What did Shakespeare know that Moses didn’t?
Been doing my usual weekend stuff, cleaning out bats, playing with hamsters, and surfing the net for interesting stuff about bats, bees and knitting. I was already familiar with the fact that Shakespeare mentioned bats in some of his plays: The minion elves of Titania, queen of the fairies in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ used bat-wings to make their coats!
“Some war with rere-mice [bats – from ‘hrere-mus’ – meaning ‘agitated mouse’] for their leathern wings, to make my small elves coats.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
While the witches of MacBeth were partial to a bit of bat in their broth:
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.” – Macbeth
…from which one could deduce that Shakespeare knew that bats were ‘wooly’ – he knew that they were mammals.
Interesting fact of the day, however, is that in the Bible (Leviticus and Deuteronomy, both widely accepted to have been written by Moses), bats are included in a list of ‘unclean birds’ that should not be eaten:
“And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, [the King James version says ‘Lapwing’ rather than Hoopoe] and the bat” – Leviticus 2:13-19
Someone should have told that to complete PILLOCK and all-round irresponsible maniac and bad example to scouts everywhere Bear “for-gods-sake-eat-with-your-mouth-closed” Grylls before he ate a bat on TV as part of his ‘man vs wild’
bollocks series. *don’t get me started!
Anyway, so fab fact. God thinks bats are birds. Weird, eh?