Why The Bat Is Neither A Land Animal nor A Bird


Not until a woman marries another man, she will never appreciate her first husband, and a child that craves meat would one day eat the chameleon. It is always greener on the other side of the river, and there is no remedy for lack of contentment.

In the olden days, when animals talked and reasoned like humans, Usu – the bat was a special sea creature.  He was smarter than all the fishes in the sea and had a special skill of communicating with every animals yet he was not satisfied. One day, at the shores of the sea, he met Ezi – the pig and wanted to become like Ezi.

‘Ezi,’ he called him. ‘What is it like to be a land animal?’

To his question, Ezi laughed. ‘There is nothing better than being a land animal. You will be free to eat anything, get yourself dirty and sleep all day round.’
‘Can’t you see me,’ Ezi went on. ‘I have no farm but I eat whatever I desire.’

Usu – the bat, could not sleep that night. He told the fishes that he had no desire to be in the sea again. All the fishes begged him to stay, but he gave deaf ears to their plea. He called upon Chukwu Okike – God the Creator - and started complaining.

‘You shouldn’t have created me a sea animal. Can’t you see I am smarter than all the fishes?’

‘You are fine here,’ Chukwu told him. ‘The sea is always cool and every creature here celebrates you. Better a place where you are seen as a king than a place you will become a slave.’

But Usu would not listen. 'I am tired of being celebrated here,' Usu replied. 'I need somewhere better, somewhere I will be free to eat anything, get dirty and sleep all day round.'

Are you sure that is what you want? Chukwu asked.

Without hesitation, Usu answered, ‘Yes!’

‘Be it unto you as you wish,’ Chukwu declared. ‘I will come back in a month’s time and will give you the grace to become a sea animal again – if you wish.’

The next day, Usu woke up with no fins. He automatically became a land animal. Unfortunately, it was not what he expected. He discovered, though it was too late, that Ezi – the pig was a 'low-lifer' and there was no real joy on earth. The jungle totally lacked brotherly love. Animals ate one another to survive. The lions ate the Wolves, the Wolves ate the pigs, the pigs ate smaller animals and so on.

The worst part was that no one celebrated him. No one saw him as an important creature. He felt deceived by Ezi - the pig and confronted him.

‘Why did you lie to me, Ezi,’ he asked.

‘I did not lie to you,’ Ezi replied. 'I eat anything, get dirty and sleep all day round. It is true that no animal likes me, but a rejected man should not reject himself. I am made a land animal and I have to accept my fate.’

From that day, Usu could not sleep. He started regretting his decision and wished he would become a sea animal again. ‘I will wait for Chukwu to come, and I will revert to a sea animal.’

While patiently waiting for Chukwu to return, he met Udene – the vulture eating the carcass of a dead Lion. He called on him saying, ‘Udene, what is it like to be a bird?’

To his question, Udene laughed. ‘There is nothing better than the freedom of flying, eating from the tree top and touring the whole sky.’
‘Can’t you see me,’ Udene went on. ‘The animals fight to feed me. They kill themselves and provide meals for me.’

Again, Usu could not sleep. He waited till Chukwu Okike – The Creator came.

‘How are you, Usu?’ Chukwu asked. ‘Are you ready to become a sea creature again?’

Usu said ‘no’. I want to be a bird. Flying is the real deal: the freedom of flying, eating from the tree top and touring the whole sky.


Are you sure that is what you want? Chukwu asked.

Without hesitation, Usu answered, ‘Yes!’

‘This will be your last chance, Usu. Don’t be in a haste to take a romantic decision.’

‘I am sure of what I want,’ Usu screamed. ‘I want to be a bird.’

‘Be it unto you as you wish,’ Chukwu declared.

The next day, Usu discovered he has automatically become a bird and could fly. But it was not a blessing either. For in the world of birds were many brilliant creatures: the parrot could talk, the hummingbirds could reproduce any sound, the Robins had the best voice in the world and the Eagles needed no friends.

No bird wanted to associate with Usu. To them, he was ugly and had no real talent. As the day went by, Usu became withdrawn. He went to the sea and saw how happy the fishes were but he had no fins to survive in the sea. He went to the land and saw the animals running around and looking so happy, but he was not accepted anymore on the land. He got stuck in the air.

Then he went to Udene – the vulture and started whining. ‘You lied to me, Udene.’

'I did not,' Udene replied.

'You told me that it is fun to be a bird.'

‘But I did not advise you to be a bird, Usu,’ Udene replied. 'Even though other birds do not like me, I like my fate. I still believe that it is fun to be a bird.'

‘But you would have told me that the birds are full of themselves,’ Usu shrieked.

To this statement, Udene replied: ‘Usu, you did not ask. I see the good side of my abode but you are insatiable. You are not comfortable with who you are and should not blame anyone for your woes.’

The truth mocked Usu and in shame, he hid from the public and only came out at nights. And up till this day, he is still confused. He is not a bird, neither is he a land animal nor a sea animal. Just like every insatiable animal, he became a depressed creature.

When next you see a bat hanging upside down, know that he is depressed and still trying to take his own life. But even death rejected him too.


Learn to appreciate what you have,  be grateful to God for where you are today.  


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