The Bat by the Side of the Road

A bat lay beside the road, dying.
A person found him and shouted, "Rats! Come quickly! One of your relatives is dying."
The rats came but saw the bat had wings. "He's not ours," they said. "Birds! Come quickly! One of your relatives is dying."
The birds came but saw he had no feathers. "He's not ours," they said. "Squirrels! Come quickly! One of your relatives is dying."
The squirrels came but they too rejected the bat. "He has long, ugly arms!" they said. "He's not ours."
So bat died beside the road and rotted there, mourned by no one.


Inspired by: "The Bat Who Belonged to No One" in The Magic Drum: Tales from Central Africa by W.F.P. Burton, 1962. These are stories of the Luba people of the Congo.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The original story also includes an antelope between the birds and the squirrels. It also adds this moral: "Remember! Be one thing or the other."

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