Hellfire Badgers


The Wind in the Willows, The Wildlife Trusts

From 3 Quarks Daily:

You can tell if a sett is active by placing twigs over the opening during the day and seeing whether the twigs have been moved during the night. So I set about this task: laying the sticks in the evening and cycling up in the morning to see if they had been moved. Several of the burrows were indeed active and so I determined to go and see the badgers at night.

This was my first sense of being proximate to a truly wild animal.

At some point in all of this, I told someone—perhaps my dad—what I was doing.

“No, no…” this person—who may or may not have been my dad, said—“you don’t want to be caught by badgers. Their bite is so ferocious that once they sink their teeth into you they don’t let go until they hear the bone break!”

“Are you fucking joking?” was my response to this person (if it was my dad the response was internal, as he is not a crude man).

“It’s always handy,” opined this expert (perhaps my dad), “to carry a stick into ‘Badger Country’”

“Badger County…. jaysus” (I opined internally, probably.)

“What you do is this: when they bite, break the stick over your other leg, and they’ll think they’ve broken the bone.”

“The Badgers Of Montpelier Hill”, Liam Heneghan, 3 Quarks Daily