The welcome breeze sneaks into my shirt.
Today, this week, this month, have been equatorial-style, shirt-drippingly hot.
Of course, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
But it’s also the heat.
With dusk comes breeze and welcome relief.
Our taxi is cozy but full of light and energy. The four of us peek out the window as we pass Pig Farm. Sheet metal walls, hastily erected, signal some sort of new construction. We wonder what it will be.
We look out. And up.
Evening sky, all grey, purple, and blue.
The bats are back.
They swirl. And we wonder.
That’s amazing!There are so many!
Tonight, we have an expert in the car. Mr. Isaac knows about the bats. So we of course ask him
Why do they
Where are they
When do they
Geography matters most in this tale. And royalty. The tale of the King of the Bats.
Many years and generations of bats ago, the King became ill. His tribe wasn’t sure what to do to help him, but as a last resort took him to 37 Hospital. There, he was nursed back to health. He slowly gained strength, he grew a fondness for the trees surrounding the campus. As he returned to full health, the tribe of bats was so grateful they came to call 37 their home.
To this day, it is home to the clan. Under the daytime sky, you can see thousands of bats, nestled, snug, sleepy.
Until dusk, that is, when they stir, unfold, chirp. A cacophony of batsounds, readying to make their way tens of kilometers north, to Atiwa. They migrate nightly and dance their return, filling bellies for the long day’s nap.
And subsequent dreaming, probably of bugs.