I love bats! Even being scared half to death by one when I was a young child didn’t deter me. One night I was fast asleep when I felt something swoop across my bed. Then I heard it’s cry, and it started flying and swooping more frantically as it realized it was trapped in my room and couldn’t get out. I held my breath as I lay flat and inched sideways until I fell out of bed. Then I quickly scrambled across the floor on my belly and managed somehow to get the door open.
I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me to my parent’s room calling “Daddy! Daddy! Help me! There’s something in my room!”
He came running and I’ll never forget what he did. He simply went to get the butterfly net. He calmly and carefully caught the little bat in the net, and carried it outside to let it go. He told me how important bats are for our planet. How they eat insects and don’t hurt anybody. I was entranced. In fact, the experience made me love these uniquely interesting, ecologically important and sweet natured creatures even more.
One of my most treasured and heart felt memories was from the time I worked on staff at Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. One of our volunteers brought in a bat who had been caught in a fly trap. It’s beautiful, delicate wings and little furry body were covered with the nasty sticky goo. It couldn’t fly. In fact, it could barely move. It was terrified. I was so sad, worried what would happen to it. So like I did for all our charges, I communicated telepathically so I could explain why it was there. It had many questions and concerns, and had a traumatic story that it needed to share in order to begin healing. We discussed what had happened and why, and talked about what we intended to do to help it.
When it was calm and peaceful and ready to cooperate, I knew it wouldn’t try to bite me. So I carefully took the cleaning solution and gently worked until I got as much of the sticky mess off of it as possible. By the time I was finished, the little bat was weak and tired. The toxic chemicals and trauma were taking their toll. I carefully gave it a little bite to eat and drink hoping it could recover. Then the hard part came. I had to decide what to do for it next. We could keep it overnight and hope it would still be alive tomorrow… but in human captivity and without eating? Chances weren’t very good.
So I prayed for guidance. I was inspired to ask the bat what it would like me to do for it. I listened carefully and it asked if I would please let it go. It needed to be outside, in nature. It felt that if it could simply get high in a tree then it could hang for a bit. And when it felt rested up, then it could fly again and go on about it’s business. And so that’s what I did. I found a broom and perched it on the straw. Then I carefully carried it outside to a great, tall old oak tree. I held the broom up high and the bat climbed off it and onto the branch. It stayed there panting… I prayed for it and then had to go back inside to tend my other charges.
The next day I went back to the tree. I was so afraid that I would find a dead bat laying on the ground. But I was excited and delighted to discover no such thing. The bat was gone! I can only hope that it was able to live out it’s natural life. I hope it stuffed itself silly eating tons of bugs. And I hope that it was able to reconnect with it’s family and was able to tell them all about his amazing adventure. I hope it warned other bats to beware of sticky fly traps. We need the bats. Next time you see one, I invite you to do like I always do: bless it and offer appreciation and gratitude for a world with bats in it.