The Bat and the Two Weasels
Jean de La Fontaine / Sagan Chen
Okay so, as I was reading through all of these La Fontaine fables,
I came across one called The Bat and the Two Weasels.
Instead of reading it to you I’m gonna summarize it
and it’s just gonna be a little less fancy.
So, there’s this bat. They sneak into a weasel’s bed.
The weasel comes in the bedroom and is like
“WHOA, how DARE you sneak into my bed, you mouse! I hate mice!
You’re here to steal my cheese!”
And the bat’s like “uhhhhh beg pardon, I am NOT a mouse. I’m definitely a bird,
LOOK at my wings!”
And the bat spreads their wings
and the weasel’s like “oh you have wings, only birds have wings,
and mice do not, so my bad, sorry you can go.”
The next day the bat sneaks into a different weasel’s house.
But the weasel sees them, and immediately is like
“WHOA I LOVE eating birds, today’s my lucky day!” and opens its mouth
and the bat’s like “whoa hey hey hey there’s been a big misunderstanding here,
I am for sure not a bird, you should get your eyes checked!
Birds always have FEATHERS, and I don’t!”
and the weasel is like “oh huh you’re right.
All birds have feathers and therefore you’re not a bird.
Okey dokey you can go!”
And here’s the thing. This story… is not pro-bat. The bat pretends to be whatever they need to get out of trouble. But, the whole time I was reading this fable, I related so hard to this bat. No one seemed to understand that they were a bat, an animal separate from a mouse or a bird. Because this bat had wings, they were assumed to be something else, and because they didn’t have feathers, they were assumed to be yet another thing.
There was no room in either of these weasels’ minds that there could be an animal that could have wings and no feathers, and not be a bird, and not be a mouse. And to be simplistic about it, that’s how I feel as a nonbinary person. People often confuse me for what I do or don’t have, or want me to fit into an arbitrary box based on how they think I’m supposed to look, or act.
And instead of that, I would much rather be recognized
for my ability to sleep upside down.
That’s definitely the more interesting thing about me.
Or, I mean, bats.