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Monday

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"
Ernest Neal