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Monday, September 2, 2013

Beware the badger

 (from Imitation Nature)
July 20, 1980

The badger is a very clever animal, having learned over the course of millions of years, how to set himself up for life – holes in the ground to live out the day, freedom above ground at night, with no natural enemies to give him grief.
He’s always elusive and wary, and very rarely seen – though I’m sure someone must see him from time to time to know he still exists – still alive and healthy.
Sometimes, he shares his hole with a fox or even a rabbit; sometimes he lives alone.
Unlike humans which are the only beast who cares to bother him in a destructive way, the badger likes his solitude.
He isn’t the kind to sit out front of the local tavern and ogle ladies that stroll by.
Bear-like, he is usually very quiet, reacting to danger or excitement with a series of violent snorts. His hair tends to stand end which makes him blow up to twice his normal size.
Like a human, he has five toes – which distinguishes is track from that of a dog’s (which is a four-legged animal that often goes “bow wow” which I’ll explain later when I’m good and drunk.”
The badger has a short tail, short but powerful legs, and when seen may be waddling down a dark path.
If it happens to get attacked by a foolish enemy, he has very sharp teeth with which to strike back, and knows how to defend himself at need.
He should never be manhandled, as humans are wont to do just for the fun of it.
For the most part, he avoids humans and tends to enjoy his own rituals – unlike my best friend, Hank, who had a lot of habits, such as over staying his welcome despite many hints for him to leave. He lives in a hole, too, but there the similarity ends.
The badger has a black and white striped face, and has thick warm fur when healthy.
In other words, the badger can be a tough hombre but lives a peaceful life when left alone, but can turn and fight and destroy as well as any beast of the wild.

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