Birds and Bats

What do birds think of bats? I watched a kingbird watch a bat at the twilight hour. The bat, sporadic, flew against the orange sky. The yellow-bellied bird forgot his meal and stared at this creature a third his size. Could he have thought it a snack? Did the royal bird think of how he could get his mouth around the bat? Or was he only jealous of how many flies the bat caught? Do not worry little bird, your acrobatic rainbows are more appealing to these eyes than the random movements of a tailless bat. I remember the first time my heart soared watching you rocket from where you perched — your cousin, the phoebe, lunges, but you, you rocket — and, catching a fly at the meridian level, completed your arc. Phoebe has nothing on you and your orbit, so do not be jealous of the bat. He may eat the same food, and his speed may be impressive, but he does not know what he is doing. What do bats think of birds? Nothing, because the bat cannot see. The bat screams at the world and makes a hundred course-corrections and still knows not himself. Rejoice kingbird at your philosophy, rejoice.

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