The Soft Tread of the Bat

“I think you know the difference among the wings of:

  1. the pteranodon
  2. the bird and
  3. the bat”

said Saint-Martin.   I had taken an elevator down to the level

“Where the beechwoods grow and I remember what your face looked like before I realized that everyone forgets sooner or later”

And as to why I had finally after hearing about him had sought out Saint-Martin and his renowned ability to not let it get to him, I won’t tell you the story because you can look it up anywhere about the day they got mad and deliberately tore up the fish nets, and as a result “we don’t got no fish” because one of them said if we tear up the fish nets we won’t have to fish and The Big Guys will have to GIVE US fish –and the girls will stop bragging about how good they are at fishing – and we will sit around like kings having them serve us and eating bigger and better fish.  But of course it didn’t happen and I took the elevator down to see Augustus Saint-Martin who sat in the forest at evening, smoking.

(“Look, Pa if the Level Lights were always on dim what makes it evening rather than dawn on that level?”

“You’re a very clevery youngster and Daddy will reward you with a monkey made of sugar who sucks his thumb and makes real poopies out of raspberry.”)

Anyway — and this is what they used to call us in school a  Euphemism — should really be Someway — Auguste St. Martin said:

“The pteranodons’ wing is a finger.  The bird’s wing is an arm. The bat’s wing is a hand.  The pteranodon is the man who just dips his finger in the darkness.  The bird is the man who hugs the darkness to him with both arms.  The bat is the man who grabs a handful of darkness.  That’s enough.”

“Are you saying I should be that man?”

“Are you saying I should be that man?” he said mockingly.

“Well anyway that morning I stopped feeling sorry for myself and I got Beardy Dan and Snappy and Ong-Sam-T’pee and we found the marvelous Rag Bush and we made a new net and we went off in the Amazing Three Whistle Canoe and we caught fish and set up Newtown.”

“Was there fighting in the story, Pa?”

“Fighting?  Why would there be fighting?”

“Did they try to destroy the new nets too and steal your fish like they did before?”

“Only two handfuls of it.  The rest of the story was eating fish and figuring out clever ways to solve our problems with ingenuity, and coming up with clever riddles and puzzles and “love you too” songs to pass the time and make us merry.”

“Was there missing the ones you left behind?”

“Well okay. Maybe there were three handfuls.”

And he walked away with the soft tread of the bat.


But bats fly, Slippery Anita!

Not when they’re climbing from place to place on the roof of their cave.

So then the whole story was upside down?  We thought Lopey Tom was on standing on the floor but alls along WE WERE the ones standing on the floor and HE WAS HANGING FROM THE CEILING?

Shush shush shush and eat your mush mush mush?

What? Said the snow dogs waking up and pulled the sled — fast fast fast.


Chapter five was written in the snow with honey and snow butterflies came and settled on it forming words.


He had a little rock that he’s pick up and that little rock said “Ok then, you tell another.”

Imagine he says close your eyes and you do.

Imagine he takes your hand and puts the rock in it.

Imagine you open your eyes and he’s gone.


Julius was hiding behind the tree the whole time!


“What’s all this tapcrastic sham-shasm about paranodons, birds and bats — the butterbug and the happenfly and the Gnat all fly and the Man-skeeter and there wings are nor fingers nor wings nor hands!”

“That’s cause their just part of the air and you know it!  The air don’t need nothing to fly — IT’S AIR!  Night or dark, fulla a photons or all-photoned-out it’s air its air its air!   Come on inside” said the little children “There’s fresh coffee on the stove and a biscuit or two on the stove, even for the likes of you.  Especially!  Especially for you.”


9 thoughts on “The Soft Tread of the Bat

  1. AngieRooBiscuitEater says:

    I’d love to see a snow butterfly, I already have a snow dog.
    Unless you mean a Moth. Then I’d rather not be acquainted with that dusty wing-ed thing.

  2. Susan says:

    Wings, hands, fingers, arms. Not all fliers are the same. The bat can’t take off from the ground. He must climb upwards. He must first soar to fly. Birds like a crow can leave the ground carrying a heavy carcass with their mighty wing/arms. A 747 Airbus needs jet propulsion. Why don’t we call them what they are? Any man can use his arms to hurt or to enfold lovingly. It is his choice. ——- But, you know what? Some men build para gliders and they soar like bats in sunlight. Yet, some others build jets with bomb bays.

  3. AngieRooBiscuitEater says:

    Or angels…
    Or batman, if it wasn’t just a cape.

    P.s phalanges not flanges, don’t wanna be mistaking the ring for the finger.

  4. High from his perch on the floor of the cave, the bat took his flappity wings and grabbed fistfulls of the darkness, but slipped, and landed upon the small rock that was sitting on the ceiling of the ave.

    Confused, the bat asked the rock “Are you my supper ceiling dweller?”

    After thinking about it, the rock replied “Yes, and I come with dipping sauce.”

    • reminds me of a conversation I had with my old teacher once. ME:I suppose we are always criticizing our cultural practices and then making new practices based on those criticisms. HIM: That’s what the Hegelian dialectic is. ME: But is it going up or down. HIM:There’s no up or down in outer space.

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