It, the weather, had been hot and dry for several days now. The
streams had dried up; and they were no more than stagnant pools of
stinking water in the woodland. The earthworms were nowhere to be seen;
and it wasn't really the season right now to go digging up bulbs and
roots. Overall, despite being in the height of summer, there wasn't a
lot to eat.
The berries weren't ready and no fruit was falling from the trees
just yet. It looked like it would be another long, long walk, looking
for food and drink tonight.
Old badger was feeling the strain. He wasn't really bothering trying
to fight off the youngsters when they climbed on him any more. The lack
of water wasn't looking good for him.
The badgers ambled around the clearing for a while; and had a good
scratch; and groomed each other for bugs and so on.
After a quick scout around the woodland clearing, and sniffing the wind, the
head badger decided to take the clan towards "enemy" territory. It was
enemy for two reasons.
The neighbouring badger clan thought they owned that bit of land, and there
would be a fight if they got caught.
Also, the area was managed by a gamekeeper for woodland shooting. The
gamekeeper tolerated the badgers, but the poachers and their dogs didn't; they'd
need to be careful tonight.
After a long march, the badgers finally got to the new woodland, and began
sniffing around looking for bird food and any carrion. When you raise huge
numbers of birds in pens, you can sort of expect a few escapees (and a few dead
ones). Not that the badgers would kill the birds, you understand, it's just they
would eat any carcasses they came across.
The badgers weren't in luck tonight though. No carrion, and only a bit of
spilled bird food. Another day without enough food. This was supposed to be the
time of year when badgers piled weight on to see them through the winter when
there was even less food!
"The world of badgers is in some ways analogous with the
human world. Like us, their behaviour is greatly influenced by their need for
homes and living space, and being social like we are, they too have their
problems of learning how to live together ..... and with us"