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My Travel Story: Batty About Bats
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  1. #1
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    Batty About Bats

    I went with my friend Chai to visit his family on the farm. They were in the middle of the rice harvest, but when we arrived they had just stopped for lunch and were relaxing in their little shelter. My friend's younger brothers were both playing with little toys, which they had attached to a fishing line and pulled through the air trying to make them fly. When I got closer I saw that the toys were actually tiny little bats, real live animals. This made me really cross and when they started to hit the bats with badminton rackets I was really in the mood to give them a taste of their own medicine. But since none of the other adults seemed to see fit to stop their cruel behaviour I kept quiet. They would not have understood me anyway.


    When the boys finally lost interest and put the bats aside I decided to set them free. They were so tiny they fitted into the palm of my hand. They were completely orange and their little teeth looked rather vicious. First I was afraid they might bite me, but they must have felt that I was going to help them and did not move at all. I took the first bat in my hand and with a pair of nail scissors I carefully cut the string from his foot. Then I let him loose and he flew away immediately. The second bat had the string tied much tighter to his leg and I was afraid I might hurt his leg if I tried to cut through the string on his leg. So I cut off the string as close to his leg as I could. I threw him into the air towards the direction his companion had disappeared and he was also gone. None of the family said anything about my action or if they did my friend did not translate it for me. The two boys had lost a lot of brownie points on this day.


    Since this little adventure I have always been wondering whether these two little orange bats have been two Buddhist monks in a previous life. Maybe they have been a bit naughty as monks and therefore were reborn as bats still wearing their orange robes. Or maybe they are some powerful monks who can travel the country disguised as bats to test the peoples hearts. Then again, they might just be a pair of ordinary Isaan bats. Who knows?


    TomUK

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  3. #2
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    Painted Bat or Kerivoula Picta.

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    David
    My new travel blog: https://www.weekender.blog/

  4. #3
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    Very interesting story TomUK, thankyou for shareing with us.

  5. #4
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    I have a huge tree in my back yard and some nights it gets a swarm of bats, so if you park a car under it of a night, it will be completely covered in poo by the morning. They do make a mess, but they are a magnificent animal.

  6. #5
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    An act of kindness (such as setting bats free) never needs justification. However, bats serve a useful purpose. Bats are pollinators, along with honey bees, butterflies, ants, beetles, flies, moths and wasps.


    Along with varieties of wildflowers, over 300 species of fruit depend on bats for pollination. These fruits include:
    mangoes, bananas, and guavas.

    This information comes from http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/bats.shtml

  7. #6
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    We had a more fun experience with bats. Just outside of Nakhon Sawan are a series of bat caves. Every evening at the same time millions and millions of bats emerge and fly in large swarms across the sky weaving back and forth. It is quite an impressive sight. Teachers from the school we were visiting took us there. We sat on a hillside with snacks and drinks waiting for the big show.

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  9. #7
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    I believe I read in "Phra Farang" about the bats in Nakhon Sawan. That must have been quite a sight.

    TomUK

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    Re: Batty About Bats

    Quote Originally Posted by TomUK View Post
    I believe I read in "Phra Farang" about the bats in Nakhon Sawan. That must have been quite a sight.

    TomUK
    Oh yes, nice reminder Tom... The one about how Phra Farang was brought to witness the thousands and thousands of bats flying home to roost in a mountain cave? It was really lovely to be able to see how it really was in Norb's photos...
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

  11. #9
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    Quote Originally Posted by TomUK View Post
    I believe I read in "Phra Farang" about the bats in Nakhon Sawan. That must have been quite a sight.
    TomUK
    I read it, too. The photos don't really do it justice. Yes, It was quite an experience. Seemed like millions, probably more thousands like he wrote.

  12. #10
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    Re: Batty About Bats

    Yes and its kinda spectacular to watch...Kudos
    Franklin D. Roosevelt - The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

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