I had never met a bat before the bat that I met in my cave who flew into my fur.
I did not know anything about bats, but I had seen them from time to time while going through the forest, searching for neat rocks and licking clumps of moss. For a very long time, I thought they were birds, but when I saw one hanging upside down from a tree one night, I realized that only a very strange or sick bird might do something like that.
I have never really had an interest in meeting one, to be perfectly honest. It was never out of hatred or fear of what bats are or could be, I just did not know enough about them to know how to approach them, so I figured it was best to stay away from them.
If that seems thoughtless, that is because it was. I did not put much thought into how my potential interactions with any/all bats from now until I am no longer able to have interactions with bats. That carelessness comes from how infrequently I even see them. Bats are very rare from my observations, so I never had a way to gain an interest in meeting one.
That was until a bat flew at me and into my fur. Recently, I was spending a lovely evening in my cave, resting my chin on a sharp rock because my chin had itched and the rock was able to scratch it. It was a very nice way to spend my night, and I really figured that my chin-rock-scratching was going to be the last thing I did that night. Right when I felt my chin had been scratched enough, I heard a strange squeaking sound followed by what sounded like frantic flapping. The sounds got louder and louder and then my fur felt unsettled, rattled. When I turned my head toward the place of distraction, I was startled to find the close-up face of a tiny bat.
We let the moment linger.
And then I jumped and ran and whimpered as I scooted in circles around my cave floor, trying to convince myself that my fur was fine and on longer invaded by some flying creature of the night.
I eventually settled down, and when I looked up, I could see the bat hanging from the top of my cave, bathed in moonlight and my own fear.
I tried going to sleep once I realized that was what the bat was most likely doing. So I nestled my head under my paws and got some rest.
When I woke up, the bat was gone.
I think we might be friends now, but I really have no concrete way of knowing. My feelings about bats are still mixed. I do not know if they are vile, winged creatures of the night who have come to startle my fur and upset my sensibilities or just very confused, unfortunate looking creatures of the night who have come to startle my fur and upset my sensibilities. Either way, I hope next time the bat at least asks to come in before it furiously flies through my fur.
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