I stepped outside to take the air, but stopped short when I heard A squeaking cry, as issues from a wounded, bleeding bird— Or rather, from no bird at all, but from an injured bat; The wingéd mouse, the flying shrew, the aviating rat. The sound came from the corner of the garden, past the gate. I went inside to fetch my coat—we've had a chill of late. Beraimented, I crept along. The batlike wail grew near. On garden path I crept, until the screeching filled my ear. And ... what found I? A broken bird? A bat, brought down to ground? 'Twas neither thing that drew me there by way of eerie sound. I took a knee to do some work. The squeaking went away. No longer will that broken sprinkler keen like dying prey!
2020-07-24: Only five months after writing this poem did I learn that shrews are in one order of animals, bats in another, and mice and rats in a third. I love line 4, but if I can change it to match biology, I will. In the meantime, please don’t base any scientific research on this poem.