I have a great affection for the badger. He is, as I said, a true Englishman, an Ancient Briton. He was here when the mastadon roared on Hamstead Heath and the sabre-toothed tiger stalked the unwary cockney in the forests of Kensington.
He has seen the tide of Saxon and Roman, Dane and Norman, flow over the bloodied fields of England. He has seen the forests fall and the old woods retreat, the marshes shrink and the wild heath become tamed by the plough, the old bridleways usurped by the new, shining roads. He has seen men arise and destroy the wild red deer and hunt the fox in a new panoply of the chase. He saw the pheasant come as an alien from Rome and he was here long before the Romans imported the rabbit and the ferret wherewith to hunt it.
Through it all the badger has gone grunting his grey and shambling way down the dim woodland aisles of moonlit history. No man willingly slays the badger unless he has a perverted mind.
And I wholeheartedly agree.
THE BADGER Last of the night's quaint clan He goes his way - A simple gentleman In sober grey : To match lone paths of his In woodlands dim, The moons of centuries Have silvered him.
Patrick R Chalmers