Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Eagle and the Bat

There is a cave in the state of Texas where bats will gather at a particular time of year for the specific purpose of breeding. They swim through the air, immersed in it, like particles of peppercorn being stirred around in a glass of water.
At this point, there were about 40,000 bats travelling towards, living in and going home from this cave. These are some of the fastest and most agile creatures of the air. There is another that is certainly involved in that group of creatures, in fact, they hunt them. The bald-headed eagle.
The eagles, hungry for this swarming plethora of prey, seemingly gathered at the cave just for them, seemingly easy to catch and feast on.
There was one young eagle in particular who threw himself into the mass of hovering leather, fur and claws, with arrogance and a sense of pride and a strong self-assurance of his skill. It's unknown how long the eagle stayed in the air, flying around with his food outside his stomach rather than in it. His incredible eye would zoom and focus like the lens of a camera, waiting for the pinpoint to grasp onto one of the bats and continue to follow in any which way it chose to go. The young bird would chase it, and as he slowed down for a fraction of a second, widening his wings to interfere with the speed he had initially been travelling, talons at the ready, the target would scream by, inches away from becoming pieces of its own puzzle.
The bird was both frustrated and disappointed. So, in reflection he perched on a branch, and stared out into the sky that was now catching on fire as the sun set. Pondering on the things he could do better, which skills could be improved and what training methods would need to be implemented to achieve them, he heard something land on the branch next to him. Rather than actually turning his head to examine the new arrival, from the corner of his golden eye, he saw a small bat. The bat looked at the eagle front on and he raised one side of his mouth into what appeared to be a smile. The eagle nodded his head out of acknowledgement, unsure of what to do.
"Young one, perhaps it's not in your nature to hunt meat. Maybe you have a sensitive stomach", the bat suggested to the eagle. "Maybe that is why your skill cannot fully develop. Your digestive organs are clearly pulling you back from being able to catch your prey".
The eagle, flabbergasted, turned to look the bat straight in the eyes, unwavering. His angry stare crumbled under the influx of emotion. He thought of how cast out he would be if all of his eagle family and all of his predator friends found out that he was a vegetarian. So he began to cry. Tears were rolling down the cheeks of of this devastated hunter. His thoughts drifted to how easy it would be-a diet including no meat. Not having to waste any energy trying to catch his food! There would be a chase no longer! There is clearly an endless amount of greenery available for other animals like him, with whom he could share the abundance! The enormous variety was so overwhelming to him, and just so readily available, he wondered why he continued to feel upset.
The bat could see that the eagle was struggling to come to terms with his newly found nutrition needs, so he put his leathery wing around the eagle and gave him a few comforting strokes, at which point, the eagle smelt the bat and became overtaken.
He turned to the bat and with not one millimetre of sympathy or apology carved on his face, he devoured the bat in one mouthful.

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