The Birds, The Beasts, and the Bat

17. THE BIRDS, THE BEASTS AND THE BAT. Once a great war was declared between the birds and the beasts. The bat, being half a bird and half a beast, hoped to escape fighting, and so save his skin. On the day of battle, the bat, thinking the birds were most likely to win, flew up in the air, taking care, nevertheless, to keep at some distance, so as to see how the matter went.
After much fighting, the beasts appeared to be having the best of it. Down flew the cowardly bat to join them. He told them
that as his body was very like that of a mouse, it was to them he owed allegiance. The beasts agreed to receive him, and he swore to be true always to their cause.
However, in the end the birds, through the cleverness of their general, the eagle, won the day, and the bat, in fear of his life, took to flight.
Since then, as if ashamed to show himself, he hides in caves and hollow trees, never appearing until dusk, when all the birds have gone to roost. [more info]

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