I Found This Badger

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April 27, 2016

Food fight

Winter is arguably over, but it is still cold. And Jesse isn't making things any easier.

Let me start from the beginning.

Ever since he developed a taste for high-end deli products a few months ago, I've had to spend a lot more on imported cheeses. Jarlsberg is expensive as it is, but soon he was burning through a pack a day. My budget was left in tatters, reminiscent of most of my clothing.

And as Jesse has grown larger and even more in charge, so has his appetite.

Contents of the butter dish. Bunches of bananas. Entire loaves of bread. I had to completely reorganize the cupboards to give myself more protected food-preparation space, but even then, he learned to muscle his way in, propelling himself to the counter and beyond with his powerful badger legs. Food preparation became, first and foremost, a painful exercise in self-defence, and eventually I grew to avoid it.

As a result, the last few months have been pretty lean.

I realized I had a problem when I started passing out even when I wasn't openly bleeding. Once, I woke up on the kitchen floor to discover Jesse had raided the dry goods cupboard, and was happily snuffling down a package of nutritional yeast. I couldn't blame him. That stuff is delicious.

But something had to be done.

I tried spiking the bread with appetite suppressants, but he just ate around them. I tried buying groceries I knew he wouldn't want, like bok choy, but I hate it too, so it withered in the crisper. In my desperation, I even left the front door open for him to leave my life, once and for all, but he chose to stay, knowing that, soon enough, I'd attempt another lasagna. And with my savings decimated, I couldn't afford the restaurants nearby, not for three meals a day.

Luckily, a type of nutritional slurry appears to have been invented just for me! It's cost-effective, takes no preparation, and this badger has a hell of a time wrestling it away from my hands, even though he tries mercilessly.

Maybe this summer I can get Jesse back to eating livers and giblets, and I can reclaim the kitchen for myself. But until then, I'm done with food.

Though I may still sneak the occasional Jarlsberg slice from Jesse's dinners.



January 6, 2016

Counter attacks

It is winter again.

The city hasn't gotten destroyed by snow yet, like last year, but the cold gets in my bones, and I find myself washing dishes recreationally just to soak in the hot water. Jesse, too, is feeling it, and is spending a lot of time making nests out of my clothes. With sweaters now just a temporary concept, I find myself, on these icy evenings, fondly remembering days of warmth gone by.

This past summer was particularly enjoyable. Although I didn't get out paragliding, I kept busy; I managed to leave the apartment a few times a week, actually finished a book I'd been working on, and together Jesse and I beat the heat with shaved ice, his drizzled with cow blood.

Over those happy months, however, Jesse's palate became a lot more refined. It all started one Sunday morning. While preparing an ambitious brunch for Summer Friends, I failed to properly guard the food, and Jesse helped himself to twenty-five dollars worth of lox. Since then, he's been on the hunt for more delicacies -- goat's cheese, baklava, the prosciutto I bought to celebrate the completion of my book's digital distribution system. This animal is insatiable for quality; it seems that nothing less than a shrimp ring will satisfy his appetites now. Last time I offered him kidney, I got a claw dangerously close to the jugular.

As such, he's been getting up on the counter a lot.

While previous attempts to set boundaries for this badger have proven fruitless, I knew I had to draw a hard line here. The counter should be, after all, a haven of food safety, and if I allow filthy badger paws near the place where I prepare stews, it'd only be a matter of time before there's fur in the borscht.

So the next time I saw him climbing up the drawer handles, I took a deep breath.

"Off the counter, Jesse," I said, and by the twitch of his ear, I could tell that, even without formal language training, he knew what I meant.

"Off," I repeated, pointing to the floor. Jesse snarled. Not one to back down in my own kitchen, I approached the simmering badger, prepared to enforce the rule with firm yet gentle authority.

Altitude, however, was in his favour, and Jesse launched himself from the counter. Without a sweater for protection, I proved a soft target, and he stuck to my ribs better than the stew I'd made with the beefheart he hadn't wanted.

I think I went into shock? Everything got a whole lot colder, anyway. Luckily, a Winter Friend dropped by with a delivery of sweaters, and got me all patched up. And some of the sweaters even had hoods, at least for a few days.

Jesse is allowed on the counter now. He also gets a wedge of Camembert at breakfast.



April 28, 2015

Springtime

After spitting one last, insulting snow at us, Halifax seems to have conceded to spring, a season as symbolic as it is inevitable. Jesse, in his exuberance, has destroyed the kitchen. Wasn't too much of a hassle, though -- I had to do some cleaning up anyway.

But as the flowers become visible from the window, I worry about the coming days. What adventures does summer hold? Will we go on that camping excursion I've been planning for years, and how large a first-aid kit will I be able to carry? I was even planning to learn to paraglide at some point, but I'll likely need to find a badgersitter for that. I hope the going rate is affordable.

Well, until next winter -- wish us luck. Whatever happens, though, I'm sure I'll have more badger stories soon enough.



