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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

How the Bat Brocht the Darkness (A Folk Talk from Sierra Leone)     by: Wheeler, Les

Fan the warld wis first made thir wis nivver ony darkness nor caul. The sun wis aye shinin ilka day an at nicht ye wid get eneuch licht fae the meen tae see as clearly as ye’d like.

Noo, ae day God sent for the Bat an gave him a wee parcel an tellt him tae tak it tae the meen. He tellt the Bat that it wis darkness that wis in the box, but bein a busy kine o a chiel he hadna eneuch time tae tell the Bat jist fit darkness wis an awa wint the Bat withoot really kennin fit he wis deein, nor fu important a job he’d taen in haun.

Bat hid the parcel strappit tae his back an jist flew alang at daunerin pace till he began tae feel a bittie tired an a bittie hungry. He wisna in much o a hurry sae he jist pit the parcel on the limb o a tree an wint aff tae see fit he could get tae ait.

Noo, fin he wis awa, a group o monkeys cam tae the tree tae feed aff its fruits fan they spied the parcel. Noo, monkeys bein monkeys, it wisna lang afore they began tae powk at the parcel an pick at the tow that wis keepin it closed ticht. They thocht if it wis deen up in sic a fashion it must hae something in it that wis worth haein. The Bat cam back jist as the monkeys wir undeein the last bittie o tow an it flew as quick as it could tae stop them. But ower late! The darkness forced its wye oot o the parcel an rose up intae the sky afore onybody could dee onything aboot it. Fit a mishanter!

The Bat chased efter the darkness, fleein in aa directions an tryin tae grab hud o the darkness an pit it back in tae the parcel afore God discovered fit hid gin wrang. But the mair he tried the mair the darkness bade awa fae him. He wis fair dementit an syne wis that wabbit wi the tchaav o’t that he fell asleep an slept for oors an oors.

Fan the Bat cam tae himsel he foon himsel in a queer gloamin that he’d nivver seen afore. It wis beginnin tae get dark because nicht wis comin. Sae in the gloamin Bat stertit chasin aboot in aa directions eence again, but it wis the same aul story an he failed jist like he’d deen afore.

An that’s jist fu things are. The Bat his nivver managed tae catch the darkness, forbye ye’ll spy him ilka nicht, jist efter the sun his set, flitterin about in the mirk tryin tae catch the darkness an tryin tae get it back intae the box an deliver it tae the meen jist as God hid askit him tae dee.

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