Saving Mr Bat


This evening we went to Kallang MRT station by mistake; we should have been at a completely different station, on a completely different line. While it’s nice to explore new places, Kallang MRT on a Sunday evening isn’t a palace of delights. Nobody got off the train there apart from us, which is easier said than done when you have to manouevre a baby plus stroller through a crowd of immobile Singaporeans.

As I stepped onto the platform, I caught sight of something flopping around by my feet. There was a bat, its body the size of my thumb, quivering on the ground.

It twitched and crawled around, but looked like it needed to be put out of its misery. I wasn’t sure what I was meant to do. Do you summon the station staff when you notice a dying, flying rodent? Would they do anything apart from sweep the bat away with a broom?

The bat tried to fly, but only managed to flutter a few feet before landing again. I didn’t have the heart to tread on the bat, but I wasn’t sure what else to do. The bat looked to be on its last legs. Well, wings.

We tried to scoop it up with a piece of paper, but this was the only thing that inspired it to action; it flopped away from me, wherever I tried to guide it onto a platform to carry it out to safety.

I wondered if it was suffering from the bright lights in the station, or the noise of the train had messed with its sonar, or the poor little blighter had just flown into one of the glass barriers at the edge of the platform. Can light confuse bats? Or is that just moths?

We tried to pick it up again, this time using both a plastic bag and a warranty card from our baby’s car seat. This time, my wife suggested putting the bat inside the bag, but the bat was having none of that, and this time took to the air again, fluttering across the platform at head height, the swooping up to hide up in the roof of the station. We’d done our bit, however ineffectual, to ensure the survival of the bat.

Who knows how long it will survive? I wonder if the bat could supply some sort of metaphor for life. You spend your time on the floor, confused and hurt, trying to ascend to where you belong, some strange forces affecting you in ways you can’t begin to understand.

And then either you get up in the air and you’re free, or a man comes along with a broom and squashes you.


One response to “Saving Mr Bat”

  1. This is more inspiring than what happened on the day Doncaster and Darlington got mixed up A day which for me involved lots of waiting around in the car.

    Hooray for the bat!

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