March 29, 2015

Badger games

Two storms hit the city last week, and those treacherous sidewalks got buried under an impressive amount of snow. Halifax was pretty well shut down for two days.

I didn't want to go outside this weekend anyway -- plenty to do in here. First things first, I took the opportunity to try out Shelter, a delightful badger family simulator. It's so good, I wish I'd made it. But for my attention, even a game so beautiful and heartbreaking was no match for Jesse, who was clearly in the mood for badger games of his own.

I've entertained his amusements from the very beginning: even in our first week together, he pioneered the venerable 'Completely Destroy The Recycling Pile,' which for him, I guess, is a similar experience to bowling. This week he's been way into 'Hide Behind The De-Humidifer.' I still don't know why he finds it so engaging.

But I couldn't give him my full attention today -- I had other things to do. After coming to terms with the fact that it's 2015, I decided I would finally get into that affiliate marketing that everyone's talking about; maybe I could make money while Jesse was sleeping. While my badger gnawed away on the de-humidifier cord, I got out my tablet and fired some links around, making sure to include a call-to-action. This would surely maximize revenue.

I soon escalated into banner ads, and, my cabin fever running hot, affiliate widgets. I was just flirting with the possibility of wholesaling from overseas when boredom struck Jesse, and he came out from behind the boxy appliance with a new game in mind. One that would require my undivided attention.

His winter weight made him a formidable wrestling opponent, and though I had tried to clip his claws two Saturdays ago, the attempt had been about as futile as my defensive tactics. So Jesse won wrestling.

But that didn't ruin my day.

My day had already been ruined when I discovered how drastically I've been overpaying for my skeleton watch collection.



February 26, 2015

Leaks

There was a big snow, then it rained, and the puddles all froze. Then it snowed some more, and there was a big rain, and that froze, too, and apart from turning every sidewalk in Halifax into a jagged deathtrap, it's left an icy mass on my building's roof. Last week, my ceiling sprung a leak over the window frame in the bedroom.

I set up some towels over the curtains and texted the superintendent. He said he'd be over the next day, but around 4am, I became aware of a bigger problem -- halfway across the room, the ceiling had started dripping onto Jesse's badger bed.

Jesse was not taking it well.

After pacifying him with my light-blue towel, which he's always been fond of, I sent a more urgent message to the super. He told me the property manager would come first thing in the morning, which, while a relief, presented another problem.

I don't have a badger written into the lease. Though cats are permitted, I learned definitively one Hallowe'en years ago that Jesse does not tolerate costumes.

In the morning, when I heard the knock on the door, I hastily put him in the closet.

I'd only done this once before, during a date I'd organized for myself -- and when Jesse made a brilliant escape, completely ruining the evening, I learned a valuable, painful lesson: that one should never confine a badger to a closet. But these were desperate times.

"Show me the leak," said the property manager, skipping the formalities. He clearly still resented me for the time I'd requested an access key to the storage room. I led him into the bedroom after making him take off his boots.

As he inspected the bubbles on my ceiling, I heard Jesse growling at the closet door. I tried to cover like it was my stomach, and lamented the lack of grocery stores nearby. The property manager ignored this, and said he would get some people out to clean off the roof. This, he said, would stop the leaks.

I asked him if it would still leak when it rained, through these new cracks.

"No," he said forcefully. "No. It won't." Although I recognized this as a Power Lie, I didn't call him out on it. I took the opportunity to again show him my rotted window frame, but he dismissed it as too big of a job before leaving.

When I finally opened the closet door, the remains of my ultra-thermal sleeping bag poured out into the room, followed by my frenzied badger. I'd been sleeping under thin sheets for months when I had a sleeping bag in there the whole time? Terrible. I deserved the injuries I got that morning.

Some men came and smashed up the ice on the roof for most of the day, and though it took a lot of organ meat for Jesse to forgive me for the closet thing, all my other towels were soaked through, so I had to use the light-blue one to clean up a puddle underneath the curtains.

The sidewalks must be especially bad right now, because the emergency room is packed tonight.



January 28, 2015

Snow problem

Although this winter has been, it seems, darker than years previous, it's comparatively warm, and the precipitation that's fallen has mostly been rain. This week, however, the snow hit us day after day, and now covers the streets. I can hear the plow out there but it's basically just pushing stuff around.

Winters like these, I usually try to stay inside whenever I can, opting to hibernate through the worst of the misery. However, years of living on the street have given Jesse the stamina for running, and without a regular walk, he goes stir-crazy, burrowing into my armchairs for exercise. The orange one is getting very hollow indeed, and may soon join the Habitrail-like system he's carved through my mattress.

So, after investing in a strong leash (though not one with any negative reinforcement mechanisms) I wrapped a few scarves around my badger and we ventured out. The wind bit into my skin, and even with the added fleecy protection, Jesse shivered against the cold air. Since I gave him that bubble bath, his fur has lacked the hardy bristle that used to keep him insulated in sub-zero temperatures. It was a tough call, but I definitely couldn't let him keep smelling like the compost bins he had ripped open -- he didn't enjoy the experience, though, and the bathroom kind of looks like the scene of a suicide attempt now.

