Stella Cretek
A Dem Bones Fairytale

Why the Badger bristles

By - Mar 5th, 2011 04:00 am
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Illustration by Pearson Scott Foresman, property of the public domain

In the year 2011, Da Badger dug a hole with his teeth, mostly to protect himself from the blast of Wisconsin winters, which everyone worth their fur knows is a most terrible season. Snug in the deep underground, Da Badger couldn’t help but notice the rumbling of thousands of boot-clad feet as they shook the ground above his abode, threatening his tranquility and making it ever harder to catch some zzzzzzs.

He was most worried about the glass framing a picture of his kissin’ cousin, A. Groundhog, who hogged the limelight and only showed his face once each year, if then. And too, he fretted about the safety of a photograph of his recently departed spouse, Ma Badger, famous for her tea parties and other suspect events. It was no secret in the’hood that Ma was a fan of Sarah Palin (of Grizzly fame), but oh well, Da and Ma rarely agreed on anything, except perhaps which of them got to use the electric toothbrush first. He recalled their trip to China, which was cut short when they discovered that Badgers are eaten there. These days he lives holed-up in Madison, and despite the rumblings above,  he enjoys life underground. Almost.

Though in some ways the stomping of boots above his head reminds him of hordes of Germans out hunting with their dachshunds, who he remembers were bred specifically to hunt the likes of him. He knows in his heart of hearts that Badgers of any stripe would fight to the finish to protect their turf; indeed, he’d lost several sons and daughters that way. But that was then. They were fine hardworking American cubs who deserved better.

He bristled at the thought of their demise.

In the good old days, when he attended the University of Wisconsin (he didn’t graduate), he was anointed as their Supreme Mascot. But he quickly learned that perhaps his best use in the outside world was to provide his hair for shaving brushes, hawked to royalty and the rich folks who lived in big houses up on the hill in Madison. He’d survived long enough to know that things change, but that said, because he worked diligently all of his life (digging holes and providing bristles), he felt his true soul rests somewhere out there with the steaming masses and their stomping boots. It’s also comforting to know (he says), that in 1992, the U.K. passed the Protection of Badgers Act, and in 2004 passed the Hunting Act. On really lonely nights, he visits Wikipedia and reads about his relatives: weasels, martens and polecats. We don’t choose our relatives do we?

Last night, he learned on that American badgers and coyotes sometimes hunt together.

When all is said, in the end, he hopes that soon the boot stomping will cease and cooperation will reign. For in the end, if badgers and coyotes can cooperate, then isn’t anything possible?

0 thoughts on “A Dem Bones Fairytale: Why the Badger bristles”

  1. Anonymous says:

    ok polecat. Who is credited with the fine badger illustration?
    Recently saw a terrific print by a student that would sell like hotcakes in Madison/Wisconsin.

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