RIP Twitter…

 She was black and small. Unbelievably small. Tiny wings with bones sticking out and little claws with soft nails that would grow to become razor sharp ones, ready to grab its prey. She was a bat. And a very small one at that.

We had no idea what kind of bat she was, what her diet was, or what kind of life she led or whether she was a female or a male!!(But I will go with ‘she’ here, because I am definitely what you would call, a feminist). But one thing we were sure about was that, she needed our help. We found her abandoned in our school, on the staircase leading up to our classroom, in danger of being trampled to death. Spotted and rescued by one of my friends, who was luckily the first to arrive at school that morning, he put her in a small petri-dish that he borrowed from the biology lab, and even lined it with cotton for better comfort, and put her in a dark closet in the lab. He took us to meet her as soon as we came into the classroom. It was love at first sight for all of us. We assumed that she had fallen off her mom’s back when they were out flying the previous night, and had lain there, helpless and broken, since. We christened her Twitter.

Though not Twitter, she looked exactly like this little one here!!

Throughout the day, we pampered her, taking it in turns to try and feed her some milk (that we assumed was her diet), and stayed by her side during all our breaks. As the day approached an end, we realised that we could not leave her at school, all alone again. There were lots of stray cats and dogs on the prowl and we did not want to take a chance. Luckily, one of my friends agreed to take Twitter home for the night. We were completely in the dark as to how to take care of her, what to feed her and how to make her condition better. Having no professional help at hand, we relied completely on Google and its suggestions of how to take care of a baby bat. But the things that showed up under the ‘what to feed section’ was too un-kosher for our liking. One of the suggestions was to cut out the head of an earthworm, and let the little one lick up (or rather, slurp) the flesh inside. Like I said, too un-kosher.

The next day was my turn to have her for the night. I brought her home in a little box that my friend had fashioned for Twitter’s comfort. She was asleep throughout the day. The only thing that indicated that she was still alive was the heaving of her little body, as she breathed in and out peacefully. As dusk approached, she started kicking about and moving around. My mom fished for an ink-filler to feed Twitter with, while I rigged up a mixture of mashed banana and milk. To our surprise, Twitter gobbled up a considerable amount of the mixture, and then, the games began. She climbed up and down my arm, her for-now soft fore-claws that are attached to the wings, digging into my skin for hold. I kept shifting her from one arm to another, as she tirelessly walked up and down. This went on for a taxingly long time, before she was finally exhausted, and went to sleep on my palm. Transferring her gently into her box, I kept her in our dark closet for the night, away from light and sound.

The little one finally off to sleep…

Early the next morning, my father, who is always the first to wake up, found her in front of the washing machine!! My Twitter had tried her hand at flying (or so I guessed)!! Transferring her gently into her box, I took her back to school. It was the 14th of November, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday, which is celebrated as Children’s day in India, after his love for children. There were celebrations going on at school, and we left twitter under my desk, in the corner. Coming back after a merry hour of dancing and singing, it was one of my friends who first noticed that something was wrong with Twitter. Crowding around her little box, we stood there helpless, fluttering to do something to save Twitter, as she lay there, her breathing troubled. But alas, all we could do was stroke her gently as she breathed her way to her end. We couldn’t take it anymore. My friend and I rushed to the washroom, clinging onto each other for support, wetting each others shoulders. My friend, who first found Twitter on the staircase, meanwhile, buried her in her little box, in our school garden.

I am reminded of her little presence and her lithe body, as she moved up and down my hands, every time I see a bat swoop to hunt in the dark, every time somebody even mentions the word ‘bat’.

Rest in peace, Twitter.  Though we knew you for a mere two days, you will always live on in our hearts.

42 thoughts on “RIP Twitter…

  1. I’m unsure which of you was more fortunate – Twitter, for having you and your friends to help her and love her so, or you, for experiencing her climbing your arms. I mean, a bat! I’ve not reblogged anything before, but I’d like to do just that with this, Sumithra – with your blessing, of course.

    • Of course, thank you so much Sir. I am indeed honoured!! And I would definitely say that I am the lucky one, for to tell you the truth, her love was a much needed breath of fresh air at that time of hardships for me!! Thank you once again, Sir.

  2. Reblogged this on Dad Knows and commented:
    On any given day when I open up WordPress, I reacquaint myself with a number of remarkably interesting, smart, and talented people from many parts of the planet. Some days, though, one of those people posts something in their blog that rises above even the typical wise words and lovely photos that largely fill my WP reader. Sumithra Sriram, for one, does that consistently, and yesterday her post about a tiny animal struck a particularly strong chord with me.

    In Sumithra’s blog you will encounter a young lady with an appreciation of living creatures that is sadly all too rare among us humans. There are loads of ways for people to define success in life, but if my daughters grow up to have Sumithra’s love and respect for animals The Wife and I’ll be prouder than proud of their becoming successful, good people. Our younger daughter is on her way already. I think our older daughter is as well; she just doesn’t realize it yet.

  3. A beautiful piece of writing of one of Mother Nature’s creatures and a beautiful person to care so much. I am very touched by your story, Sumithra. I read your story through the link provided by Sid Dunnebacke who commented above. Thank you Sumithra and Sid!

  4. Lovely heartfelt post! I have rescued a few orphans that did not make it. Sometimes the reason was known, and sometimes not. These little creatures have purpose, and there is some gift in that bit of time we have them with us… under our care. You gave this little bat comfort in its final hours. The little bat knew love… of that you can be sure. And there was a gift from Twitter too… only each of you know what that could be.

    • Thank you so much! And yes, you are completely right… Twitter taught me a lot of things in just the two days that she was there with us. We all felt guilty of her sudden demise. Now, I am just glad to know that it was not our fault…

  5. Broke my heart, Sumi! I was moved to tears. The click where the little one is hardly any bigger than your finger & has snoozed off is really heart melting. What an experience it must have been for you! May the little baby rest in peace…
    and may God bless you and your friends for helping the helpless baby pass away in the comfort of your shelter & not die a painful death, which I’m sure it would have, but for you large hearted ppl out there.

  6. Oh!!! This is such a sad, heartfelt and beautifully told story.. So touching.:) And thankyou so much Sumatra for looking at y blog every now and then:) I really do appreciate it! 🙂

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