The Fierceness of Badgers

I know all about
the fierceness of badgers:

how a border terrier
will follow a fox

down  the darkest hole –
but should he disturb

a badger down there,
he will bear the marks,

and still win prizes
at dog shows

as if half his muzzle
had not been ripped off;

and this as a tribute
to the fierceness of badgers.

Secretive, nocturnal,
masked like thieves,

you only ever see them
at night or

safely dead
by the side of the road.

But today on a hill track
I came across one.

Wary, I stopped –
then inched closer

to take a snap
with my mobile;

still closer, and spoke to him
as you do to dogs.

He hissed.
I jumped back

and watched him
retreat into bushes.

He was young
and must have been lost

and afraid
as we all are.

And so we walk through life:
timid, gingerly, circumspect,

because we know all about
the risk of high places,

the danger of draughts
from an open door –

and the fierceness of badgers.

One response to “The Fierceness of Badgers

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