could join the animals as he had wings and could fly. At this, the bat said that he had teeth and legs to walk on, unlike the other birds. The lion had a word with the tiger and together they decided to allow the bat to join their side.
On the third day, the birds and animals fought unlike the previous 2 days. They fought tooth and nail and a lot of blood was shed. Both of them gained and lost the upperhand a numerous amount of times. And at the end of it, both the birds and the animals were exhausted and had no more strength to fight each other. The bat was once again nowhere to be found. Finally, they decided to stop fighting and a peace treaty was signed. They talked about various things and after some time, someone asked about what had happened to the bat.
It was at this time, the eagle and the lion saw the bat hanging upside down from a tree. They at once knew that the bat had played both of them for fools and all the birds and animals started to chase the bat. The bat was however too quick for any of them and he flew in between branches and leaves so quickly, that no one was able to keep up with him. He quickly flew into a dark cave. Since then, the bat only comes out at nights to avoid being caught by the animals and birds.
Fun fact – Even today, bats reside in dark caves and can be found hanging upside down, even when they are asleep!
Moral – Never lie and always be true to everyone