On holiday, we were with friends for dinner.  They have children a little older than Pearl, and in the way of children, the three of them quickly became firm friends.  After dinner, I whisked our younger two “home” for baths and bed, but Pearl and her Dad stayed a bit later to socialise.

It gets dark earlier there than we are used to, and Pearl relished the novelty of playing outside in the warm darkness.  Initially the children were occupied trying to build a cubby house out of fallen palm leaves, but they soon armed themselves with torches and went looking for bats.

They saw several, and Pearl was thrilled.  It was all so exotic and exciting, one of those magical childhood experiences where you get to play in a new place, with new friends, in the dark, and perhaps forget for a little while that you even have parents who tend to cramp your style.  She arrived back at our accommodation slightly wild-eyed, bubbling over to tell me what she’d got up to and what she’d learnt and how wonderful bats are.  Even as I had to hush her, lest she wake the babes, I was hoping that this would be an evening she would remember for the rest of her life.

A few days later, we found a bat glove puppet in a store, and bought it for her.  She immediately dubbed it “Apple”.  It’s a fruit bat.


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