Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
2013 Texas Nature Conservancy Steward
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 • Posted June 21, 2013

I have always heard it said that if you want to catch a monkey, you cut a small hole in a tree, fill it almost up with treats that the monkey cannot resist and wait. The monkey will find the treat filled hole and reach in to grab him a hand full. You can walk up to him at that point, place a bag over its head and you have yourself a monkey. How was that done so easily? When the monkey filled its hand with goodies it didn’t want to leave any behind so his fist was too big to pull back out of the hole. I don’t know if it works or not, (I personally think that the monkey should be left alone), but in a similar way, The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve is like that treat-filled monkey tree.

Like that diligent monkey, people do find The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. People as far away as Hawaii come to this treat- filled Preserve. Some like nine year old Ben May and his family (see attached photo). I soon realized that this young, well-mannered gentleman was no ordinary nine year old. He came to fill up on the treats that the bats and other animals had to offer.

We chatted about why he had come and basically learned “because it was there.” Why climb a mountain? Why raise money to donate to The Nature Conservancy to save a coral reef near his home in Hawaii....because he could! Yes, this guy not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. He had people pledge money on him as he competed in an athletic event to raise money needed to save a coral reef. It was no ordinary coral reef, it was a special place that a young man that Ben’s family knew loved and frequented as often as possible. This young man lost his life at a very young age and Ben’s family wanted to do something in his behalf to keep his memory alive. That is when the idea was born to save the coral reef that his friend so dearly loved. The money that he raised was donated to The Nature Conservancy knowing that these were the ones that could and would do something to help save this coral reef.

Was I impressed? How could you not be? All I know is that he got his “hand” full of the bats’ performance and his heart was “captured”. Never again would this nine year old be “free” of the memories that he had right in the palm of his hand. These memories transferred onto the hard drive of his heart and no one will ever be able to make him let go. Thanks Ben! You have also imprinted on my mind a young man that everyone would be proud to know. It gets even better. This young man is the grandson of one of Mason’s own, Glenda Young. Thanks so much for a night I will always remember!

Do you want to get in on all of this memory making? Don’t MONKEY around...come on out. The bats are currently emerging at 7:30 P.M. See ya at the cave!!

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