Thursday, January 24, 2008

Of Bats and Men

Cabin Mate He moved from the boathouse across the cove after the leaf blower incident several summers ago. He was young and scrawny then - a bit excitable, as bats tend to be. Big and handsome now, with a wingspan of ten inches, he wakes while the sun is setting over the mountains. His wings, wrapped like a cocoon around him as he slept, slap the wood his claws scratch. At afterglow he joins the swarm of bats streaming out of eaves, attic vents and trees to songs of bullfrogs, loons and drunken humans. I watch them dance in the dusk by the thousands Feasting on mosquitoes; diving to scoop water from the cove with their mouths. I wonder if it is he fluttering by my ear - showing off, maybe. At dawn he takes a few laps around the cabin to pick off any stray mosquitoes, and wake me for the morning, before retiring to his crack above the door. Joe Elcock

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