Dear children, dear parents!

This section of the portal is still under construction. At the time of activation it will contain stories, tales about bats (both in Romanian and in other languages), gathered from around the world, links to e-books and more.

Until then we invite you to read the story of the squirrel which became the first bat. The story has its origins in the mythology of Ojibwe Native American Indians. Accompanying illustrations were created by our colleague Georgiana Mărginean.

How the first bat was born

(a story of the Ojibwe Indians)

In an early morning, while the Sun was on his way to heaven, it somehow got stuck between the branches of a tall tree. The Sun tried and tried again to break free, but was entangled even more. It did not take a long time, and he could not move at all.

That morning all animals waited in vain for the Sun to appear. When he did not appear at all, the animals went quietly back in their beds in their nests. That is because they simply thought they had not slept enough and it is still night.

The bear crawled back to his cave, the rabbit returned to his lair beneath a bush. Squirrels hid in their hollow trees. Only the owl, the wolf and the fox were happy because they could go hunting a little more than usually, due to darkness.

But when al on the second day as well there was no sunrise, the animals began to suspect that something happened to the Sun. They started looking everywhere in the forest, but they did not find him.

A little squirrel, who always liked to jump towards the tallest tree branches, was the one who finally discovered the Sun. He was stuck among the tallest branches of the tallest tree, and was getting paler and paler.

“Oh, dear little squirrel”, the Sun began to cry, “little squirrel help me, please!”

“Right away, dear Sun”, responded the squirrel immediately, and started to run up the branches of the tree toward the top, but the heat of the sun pushed her back to ground.

But again the Sun cried, “Little squirrel, help me, please!”

“Oh, Sun, but you’re too hot,” said the squirrel. “I have already burned the fur on my tail!” The little squirrel was always proud of that bushy tail. She wanted to leave and get the help of other animals.

“Try again, please!”, cried Sun after the squirrel. “I’m so tired that my light will go out soon.”

The little squirrel had a big heart, and of course, she ran up the trunk again, to the highest branches, where the Sun was trapped. She almost reached him, but the infernal heat drove her back again.

While the squirrel was reaching the ground, the Sun continued to cry, “Little squirrel, do not leave me here, please, try again!”

“Dear Sun, I cannot!”, cried the squirrel, “Your heat already burned all my long fluffy tail. My fur is completely black. And I cannot see, your light blinded me.”

“Please, little squirrel, try again,” whispered the Sun with a weakening voice, “My light will soon go out.”

Gathering her forces, the little squirrel ran up the branches of the tree once again, but this time with a very high speed. She reached the highest branches, where the Sun was, and pushed him out from among the branches.  The moment the Sun was released, he flew high up on the sky.

The squirrel was holding on to the highest branch of the tree. The heat of the Sun has caused her arms to lengthen and her skin to stretch. She felt that she would remain trapped forever in the treetop. There was no one around to save her. Her skin was scorched and her eyes were blinded.

But the Sun looked back. And he was troubled by what he saw, knowing that his immense heat has injured the squirrel, and he also knew that only he could help her.

“Dear little squirrel”, said the Sun. “By helping me, you got hurt. Now I will repay your kindness. What is your greatest desire?”

“I always wanted to fly,” said the squirrel in a low voice. “But now it is too late. I am blind and my skin hurts so much.”

The Sun understood and touched the squirrel with the gentlest ray of light. Suddenly the pain left the squirrel, but she could still not see and her skin and arms were still stretched.

“From now on,” said the Sun, “you will be able to fly into the heavens just as you have always wanted to do. But because my light hurts your eyes, you will fly only at night, in the darkness. But your ears will be very good and will always hear everything that moves around you. Although your eyes are blind, your ears will be very sharp.”

“When you need help and you’ll cry out, all animals, all trees, rocks, and plants will respond and help you, by sending an echo into your ears. This way you will know that there is something in your way and you will be able to dive and swoop to avoid hurting yourself. And we will meet each day, at dawn and dusk to talk. Now we are friends forever. ”

The little squirrel, somewhat suspicious about all these promises, let go of the tree branch. And to her amazement she managed to fly, and became the first bat ever. Since that day, she always hangs upside down, from tree branches or inside caves, sleeps during the day and flies at night.

And ever since, everyone knows that it was a little squirrel that helped the Sun, and it is because of this help that the world has light and warmth. Therefore, no one dares to disturb the sleep of the bats in caves.

This is the story of how the first bat was born, who lived happily ever after.

Note from the team: Of course, bats are not blind, their eyes are even better than ours, allowing them to see in darkness much better than humans. Perhaps the Sun has not completely blinded the squirrel and during their evolution, bats have adapted to this new condition: living in the dark. More simple and fascinating information about bats you can read here.