The badgers had planned to come out just before dusk today, but there was a
lot of noise and stamping about in the woods for quite a while.
It seems that a human family had been having a picnic in a clearing in the
woods; and then playing a noisy game of hide and seek in and around the bushes
and the brambles; and chase the doggy round the trees. The game only really
stopped when it was getting dark; and one of the smaller children fell into the
brambles and cut his arms on all those prickles.
After a delayed start - to make sure the humans had really gone - the head badger
emerged from their sett, even more nervously than normal. The rest of the adults came out
next, and the cubs when it was absolutely clear the humans had gone. There was a bit of
litter in the clearing - a plastic pop bottle and a yogurt pot. Luckily, the
visitors had knocked part of the picnic over; so the badgers had a new treat -
three slices of Quiche Lorraine, a mini-Pork pie and a few discarded cheese and
Old badger was lucky. Normally, he'd be eating almost at the back of the
queue, along with the junior cubs. Today though, he'd wandered away from the
groups a short distance; and found himself in a small car-park on the edge of
the woodland. As luck would have it, the visitors had left a metal bowl of water
that they'd used to give the dog a drink. He lapped up the water as quietly as
he could manage and then returned to
the group; and continued to forage through the woodland for food.
Generally though, Sunday could be quite a good day for the badgers. Monday
morning was when the village had their dustbins emptied. You just needed to
catch a whiff of an unfinished microwave meal inside a dustbin; and you could
have a rare old snack. And so it was tonight. Mrs Sutcliffe, wasn't feeling very
well today; and she couldn't finish her evening meal. The badger soon overturned
the metal dustbin and ripped through the bin-liner to get to a very tasty
Lancashire Hotpot. Some nice tender meaty chunks, some soft-boiled carrots and
enormous quantities of boiled potatoes in a thick onion gravy. The badgers
couldn't really understand why Mrs Sutcliffe had gone to the effort of putting
the meal inside a plastic bin-liner, inside a dust bin, with a lid resting on
top; but were grateful for the meal
Of course, Mrs Sutcliffe wasn't one bit grateful. If she wasn't blaming the
refuse collectors for making a mess, she was blaming Mrs Thornton's cat. In her
own way though, Mrs Thornton was actually quite good to the badgers. She fed her
cat on the patio. More accurately, she left food for her cat on the patio. If it
was quiet and the badgers were there en masse, they'd soon "muscle-in"
and eat the cat food. The cat didn't like the idea of giving up it's supper, but
it wasn't suicidal enough to fight with a badger. Poor Mrs Thornton had even
taken the cat to the vet's once because it seemed to be "grumpy" and
she didn't know why.
One of the badgers had once had a good sniff through the cat-flap. He was tempted
to go through, but it was too much of an unknown to be worth the risk.
Then of course, the real beauty of the entire week. Mrs Parris, the lady with
the enormous lawn, had her garden sprinkler fitted with a timer, so it sprinkles
the garden at night (so the water doesn't evaporate in the sun). Fortunately,
the lawn was now very wet indeed; and the silly earthworms actually thought it
was genuinely raining, so they all came to the surface. Whether it was good luck
or good planning wasn't important now, as the badgers absolutely gorged
themselves on earthworms. It was the best feed they'd had for a month.
Baby badger had very nearly died a couple of nights ago, but with all those earthworms to eat he was
OK now. It looked like, with a bit of luck, he might survive through the winter
It reminded Old Badger of the good old days of his youth.
|"Brocky was eight inches long and weighed four ounces. He
was still blind and must have been a week old. His coat was a beautiful
Chinchilla grey, except for his tummy and stumpy little legs, which were covered
with coarsish shiny black hair. His head was white with two well-defined black
stripes running from behind his ears, over his eyes and tapering down to his
nose, and ending in what can best be described as a quirk or a squiggle. They
gave him a very clownish expression."
|From Page 12 of Brocky the Badger by Sylvia Shepherd