#51 – The Tale of the Darkness of a Cave

Once upon a time, in the cave of a mountain with a name that nobody could pronounce, there lived a young bat known as Vincent. During the day, Vincent felt very comfortable as all the bats he had ever known were sleeping in the cave with him. However, every evening just after dusk, Vincent’s friends and family would stretch their wings and fly out of the cave in search of insects to eat. Vincent always loved listening to the sounds of their wings as they rushed past him, but the cave became very quiet once they had left and it was then that Vincent usually felt very lonely. This was because Vincent was too scared to leave the cave and had never ventured outside of its walls.

Every night, Vincent’s friend, Ash, would bring him back some food and would ask him if he would join them the next night. Vincent would only shake his head as if to say no. This pattern continued for many months, and, one day, Ash thought that perhaps Vincent was scared because he didn’t understand what he was missing. He decided to try and describe to Vincent how wonderful being outside the cave truly was.

On the first night, he told Vincent about how it felt to have the wind brushing against his fur and about the incredible feeling of being able to fly wherever he chose. He spoke about the wonderful feeling of flying together with the other bats ​and the way your heart jumped with excitement when you finally caught an insect to eat. He then described how grateful he felt to come home again to the safety of the cave after a night of adventures. Vincent listened to everything Ash said, but, that night, he still decided to stay home.

The following evening, Ash spoke to Vincent about all of the things he would hear if he went out of the cave. Having seen Vincent’s face when he was listening to the bats fly out of the cave, Ash started describing how wonderful it was to hear hundreds of bats’ wings flapping outside, echoing off the trees and cliffs as they flew past. He spoke about hearing the excitement from the other bats as they flew at great speeds around the trunks of the trees and how their wings whistled through the air in their rush to head towards the food that had been found. Then there was the sound of coming home. The way the cave became quieter and quieter as the sun rose higher and higher. He spoke of hearing the peace and quiet, knowing that they had earned their sleep. Vincent again listened to everything his friend said and again he decided to stay in the safety of the cave.

By the third night, Ash decided to try something different. He had worked out that telling Vincent how wonderful and exciting it was outside the cave was never going to get him to leav ​ so he would have to get Vincent to change his own mind. Ash spoke to several other bats about his plan and word spread quickly, with the other bats eagerly agreeing to do their part. As the sun went down, Vincent woke up and noticed instantly that none of the bats had left the cave yet, nor did it look as though they were getting ready to wake up anytime soon. Vincent flew over to several to different bats, trying to wake them up, only to have them restlessly shrug their wings in an effort to move him away and continue sleeping. Even Ash, who was usually first to wake him up to tell him they were about to go, was still fast asleep.

As the hours passed, Vincent became increasingly hungry. His stomach growled and his mind could not stop thinking about finding something to eat. He looked out of the cave’s entrance and could see the treetops and cliffs Ash had spoken about, all of them lit up by the light of the moon. Driven by hunger, Vincent gradually made his way to the entrance of the cave and started to notice the way the tree tops swayed in the wind and the way the clouds peacefully drifted across the sky. Vincent’s curiosity grew as more of the horizon opened up to him with each step closer towards the cave’s entrance.

Before he knew it, Vincent was standing outside the cave. He looked down at his wings and opened them up, feeling the wind brushing gently against them. He looked out over the trees and mountains and pushed himself off the ground and out into the cool night air. He began to understand that everything Ash had told him was true and that being told about these experiences could not compare to experiencing them for himself.

As he circled around the night sky, Vincent looked back towards the cave and could see his friends and family leaving the cave to join him. He heard the sounds of their wings echoing of the trees and cliffs, making the most beautiful sound Vincent had ever heard.

THE END

My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.

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