A couple of weeks ago, we went to the cabin with friends. As we were getting settled, a bat swooped from the wood burning stove and began doing laps around the house. This was not the first time we've dealt with a bat at the cabin but this time we had four adults trying to escort the bat out while three kids (Miguel, Zeca and Stella) huddled under a blanket. Eventually, Luisa was able to smack the bat. It fell to the floor and she pushed it out onto the deck. It was obviously injured and the kids stood at the glass door watching it struggle. We quickly decided that we needed to end the bat's suffering so Luisa went outside and killed it.
The kids' were devastated. Miguel sobbed. n, they decided to honor the bat and planned a ceremony to be held the following day.
It was a beautiful service and I say that without any hint of sarcasm. As we all stood on the dock, looking out at the lake, Miguel read something he had written for the bat and I'm sharing it with you with his permission:
When I first found out that we were going to the cabin,
I was excited because I did not know that we would kill a bat.
There have been bats in our house but I will never forget this.
I did a report on bats and that has made a bond between me and bats.
I am very sorry that you had to die but I hope you have gone to a better world where bats are treated better - not as outsiders - and I hope someday the real world will do the same.
My eyes filled with tears at the unexpected tenderness of that last line. We have all felt like outsiders at some point in our lives and, as Miguel made his wish for the bat, I made the same wish for us all.