Free Listen to the audiobook for kids:
One warm evening in September, Jacob, a little mouse, was running as fast as he could through the field near his home. He was practicing for the upcoming school competition. Each class was looking for the fastest animal.
Last year, Jacob had not been fast enough to win; his competitors were bigger and stronger. But this year, he was determined to come in first place.
A prize awaited the winner every year. This time it was a trip. The winner would get to spend an exciting few days camping with their best friends. Jacob’s eyes lit up at the thought of telling his friends about his victory.
Campfires, playing hide-and-seek, telling scary stories in the evenings… He could already imagining it, and it was making him run faster and faster.
He stopped suddenly when he came upon a large tree. He was completely out of breath and the tree looked old and withered. It no longer had a single leaf on its branches.
Jacob realized that he had lost track of time. The sun was already quite low in the sky and the field was getting dark.
Suddenly he heard a deep voice.
“Hello, little mouse,” it said. “I’m up here.”
Jacob looked up and saw an unfamiliar black creature hanging from a mighty bare branch. The unknown creature spread its wings, making it seem even more ominous.
“Hello,” Jacob replied in a whisper. He was a little scared. “Who are you?”
“I’m Carlo,” replied the voice. “And you look like you’ve never seen a bat before. Am I right?”
Jacob nodded. “Bat… I’ve never heard of a bat before!” he said. “Why do you stretch out your arms like that, Carlo?”
“You call them arms, but to me, they’re wings,” Carlo explained. “You see, I’m a pilot. When you go to sleep, the day begins for me. I’m just getting ready for my trip now.”
Jacob sat under the big tree, his fears forgotten, and asked Carlo many more questions. He learned that bats don’t use their eyes in complete darkness. They find their way around by using their ears. And during the day, they sleep in caves or crevices.
As Carlo was telling Jacob about his many adventures on his night flights, Jacob heard his mother calling him from far away. She was looking for him.
Carlo heard it too. Jacob got up to leave, but when he turned back to the bat all he saw was a dark shadow rising towards the sky.
“Farewell!” said Carlo.
“Jacob! There you are,” his mom squeaked as she entered the clearing. “What are you doing out in the cornfield so late?”
On the way home, Jacob told his mother everything he had learned about bats. He couldn’t wait to tell his siblings and friends about Carlo the next morning. After all, he now had a pilot for a friend.