Author Leslie Garland
The Bat: a coming of age story involving a search after truth, doubt, and a
bat! (The Red Grouse Tales Book 2)
With ‘fake news’ hitting the headlines and misguided religiously motivated
terrorism still in them, I thought it would be nice to look at ‘truth’ and
muse on questions such as ‘what actually is true?’ and ‘what is Truth?’
using a fantasy story as a foil for the same.
Is truth what we believe to be the case, or is it what we know to be the
case? Why is one religion deemed to be true, whereas others are deemed not
to be so? And why are religions deemed to be a ‘good thing’ when they
appear to be the justification for much of the conflict and appalling
atrocities that have been and still are being perpetrated around the world?
St Thomas Aquinas’ famous quotation ‘To one who has faith, no explanation
is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible,’ doesn’t
provide an answer to these questions but I think, does rather nicely state
things as they are – the lunatic who believes a god is on his side doesn’t
require an explanation, and of course, those who don’t share that same mad
belief will never understand. Though I rather suspect Aquinas didn’t attach
my interpretation to his homily!
I needed my narrator to be at that age where his opinions hadn’t been
formed so that he would question and ask ‘those embarrassing questions’ of
others. He also had to be a bit naïve and not be fully aware of what was
going on. So I thought a skeptical “doubting Thomas” would make a good
narrator. Somehow the story cried out to have both the Reverend Money and
Felicity (both from “The Little Dog”) in it, so “The Bat” became a prequel
to “The Little Dog”.
A coming of age story, of course, involves the ‘gaining of knowledge’, and so
required that apples, whether metaphorical ones, ones in gardens or buckets
of water had to be included, as did the Garden of Eden allegory including
the having to leave it. I hope my choices of other characters do not
require further explanation. And of course, sex had to feature in the story
because the ‘gaining of knowledge’ is just another way of saying ‘sexual
awakening’. So for more sensitive readers; be aware that sex does get a
And finally, I hope I have been even-handed in exploring this subject, with
a skeptical Thomas and logical, brain-box of a Bobby Thompson on one side
of the argument and genuinely nice, Felicity and thoughtful, steady
Reverend Money on the other side. I am not sure there is a conclusive
hence the St Thomas Aquinas quotation, but none-the-less I hope the
end result is both an interesting exploration and an entertaining read!