Active Kids - - Front Page -

Ammu was look­ing out of the win­dow of her room at night watch­ing the sky. She saw a bat rest­ing on the branches of the big tamarind tree near the com­pound wall. Cu­ri­ous to strike a friend­ship with the bat she called out, “Bat, my dear friend, come near me, cer­tainly I‛m your friend.” The Bat looked at her with sus­pi­cion. ‘I won‛t come near you. I feel, you hu­man be­ings don‛t con­sider me as your friend, many of you call me the devil‛s friend, I‛m afraid”, the Bat replied loudly. Ammu was not ready to give up so eas­ily. She said, “Look, you are my friend, my grand­mother taught me that all an­i­mals and plants are friends of man. I also learned from my text book that you help hu­man be­ings a lot, like you eat many in­sects from the field and play a role in the fer­til­iza­tion of plants”. The bat was very happy to hear th­ese words of praise. The bat said, “I‛m ex­cited to hear your com­ments, in fact, we are alone; you know, an­i­mals keep way from us as we fly and are like birds, on the con­trary, the birds think we be­long to the an­i­mal species as we are mam­mals and give birth to young ones.” After a while the bat flew down to the bal­cony and hung it­self on the edge of the roof. “Are you do­ing some cir­cus here? why don‛t you sit com­fort­ably?”, ob­serv­ing the

bat Ammu asked hu­mor­ously. “No, no I’m not do­ing any cir­cus or gym­nas­tics, look, haven’t you seen our legs? It is very thin and we can’t use our legs as you do, so we have to hang like this. We start fly­ing after leav­ing our hands free and I can show that.” Say­ing th­ese words the Bat flew away. Ammu looked in the di­rec­tion where the bat had dis­ap­peared; but soon it re­turned. Ammu wanted to know more about the way the bat rests. She said, “You bat, I won­der, how you bal­ance and hang; once I fell down from the chair when I slept”. The bat laughed and replied, “You know, when hang­ing we tighten our long ten­dons on the branch and we can even be there in that po­si­tion for months. “Un­be­liev­able! Oh! For many months!” Ammu ex­claimed. “Yes, for many months”, con­tin­ued the Bat, “Dur­ing the win­ter sea­son we go into hi­ber­na­tion, it means that there is scarcity of food for us and with­out wast­ing more en­ergy we hang with­out move­ment for long pe­ri­ods us­ing stored en­ergy in the body.” “I have seen dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of bats in An­i­mal Planet, are they your rel­a­tives?” Ammu asked. “Don’t you know, Ammu ?, we are of many cat­e­gories”, re­sponded the Bat, “We were on the earth since 50 mil­lion years; more than 1000 types of bats di­vided into two main cat­e­gories – Mega­bats and Mi­cro­bats. There are Fly­ing Fox, Bum­ble­bee Bat, Vam­pire Bat which drinks an­i­mal blood, Bull­day Bat which can swim and Tomb Bat which is found on the tomb, Fruit Bat, all th­ese be­long to our species.”

“It seems”, Ammu ex­pressed doubt­fully “you have no tail.” The Bat laughed and said, “We have a tail but they are not sep­a­rated from our main body; ac­tu­ally this tail helps us to hover like a he­li­copter in the sky”. Ammu thought for a while and said “If you don‛t mind, there is one more thing I want to ask about you; you are a noc­tur­nal bird and what about your night trav­els?” “Yes, it is one of the most im­por­tant things for us”, the Bat be­gan to ex­plain proudly, “While fly­ing we pro­duce a kind of sound which nor­mally other an­i­mals can‛t hear and when the sound is ob­structed by some ob­jects we rec­og­nize it by get­ting the echo of that sound waves; by do­ing so we are able to un­der­stand even the move­ments of a prey or an en­emy, and you might have stud­ied about this, what is known as Echo Lo­ca­tion.” “Thank you very much for all this sweet talk, my dear Bat, I will keep some colour­ful fruits for you when you come next time”, Ammu promised. “Oh! Very kind of you; but you know Ammu we can‛t iden­tify colours and we dif­fer­en­ti­ate fruits by their smell. Yes, it is time for me to leave, good night.” The Bat flew away flap­ping its long dark wings. Wish­ing ‘good night‛ to the bat Ammu mur­mured, “Had I been a bat I would have flown away with my friend.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.