In the lands of old, where hills and forests ruled and the ways of nature had not yet been tamed there was a kingdom. A place of peace and knowledge, it sat in vale where water ran fresh and the air blew cool. The King of this land was fair as any could tell and had two children, a son and daughter, who lead at his side in the royal chamber. Outside the chamber where the men known as the kings guard, who stood watch all day and night to protect the king. Of these men there was one in particular, the Banner Carrier, who held the flag of the kingdom high and proud. He stood, day in and day out, at the entrance to the royal chamber which out looked the city’s west side and the mountains that loomed far away upon the horizon.
Here he stood one evening, as the sun began to lower in the sky and the king went in the rest early after a day of treaty negotiations with a rival empire.
“This night will be a long, but peaceful one.” said a fellow guard as he was turning to leave his post for the night.
“Yes, but perhaps a longer day to fallow.” replied the Banner Carrier who was weary from having little to no rest for days and not much more sleep to look forward to yet another. Hours past and the sun was just about set. “Oh, how long might this lonely night must I endure before this pointless task?” said the weary Banner Carrier aloud.
“Only as long as you carry yourself proudly before the great task that you were appointed.” Spoke the wind.
“Why?” said the Banner Man. “Who are you to tell me what to do when I have stood here for ages not asking for anything other a touch of sleep, yet I have received nothing other the lonesome evenings looking for light of another day.”
A gust blew past the man and the flag waved vigorously. “You dare question me? I bring the cool air of the sunset and dawn, I wave the flag that you clutch, and give sound to the horn you hold! You are the sole protector of the chamber at night, do not worry of sleep when others lives stand with pole carry.” roared the wind.
“The night is calm, treaties have been settled and all those who would wish enter are asleep. To me you bring only strain on my arms, were as I would wish to only flap the flag and blow my horn if need.” said the Banner Man setting down the flag ,the pole, and horn he bore as he sat down preparing for a spot of rest against a stone pillar.
“You rest foolishly when there is need, but to my word you do not heed. Very well, you shall see the true colors of your actions before sunrise.” With that, another great gust blew and all fell silent. The Banner Carrier was too tired to think about the winds message and settled into a deep sleep. He arose with a start in the morning darkness to the sound of guards calling and the wailing of the king’s daughter.
“What happened?” called the Banner Carrier in confusion. “The King has been murdered!” he heard in reply. The Banner Man looked around half expecting to see the culprit only to find his fellow guard who left him that evening holding a dagger.
“This is what killed the King, we believe it to be that of the murder and the one who knocked you out. The Kings son is to be crowned this day and you are requested to stand by his side for the night.” said the guard quietly. The Banner Carrier could say nothing, but stare at the weapon.
That evening the Banner Carrier went to a cave where the wind was said to live. “Why did you not tell me?” he called out into the cavern with all his anger. A gust greeted him and with a calm reply the wind said, “I tired, but you did not listen. It was your duty to watch and withstand the night, but you chose to dwell in sleep. If you had done the job which you and you alone were appointed then you could have sounded your horn and the King may still be alive.”
The Banner Carrier was furious for being blamed for the Kings death and shouted “If not for you I would have had the strength to stand! You blow for days without end and then taunt me with the cool air of night begging me for sleep! This is your fault and yours alone!” This was beyond the winds tolerance and a great gush of air burst from the back of the cave.
“You dare blame me for you foolishness!?! For such pettiness you shall pay!” A strong swirling wind then en-wrapped the Banner Man, spinning him around and around. When torrent subsided there was not man left, but a pitiful black and brown creature with large ears and long webbed arms. “Now all will see you for what you are! You shall have your rest that you so love during the day, yet forever more do your duty every night. Flapping through the night and warning those of your approach with your call, though the rest of the time you shall stay here under my watch in this cavern where you must wait to see the sun setting in the west.”
With that the wind traveled to the kingdom which was alight with candles and torches for the new Kings crowning. Over the crowds the wind rushed, ratting out the Banner Carrier’s mistake and telling them of his punishment. From then on Banner Carrier was merely called the Banner Rat or just simply Bat and the people shunned him when he came flapping by screeching out his call to the wind.