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Native American Legends

Why the Bat hangs upside down

An Apache Legend

Once, long ago, Coyote thought he would take a wife, but did not know whom to choose. "Why not take the wife of Hawk Chief?" Bat said, for Hawk Chief was missing, and had not been seen for many days.

But Hawk Chief returned and became angry with Bat for giving such ill-considered advice. He picked Bat up and slung him with full force into a juniper bush.

Bat hung upside down in the bush, caught by his long, pointy-toed moccasins. He twisted and he turned, but however much he struggled, he could not get free.

And from that time on bats hang upside down - even when they sleep.

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