Why Bats Are Night Fliers

A fable
by Chris Hibbard
(appropriate for grades 4-6)

Why Bats Are Night Fliers

Why Bats Are Night Fliers

There once was an Owl named Dinger who was best friends with Hoops, a bat who lived in a cave. Dinger and Hoops would often meet up together in the afternoon for lunch, sharing their food and talking about the hunting they had done.

What Dinger didn’t know was that Hoops was jealous of him. Hoops wished he had such good eyesight. He wished he could turn his head almost all the way around. He wished he had a beautiful owl voice, which he could use to sing. “Whoooo…whooo…whoo..”, Dinger would sing, helping local animals fall asleep at night and having nice dreams.

Meanwhile, Dinger was jealous of Hoops, because Hoops was a much better cook. Whenever it was Hoops’ turn to make dinner, it tasted much better than on Dinger’s turn. So it was that one afternoon while they were sitting in Hoop’s cave, Dinger asked him what the secret was to his good cooking.

“What did you do to make this soup so delicious?” Dinger asked. “Did you put some special spices in?”
Hoops thought about it and then replied, “The secret is that I put myself in the pot first, and bring myself to a boil. Bats taste so good that they flavour the water like a spice. Then I add the meat and vegetables. That’s the secret.”

Dinger thought this sounded peculiar, so he asked Hoops to show him what he meant. So Hoops got out a pot of warm water and jumped into it.

“See Dinger, just like this, I hop into the boiling water for a few minutes, and then I hop out.” After sitting in the warm water for a while, Hoops jumped back out. Then he disappeared with the pot for a few minutes. When he came back, they shared the soup. It was delicious, strong and good as usual. What Dinger didn’t know was that Hoops had made the soup earlier that morning.

When Dinger got home to his treehouse that evening, he was very excited. He told his wife that he had learned a new recipe, and was going to make her the best soup she’d ever had. He asked her if she would boil some water while he went out and collected some rabbit meat and vegetables. She was just starting the fire as Dinger flew away. When he came back, his wife was taking a nap, her head folded under one wing. Dinger went into the kitchen and jumped into the pot of boiling water. Very soon he was dead.

A little while later his wife woke up and looked into the pot. When she saw the body of her dead husband floating in the boiling water she was very angry. She flew from the treehouse and went to see The King, who was a Cougar. The King thought for a long time about what she told him, and then gave orders to the entire kingdom that Hoops the Bat should be arrested and made a prisoner.
The entire country came out to help find and capture Hoops. But Hoops had heard The King’s order from way up in his cave and had flown away, hiding himself in the forest.

All day long the animals were trying to catch him, but Hoops stayed in the treetops until it was very dark, and everyone had gone back home to sleep. And so it went. Spring turned to summer and summer turned to fall. In order to stay alive and free, Hoops had to change his schedule. He would sleep all day long in the treetops and only come out at night to hunt and feed. This is why now we never see bats in the daytime. All because of Hoops, bats now only come out at night to fly by the light of the moon!

* * *

(a rough Blackfoot translation)
by Chris Hibbard

Makápipi’kssi Ko’kó Aipááwani

Amoo ni’t potáíssipisttoo anistápiiwa Dinger taka koda ihpokóomi Hoops, makápipi’kssi takáá nipáítapiiyit pisstóhtskaoóyi miisták. Dinger ki amá Hoops issksipit tátsikiaiksistsiko ihtatsikiooyi, a’písttaapiksistaki amíksi sííks. Tsá Dinger totsi iitsi’poyi nítssksinii’pa att Hoops att iksisattsiiwaa.

Hoops aiyíímata soká’pii mooipssp. Ihk aiyíímata ihk o’takoo mo’tokáán paahksíst. Ihk aiyiimata ihk matsówapotáíssipisttoo inihki. “Whooo…whoo…whoo..”, Dinger inihki kaawá’pomaahkaa ó’káát ko’kó.
Dinger iksisattsiiwaa Hoops, soká’pii ihkiitaa. Tsá Hoops’ o’takoo ihkiitaa kóópis, niitsípokowa soká’pii ihkiitaa. “Kitsíístotsii’pa kóópis soká’pii?” Dinger itáánii, “Pisstaahkaipokoo? Tsá anistápiiwa?”
Hoops ksimsstáá nitáánii, “Saa. Nitsspioohtoo ihpokóomi iksist aohkíí. Makápipi’kssi pokowa soká’pii aohkíí pisstaahkaipokoo. Nit káyii maatáák.”

Dinger ksimsstáá iiksipístsipokowa, kitáánii iihpa tsá anistápanissina. Hoops iksist aohkíí itsspioohtoo.
“Ini Dinger. Nitsspioohtoo pahtsikó’to!” Apíít áaksikinniiwa apatóóhtsi aohkíí. Itskit pisátsskiitaan pahtsikó’to. Tsáanistsíssi tsikó’to issksipit oowat. Soká’pii. Dinger nitsíístotsi nítssksinii’pa Hoops ihkiitaa kaikskanáótonniwa ksisskanáótonni. Tsáanistsíssi miistsís otakó, i’táámomahkatoyiiksistsikomi. Kitáakínai’tanisto ohkiimaan maanííwa kííman kóópis, soká’pii Oowat. Nitáánii ksiistóyiiwaaki aohkíí, nítsstsisoo ksskímaan ááattsishaa káyii maatáák. Isstsitsíí Dinger aipááwani. Pahtsikó’to, kííman ó’káát, mo’tokáán istaaht ni’tókskaa amínn. Dinger ksiistóyiiwaaki kóópis. Máátaakay akáisamo í’níkkit.

Ohkiimaan áátaakay istsipoáóoot, inaapiim nitá’painahkimaa í’ni ksiistóyiiwaaki aohkíí. Aipááwani nítsstsisoo ini Inaapiim, takáá omakatyo. Inaapiim ksimsstáán akáysamo áwaani, áwaani kaná’pesi kaawá’pomaahkaa oma Hoops makápipi’kssi ksskímaan í’níkkit. Hoops áyohtsimit inaapiim áwaani ssp pisstóhts atokís, pottáán, atokís ssp miistsís. Kaná’pesi ksistsikóí innoyii kaawá’pomaahkaa ksskímaan Hoops, Hoops atokís ssp miistsís ko’kó’w, kaná’pesi kaawá’pomaahkaa ó’káát.

Moto o’takoo yiipo. Yiipo o’takoo o’ko. Niipáítapiiyssin, Hoops atokís ssp miistsís. ó’káát ksistsikóí miistsís pohsápoot ko’kó’w ooyít. Aámoi annohk kistónonaan miinátt ayáapi makápipi’kssi pisstóhts ksiistsikó. Kaná’pesi Hoops, makápipi’kssi annohk pohsápoot amú ko’kó’w pottáán ko’komíki’somm!  

~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

One Response to “Why Bats Are Night Fliers”

  1. Where did you learn this language?

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