Towards evening, the sun was setting beyond the mountains of Carrara and the world was surprised by the sudden departure of the sun and the sudden darkness. The city of Florence was in gloom though the brown hills around were glowing with the last sun rays. A green beam of sunlight came under the arches of the bridge of Ponte Vecchio from the west and the direction of the beam of light was against the current of the river Arno. At this point, should anyone look up from a terrace, one could see something flying between light and darkness as if these things were stitching the shadows together with spools of thread. The bats were flying from one patch of darkness to another through a lighted part. As the sun went down more, the shadows came closer to each other as if the bats were stitching them together.
The bats were flying in a circle, and then they suddenly swooped to the river. They suddenly changed their orbits into a parabola and turned a somersault and dipped to the water. At first, the narrator mistook the bats for swallows, though he wondered as to why they were flying so late. Yet he could not be sure if they were swallows. The bats flew at times in a loop-like orbit though it was not a pure loop. They made a sudden movement of the body. They twittered and made the air shudder as it was. The bats looked like gloves thrown up at the light and falling back.
The manner of flight only proved to the narrator that the flying things were not swallows. He could now realize that the swallows had gone away and the bats had come just like the change of guard. As soon as he realized that they were bats, he experienced a very uneasy sensation in his scalp. He felt that the bats were flying madly. He remembered how disgusting the bats looked when they sleep hanging upside down from branches of trees or inside caves. They grin as if they are smiling in mockery and contempt. He did not look upon them as anything good though they are regarded in China as a symbol of happiness.