1. Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
[origin: 1580; probably alteration of Middle English bakke, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Swedish nattbakka bat]
The dusk was on the mountain
And the stars were dim and frail
When the bats came flying, flying
From the river and the vale
To wheel against the twilight
And sing their witchy tale.
“We were kings of eld!” they chanted,
“Rulers of a world enchanted;
“Every nation of creation
“Owned our lordship over men.
“Diadems of power crowned us,
“Then rose Solomon to confound us,
“Flung his web of magic round us,
“In the forms of beasts he bound us,
“So our rule was broken then.”
[from "Song of the Bats"; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 147 and Always Comes Evening, p. 38]