Today was definitely a stressful day and night for the badgers. Sometime
during the early morning, the air in the sett had gone all "stale";
and the head badger had wakened to see what was happening. Some-one had stuffed
a plug of twigs and leaves into the bottom-most tunnel entrance; and this was
stopping the valuable fresh air flowing through the sett. Head badger wanted to remove it, but there
was a big commotion outside, and he daren't leave the sett.
After what seemed a very long time of having no air, the freshness suddenly
returned to the sett. There was a fox-hunt taking place in the woodland; and a
hunt saboteur had unblocked the sett. For a few moments, the badgers began to
drink in the clean fresh air, and then there was another commotion. A fox, a
young vixen, came barging into the sett; and went cowering into one of the
disused sleeping chambers. Being a threat to the badger cubs, the vixen wasn't
welcome in or near the sett; but she gave every impression that she wasn't
leaving. She looked frightened and in pain; tired and exhausted. She'd obviously
been running for hours.
After a couple of hours or so the noise died down from outside.
Another couple of hours went by; and the fox emerged from a fearful sleep.
The head badger was blocking the inside tunnel to where the badger cubs were. It
was made very plain that the vixen would have to leave the badger sett. So, she
did leave. She wanted to anyway. She had her cubs to feed.
All in all, it was a very tiring day for the badgers. They hadn't had enough
sleep during the day; and the woods had been so disturbed by all those people;
everything needed to be checked out. Two of the outlier setts were still blocked
up, so they needed to be dug out again. Brambles had been trampled down and the
ground was greatly disturbed, and part of a tall wire fence had been broken
down. In fact this was quite a bonus for the badgers; as it meant most of them
could climb over it and get into that great big field of ripening maize. As well as the joy of rolling about
in the stalks, maize was actually pretty tasty for badgers; and they had a
mighty feast that night.
They sensed, or perhaps they even knew, that the farmer would be back in the morning
to repair that fence.