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Friday

Yet another day with baking sunshine and no rain. The soil of the pastureland was baked so hard that the earthworms couldn't even get out on to the dry, dusty surface; and the ground beetles remained in their secret little holes deep underground. If it wasn't for that sneaky drink last night; the little cub would have died. Unless the rain comes, he might die yet.

The bedding from yesterday has been laid out in the woodland all day; and it seemed to be a lot fresher now. It was carefully rolled up and returned into the sett, so the badgers had something clean and comfortable to sleep on.

The adult badgers had been through the clearing, and were looking and listening for any remaining wasps nests. They would be full of juicy grubs right now; and they'd provide a useful meal if one could be found. That, though, was the problem, they'd had the big wasps nest a couple of weeks ago; and they just couldn't find another one. They even toyed with the idea of going into the other woodland to see if there were any nests in the woods of the "enemy" clan, who they were always fighting with.

Then there was a huge crash in the woodlands and bright lights. A groups of drunks had crashed a stolen car down an embankment, and were cavorting about throwing noisy fireworks and bottles around. There was loud music, and something was on fire. Noxious fumes and angry sparks showered the woodland.

The badgers dashed back to the safety of the sett. The badgers stayed inside the sett. They knew something was going on outside. They could smell acrid smoke as it drifted through their sett; and there was more noise and disturbance. Sirens and the hint of blue flashing lights.

In the early hours of the morning, the noise died down. Head badger went for a careful look outside. Part of the clearing had been on fire, caused by the drunks torching the car. The sett area seemed to be OK, but there was a lot of mess. There wouldn't be as much to eat in this clearing for a while - for a long while. The only saving grace were several tiny dirty, muddy puddles of water the fire brigade had used on the burning car. The water didn't taste nice. In fact it tasted pretty grim, perhaps even poisonous, but it seemed to be better than nothing.

Another two hours and it would be getting light. There wasn't enough time to go on a full night-time patrol looking for food. The badgers would be hungry, and thirsty for yet another day.

"(The badger) moves noisily, nothing quiet or stealthy about him. He ambles on like a miniature tank, snorting and wheezing, bashing his way through any bushes or undergrowth in his path."
Ernest Dudley