Bats

I have a friend who has had a few bat attacks in her lifetime. Listening to her stories, it does appear that bats find her attractive for some reason. She does not take this as a compliment. I checked out a few books I have to find out the significance of bats and plan to share what I have found with my friend. I am not sure whether all that I found will be welcome.

Most people find bats disturbing. They can carry rabies like their other rodent friends and they dwell in the dark which makes them spooky. I suppose that is why we see bat décor around Halloween. They tend to startle us when they will suddenly swoop down unexpectedly.

Native Americans remind us that bats have their good side, too, and like all of God’s creatures, we need to appreciate them. One source suggests that the bat, which dwells in darkness, is a sign of rebirth. It even hangs upside down like a baby in the womb. The bat signals rebirth of some part of oneself or the death of old patterns. Since darkness is where we tend to feel most afraid, bat suggests that the person should learn to face his or her fears.

We have heard the phrase “old bat” suggesting an old scolding woman. One book posed is question: “Are you acting like an old bat?” I hope my friend will take that suggestion with humor. A person who acts a little crazy or unconventional might be referred to as “batty”. And don’t forget “blind as a bat”. Bats aren’t blind but they have a sonar ability that helps them maneuver in the dark. A person visited by bats may find an increasing ability to discriminate and discern truth in other people’s words. They are encouraged to trust their instincts.

These ideas come from bat symbols as studied in old cultures. Today we have our own famous Count of Sesame Street, who had a genuine enthusiasm for the little rat/bird creature:

ONE BAT HANGING IN THE STEEPLE
ONE BAT FLIES IN THROUGH THE DOOR.
THAT MAKES TWO BATS IN MY BELFRY:

WONDERFUL!!

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE…

TWO BATS HANGING IN THE STEEPLE
ONE BAT FLIES IN THROUGH THE DOOR.
THAT MAKES THREE BATS IN MY BELFY:

WONDERFUL!!

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE…

(one and on it goes ‘til you fall out of your belfry)

We like the idea of counting our blessings but the Count really liked counting those things most of us would call pests. “One fly sitting on my cookie…one fly swooping in the door…WONDERFUL!” What an attitude!

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