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Dec 2016
The springs bracken fronds swish and sway and yet there is no wind
Lying on the soft verdant grass and observing the fern, there is movement
From between the intense greenness appears a black nose followed by a snout
Shades of grey, with a little black and as the head with observant eyes appears
There is white, although a ***** one, for it is Badger who appears
No announcement, no fanfare, in fact quite the opposite, for he has much to fear
His strong shoulders follow through as he pushes out into the field
He has a muscular body, built for digging and his nose snuffles as he tests the air
Behind him, but a little shy, his sow close by his heels as she enters the scene
For a moment both stand shoulder to shoulder, their noses both a quiver
He is first; he shuffles off into the meadow in search of food, worms and snails
The sow is wary, and well so as her cubs join her at the edge of uncertainty
They, a boy and a girl are not so worried, for life to them is full if surprises now
But they have not yet met the many who would take them for their dinner
Their mother and father are a different game, but presently Fox would like a go
There is weasel and stoat and owl floats above with buzzard and hawk
These hunters all like a youngster of any breed, and if there was chance of dinner
And so, as they gambol and play upon the grasses, their mother stands on watch
These cubs, they must be taught, taught playing does not feed their stomachs
Taught that food is not free and must be hunted each and every night or die
And the food they seek, there are also many others who feel their need to gorge
With one eye above, mother seeks the juicy worm, and tries to teach her cubs
Her youngsters eat all she can deliver, fat juicy snails and the odd slug or two
And then, upon the air although very scant, a smell most awful and rank
It would appear the lord of the hedgerow is nearby, and he will be out hunting
He wears a shiny coat of red; he carries a most bushy tail and fangs of yellow
At this time of year, he will have a family of his own and need extra food
His home is not near, or the Brock badger would know and challenge
Now the sow is worried where her husband is, and if he is near to protect them
The scent becomes harder and her lips peel slowly from her teeth and she hisses
Lifting from the ground over the green grass she dimly spies a red coat skulking
The evening light is falling fast, her eyes are poor, but she can smell her enemy
She hears the pad of his paws as he draws ever near, his coat brushed by grasses
Hissing she draws her cubs to her side, the decision quickly made to fight here
Speedily they run beneath her upraised body, her scent comforting she is mother
And on comes Fox, he’s not so stealthy now, he knows he has been seen
He skirts the trio out on the meadow; he knows she cannot be guarding two
And here he thinks is a quick early evening meal, he is confident, he is Fox
Near and ready he crouches to the ground, choosing his meal with care
Now ready decision made, he rushes in, his jaws open to grab a tender morsel
His eyes are centred on one cub that wanders from his mother’s belly fur
Bam out of the blue Fox is shunted away, the brock has returned, his teeth ready
There’s a fierce tussle and this Fox learns his lesson, to leave Brocks children alone
The male Badger returns his teeth bloodied, his teeth full of fur, but triumphant
His wife greets him, his cubs adore him, then he leads them back to the bracken in the night.
Observations from my childhood, and which led to my book of a Cornish Faery Tale.
Don Moore
Written by
Don Moore  By the Sea in Cornwall
(By the Sea in Cornwall)   
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