‘Twas the night before Christmas and throughout the monastery
not a Sister was sleeping since they were all wary;
for high up the chimney, clinging with care
was a bat, in hopes that insects soon would be there;
toes tight on rock he slept, head hanging down
oblivious to all Sisters’ unhappy frowns.
It’s true we like bats for the bugs that they eat
but all things considered, another perch would be neat!
Roused by our breakfast, he flew down with a clatter
as Nuns shrieked and ran and started to scatter;
Atop a wood beam he sat and observed
as Sisters below skittered and swerved.
A nicer spot soon would be found
a way high above, far off the ground.
He blushed to see Sisters’ uplifted gaze
their love and devotion it did him amaze;
Puzzled at first at our heavenward eyes
the bat could only wonder and somehow surmise:
up twenty-five feet on the arm of the Cross
he pondered his gain, thinking he was the boss–
“Forget all the dogs! And forget all the cats!
These here Nuns, what they must love are us lovable bats!”
We hope you enjoyed our little poem. As previous posts and photos (and even one cartoon) demonstrate, we Handmaids have some history with these flying insect eaters. More than once our stone Cross at the apex of the roof over the chimney has been the favored ‘hang out’ of bats since we moved in. We have enjoyed (quite recently) air shows after sunrise over the refectory tables and one careful extrication of a bat from the kitchen sink out to the lawn. (He flew away happy and unharmed. He was glad not to have been confused for a dish cloth. The feeling was mutual on our part.) Have a happy Christmas, even if you are not blessed with these little guys clinging to your rafters and stonework!