Barry the Bat

Barry the bat was just three months old. (Bats live much shorter lives than human beings, so three months old in bat years is about the same as three years old for human beings.)

Sometimes when Barry was sleeping snug upside down in his cave he would wake up suddenly and get afraid of the light. Whenever he became frightened like this, he'd give out a short chirp. Mom would come flying over right away, using her sonar to avoid bumping into all the walls of the cave. "Honey, are you all right?" she asked in her lovely high-pitched voice.

"Well, I suddenly woke up, and I'm sort of afraid of the light," replied Barry.

"Afraid of the light? You don't need to be afraid of the light. Here, why don't we move you over to a darker part of the cave, so that you can feel a little safer."

"But mom, can you leave the darkness on all night," chirped Barry. "If I need to get up to go to the bathroom, I don't want it to be all scary and light."

"Sure, honey, I'll leave the darkness on all night.

That way, if you need to go to the bathroom you can find your way easily by using your sonar." "Thanks Mom. Can you give me a hug before going to sleep?"

"Why certainly, I'll give you a hug before going to sleep - - - so long as you immediately hang upside down and go to sleep."

"But Mom. What if I hang upside down and still don't fall asleep?"

"Oh, you'll fall asleep in no time at all. Once you get all comfortable hanging upside down, you'll just feel drowsy and fall asleep. You know, I'm feeling so tired that I could just hang upside down and fall right asleep myself. Goodnight honey- bunch."

"Goodnight, Mom," chirped Barry as his upside down head swayed off to sleep.

Phil Shapiro

Copyright 1992

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