Bats In The Belfry!

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Katie-Ellen

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Apparently today is national Bat Appreciation day...here in the UK anyway. The bats are wakey- wakeys now after their winter hibernation. I like them, if they don't have rabies.

Bats in Literature anyone? Bats in fiction. Great bat stories! Bags I go first (as I have the unfair advantage here)

Night Wing by Martin Cruz Smith

A disgruntled, disenfranchised Hopi shaman sets out to "end the world" by way of a ritual invocation of the Hopi god of death. Shortly after his mutilated corpse is discovered by a skeptical Tewa deputy the body count begins to rise as more strangely slashed and bloodied victims are found. The book has many elements: part love triangle; part Native American case study; part supernatural thriller. It was the author's own tribal ancestry which inspired the writing of this fictionalized anthropological mini-survey.

nightwing.jpg
(Wiki)


How do the gods kill you, should you arouse their wrath? With what's available in their own habitat, obviously. It scared the BJ out of me. OMG what a way to go, 'one of the goodies', drowned in the dark in bat guano!

And there's this uncomplimentary poem from DH Lawrence:

Bat

At evening, sitting on this terrace,
When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise ...

When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding ...

When under the arches of the Ponte Vecchio
A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
Against the current of obscure Arno ...

Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.

A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.

And you think:
"The swallows are flying so late!"

Swallows?

Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop ...
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.

Never swallows!
Bats!
The swallows are gone.

At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio ...
Changing guard.

Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one's scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Flying madly.

Pipistrello!
Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;

Wings like bits of umbrella.

Bats!

Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.

Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Bats!

In China the bat is symbol for happiness.

Not for me!


 
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I'm fond of bats, and have lived in several properties where they roosted, including a farm located in a green valley that hadn't changed in hundreds of years. I used to watch the bats coming out at dusk, to compete with late-flying swallows, both emitting excited screams—one of those magical sights that I hope comes back to me as a death bed memory.

Surprisingly, bats have loud voices when distressed—not the quiet clicking of echo location while in flight. My cat somehow disturbed a long-eared bat that roosted beneath the weather boarding under the guttering. It fell to the patio, safely behind a water barrel. When I went to recover it, the bat backed into a corner and squealed loudly enough to loosen my earwax!

Pipistrelle bats feature in the opening chapter of my WIP, when an artist who's been forging paintings finishes work for the day, to sit on the second-floor window of her studio to watch the sunset over the beach. She's delighted by a squadron of bats wheeling among a cloud of mosquitoes, but then suffers a death by defenstration when her employer hurls her from the window. She tries to twist as she falls, to land on her back, and the last thing she sees are the bats overhead.
 
A symbol of her passing out of the world.

What would stories be without symbols?

Bat Symbolism & Bat Spirit Animal - Wild Gratitude

A lady in Leicester once sat on her sofa and heard squeaking. She got up to see where it was coming from and this tiny head was sticking out from inside one of the cushions. It was a mother pipistrelle, and she had a nest of babies all snug inside the cushion. It was in The Leicester Mercury, so it must have been true.

pipistrelle.jpg
 
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I love bats. My best bat encounter (well, most amusing, anyway) was at uni. Late one evening, a fellow rang me up. I had a class with this guy, and he was friendly and good-looking, but WAY out of my league--he'd never so much as looked at me. He was this urbane city-dude, and I was a hopeless hick. So I was incredibly surprised he'd somehow ferreted out my phone number and called. For a vanishingly brief moment, I thought ... but no. His voice was shaking. He was terrified. There was a bat in his apartment, and could I possibly come over to catch it and get it out? Of course, I did, wondering all the while why he'd (rightly) decided I was someone who could do the job. Aside from in class, I never spoke to him again. He never mentioned his late-night terror-induced call to me. I get the impression he was thoroughly embarrassed by it.

When I lived in Panama, the bats used to fly in over the wall of the house at night (there was a gap between the top of the wall and the roof). Little ones, mostly. At first it startled me. After a while there, I couldn't sleep until I heard them flitting around. One night a huge bat slipped in (maybe 60 cm wingspan). That was impressive, in our tiny house. I don't think the bat enjoyed the experience--it careened around a few times, and then ducked out. Never returned.
 
My son likes bats. He wants to keep one someday. Asked him where the bat would sleep and he had an answer. So, maybe. I was sure they carried rabies though.
 
Want cute? Then go small, furry and white...The Honduran White Bat:

The Honduran White Bat | The Ark In Space

Honduran-White-Bat-Pictures.jpg
 
I love bats. My best bat encounter (well, most amusing, anyway) was at uni. Late one evening, a fellow rang me up. I had a class with this guy, and he was friendly and good-looking, but WAY out of my league--he'd never so much as looked at me. He was this urbane city-dude, and I was a hopeless hick. So I was incredibly surprised he'd somehow ferreted out my phone number and called. For a vanishingly brief moment, I thought ... but no. His voice was shaking. He was terrified. There was a bat in his apartment, and could I possibly come over to catch it and get it out? Of course, I did, wondering all the while why he'd (rightly) decided I was someone who could do the job. Aside from in class, I never spoke to him again. He never mentioned his late-night terror-induced call to me. I get the impression he was thoroughly embarrassed by it.

When I lived in Panama, the bats used to fly in over the wall of the house at night (there was a gap between the top of the wall and the roof). Little ones, mostly. At first it startled me. After a while there, I couldn't sleep until I heard them flitting around. One night a huge bat slipped in (maybe 60 cm wingspan). That was impressive, in our tiny house. I don't think the bat enjoyed the experience--it careened around a few times, and then ducked out. Never returned.


I guess he wasn´t as cute after that! LOL! Same thing happened to me. I had a huge crush on a guy friend who also never called me to go out until one evening he calls, I was surprised, but not so much when he tells me he wants me to come over now, immediately, because an opossum has snuck into his kitchen and he´s scared to death of it and can I please get rid of it.
After that, I lost all respect for the man.
 
I guess he wasn´t as cute after that! LOL! Same thing happened to me. I had a huge crush on a guy friend who also never called me to go out until one evening he calls, I was surprised, but not so much when he tells me he wants me to come over now, immediately, because an opossum has snuck into his kitchen and he´s scared to death of it and can I please get rid of it.
After that, I lost all respect for the man.

Yeah, it's not that he wasn't cute anymore, it's just that I knew we could never have any meaningful relationship. How could I possibly date a guy who was afraid of a bat? Another guy I dated (briefly) was afraid of spiders. That was the end of that. Mind you, my husband of 26 years is happy to let me handle anything live (or dead and decaying), but he'd gamely take care of anything and everything if I weren't here. That's all I ask.
 
Yeah, it's not that he wasn't cute anymore, it's just that I knew we could never have any meaningful relationship. How could I possibly date a guy who was afraid of a bat? Another guy I dated (briefly) was afraid of spiders. That was the end of that. Mind you, my husband of 26 years is happy to let me handle anything live (or dead and decaying), but he'd gamely take care of anything and everything if I weren't here. That's all I ask.

Lol! Yeah, I understand! Having worked in a zoo when I was a teenager I´m pretty much used to being around all kinds of animals and handling many, including snakes and insects. The only animal that scares me to death are rats, but it´s more of an irrational phobia. Sorry guys, I just find it silly when men can´t handle animals. My ex-husband also worked at the zoo and we always had a menagerie at home and my kids are used to handling animals too. We had bats in our backyard and they are lovely critters!
 
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