And it came about that in those days, the winged creatures on the farm became agitated and full of rage following the massacre of bats by White’s farm hand Dick-Tai. But not rage about the massacre. Although Dick-Tai had done a great job in the minds of White and some of White’s supporters in and out of the farm, the winged creatures who hated bats felt that it was not enough. It was not enough that the leader of the bats who barely escaped with his life, now injured and going blind, was still in custody and had his wings clipped. It was not enough that hundreds of bats were still in custody with no access to their families or any sort of justice. The winged creatures had a meeting in the crocodile swamps and concluded on what the solution would be: Bats had to be eradicated from the farm. Completely. No more bats. It was hard to completely kill them off. There were almost 5 million bats on the farm. Not too many compared to the general population of animals - almost 200 million. But someone had to do something about the bats that blocked the sun when they were flying out to feed on mangoes or when they had processions.
This is the story of the bats:
In the beginning, long, long ago when there were not too many different types of winged creatures on the farm, there were two farms completely dominated by winged creatures, struggling for dominance. And those farms spread their ideologies among winged creatures everywhere. One farm was a farm of bats. The other farm was a farm of hawks. And the hawks promoted the birth of hawks and the bats promoted the birth of bats. And wherever they could, they tried to secure a majority. And everywhere they fought among themselves and killed each other. Where hawks had a majority, they killed and oppressed bats. Where bats had a majority, they killed and oppressed hawks.
On White’s farm, bats and hawks received money from the farm or bats and the farm of the hawks respectively to boost their numbers and gain control. While bats never outnumbered the hawks, they steadily grew in number. And they were hated by all the different types of winged creatures. But they alienated themselves and did not try to become friends with the different councils of winged creatures. Especially the hawks who did not even think they were animals and who grew to political relevance on White’s farm. The bats thought that there was no use trying because nothing they did would make the other winged creatures hate them less.
The way of life of bats was very different. The other winged creatures swore that bats were not birds like they were and the mammals swore that they would rather die than be classed in the same animal group as the bats.
The bats called themselves flying creatures. But the winged creatures denied this and said the flapping of wings did not qualify to make an animal a flying creature.
"Do you deny us our identity?" The leader of the bats asked the leader of the hawks.
"Most certainly," the leader of the hawks retorted, "you have the face and lips of a mammal, we have beaks, you hang upside down, we stand straight. You have skin and fur, we have feathers.”
"But the relevant quality is not the manner of flight, but the fact of flight. You fly. We fly. Abi? You are flying creatures. We are flying creatures.”
The leader of the hawks who was also the leader of the winged creatures spat out each time the leader of the bats spoke.
And so it came about that on the day that Dick-Tai decided to wipe out the bats once and for all, there were no winged creatures to protect them. In fact animals, mostly winged creatures, came out and looted the dead bodies of the bats that Dick-Tai killed. They celebrated. Good riddance to bad rubbish they said. And they asked why the bats were so stubborn. Why they looked weird. They said that the bats were asking for it.
White for his part was angry that anyone would dare disrespect his farm hand. And he was silent even though it was eventually discovered that Dick-Tai actually massacred and secretly buried bats in mass graves.
And at the end of the special meeting of winged creatures, they issued a communique stating:
We have debated the problems of winged creatures and have come to the unanimous conclusion that the only way of securing a solution is to declare that bats are not winged creatures or birds or flying creatures and that they are not even animals. They are strange beasts that deserved to be killed or banned or both.
Of course bats were not invited to that meeting.
Elsewhere on the farm, the leader of the crocodiles continued trying to silently seek support to take over from White as leader of the farm.
And the worshippers of White continued their loud prayer sessions even though many slowly began to drop out of the worship sessions because of the hardship on the farm, the scarcity of water and the insecurity.
And some farm hands of White began to harass with weapons anyone who would speak against them or against White.
And the leader of the bats continued to be in custody with his lost eye without access to proper healthcare.
And all the animals said it was not their business what happened to the bats.
And there was hunger and thirst and darkness and violence.
And all the while, White walked around the farm, observing, enjoying the worship songs directed at him, hands behind his back, silent.