Also know as, "The One With The Rabid Vampire Bat." I am using this icon because it's the closest I have to a deadly rabid vampire bat icon.
This is the first sentence: Like a giant bat the transatlantic plane flew through the night, using sensitive antennas to find its way.
Bats have antennas? Or is that antennae?
The title of the first chapter, by the way, is "Bat 29167." From page two: It [the plane] could now be seen clearly and the name on its side read
Bermuda Atlantic Transport. On its vertical tail fin were the large initials:
Alec, the trainer Henry, and miscellaneous crew members are transporting the Black and other horses by air when they get caught in a storm, lose their way, and crash at sea. The humans get on a lifeboat, and the horses swim away. While searching for land, the humans are attacked by sharks and the Black by a giant squid. But the humans make it to an inhabited island, and the horses to
Azul Island, site of Sekrit Government Experiments, alien visitations (in other books-- they don't turn up in this one), and the wild red stallion, Flame.
Alec and Henry immediately begin searching for the Black. They follow reports of a wild black horse, which leads them to the discovery that a deadly rabid vampire bat is on the island. A lengthy info-dump on bats, vampire bats, and rabies ensues, sprinkled with an impassioned defense of bats as a species, which left me in inappropriate hysterics.The policeman smiled sympathetically. "I'm afraid you're prejudiced against
all bats," he said, "And you shouldn't be."
"Did you know that bats were flying millions of years before our own race appeared on Earth?"
And so forth. Alec and Henry go to Bat Cave (no, really) to look for the vampire bat. It's there, it attacks Alec, it escapes, they find the wild black horse dead of rabid vampire bat bite, and charter a boat, Night Owl
to look for The Black on surrounding islands. But little do they know that in the cabin of the
Night Owl slept the vampire. ... He slept comfortably, awaiting the coming of night when he would set out once more to feed on another's blood.
Azul Island, which appears to be a featureless dome of rock but which contains a secret passageway to an island paradise within, The Black and Flame are having it out over who gets the mares. But when Alec and the vampire bat boat get close to the island, the bat attacks Alec, then flees to Azul Island, where it attacks the horses. At this point we get a bit of the vampire bat's POV: Finally, the drive within him turned to aggressiveness, and he was no longer able to quell his mounting excitement
A lengthy rabid vampire bat vs. The Black and Flame battle ensues. Let's just say that by the end, everyone lives happily ever after. Except the bat.
Boggle on Amazon: The Black Stallion and Flame