I trudged through the snow, thinking that maybe I could use this opportunity to pick up some salsa for some trendy potato chips I had purchased earlier. Jesse trotted along in front of me, his sharp little paws barely leaving tracks. Soon, however, he appeared to grow agitated at our speed, pulling at the leash like a disobedient dog. I didn't dare restrict his movement, and had to start jogging to keep up. His energy did not diminish, and soon I was in a full run, struggling to keep my footing in the snow. My boots are heavy duty, but their weight provides a challenging resistance, and my lung capacity was growing to be more of a concern than even the elusive black ice.

Finally, blocks later, Jesse slowed his pace, and I collapsed into a snow drift, exhausted but strangely energized. Months of coding have done nothing for my fitness, and maybe my badger can sense this, or is just more health-conscious than I originally gave him credit for. He nudged at me until I got up, and I ended up buying some salsa, opting for 'Medium' instead of my usual 'Mild'.

So I'm guess I glad I left the house today! Jesse's all salty now, though, and he keeps prowling around the bathtub, sniffing meaningfully at the apricot shampoo.

This is going to sting.



December 22, 2014

Housecoat

Let me tell you about this housecoat.

I don't have a huge frame of reference -- I'm not constantly trying on other peoples' housecoats or anything -- but compared to my other clothes, my housecoat is by far the cosiest.

Or, was.

I'm going to skip over the part where Jesse befriended it, and started dragging it around the apartment like a security blanket; partly for brevity, but also because it's adorable and it might make him come off as the victim in this whole thing.

The trouble began when I noticed a draft near the bedroom window. The frame is pretty rotted, but now it's gotten to the point that the pane has actually sunken into the wood, leaving a half-inch gap along the top. It's letting in a huge amount of cold air -- although, it is at least some consolation that I now know how all those wasps got in this summer.

I left a message with the property manager, but he's about as ineffectual as the furnace, so in the meantime I needed an extra layer to keep me functional. I haven't been able to play much Go recently, as circumstances have thrown me back into Enterprise Java, and my spare time is now being spent wrestling with Maven. I had to do something for myself.

I kind of figured I wouldn't be getting my housecoat back after Jesse had started using it as a daybed, but I stress: none of my other clothes compare, so I turned on the space heater and waited until Jesse felt its pull. Sure enough, he heard its distinctive crackling as it heated up, and left whatever he was trying to do with the garbage to curl up on the ottoman I had placed strategically nearby.

The housecoat once again mine, though with a new itch of wiry badger fur, I was actually able to learn something about Maven repositories, with even time left over before sunset to refactor a terrible function! Jesse slept, oblivious in his warmth, though from the way he had his claws in the ottoman, I could tell he was having one of those dreams where I end up needing gauze later. I tried to type quieter, but when his subconscious rage evidently became too much, he sprang from the ottoman, seeking blood.

That was when he saw the tail of our housecoat, swaying behind my unguarded legs.

Today Jesse is in mourning, and has collected the scraps into a pile beside the garbage. I had to get rid of the pieces that were too saturated, but when I ran out of gauze, I was forced to sneak a few dry ones from his shrine to staunch my wounds. Luckily he didn't notice.

I just wish he could have waited a week to do this. All the housecoats for sale now are Christmas-themed.



November 26, 2014

Strategies

Jesse does not like it when I play Go.

With my badger friend back in the apartment, it was initially hard to find time to get onto the server for even a quick game. A blitz takes anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, which is more than enough time for Jesse to fall back into his feral habits. Just a few nights ago, I left him alone to go brush my teeth, and from the bathroom watched helplessly as he murdered my inflatable yoga ball. It was so graceful I almost forgot to floss.

But a good game of Go is something I require, much in the same way Jesse requires a good brushing, so I hatched a plan to divide my badger's attention for an adequate length of time. I placed my rolled-up yoga mat in the middle of the kitchen and shoved some raw liver down the middle, then hurried to the computer to find an opponent. Jesse took interest in the mat immediately, and the way he growled, it was almost as if he knew it and the ball had been part of a set.

Soon I was deep in a furious game, trying my best to ignore the sounds of foam carnage from the other room. The mat had been premium, but if Go has taught me anything, it's that sometimes you have to make tough sacrifices to get what you need. Using this strategy, I took a huge corner for just three stones, and readied myself to make a strike on my opponent's daunting center. I was laying down a string of authoritative sentes when I became aware of Jesse prowling around my feet.

"Are you done already?" I asked, trying to keep my concentration. But it was Jesse who was now transfixed, staring at the shapes on the screen -- black, white, maddening. The exercise equipment ruse had only seeded suspicion in his badger brain, and this new bi-coloured companion of mine was evidently an urgent threat. Just as my opponent forced a brutal seki, Jesse leapt at the computer, and foolishly I grabbed him, a mistake on par with catching a falling knife.

I'm definitely lucky to still have my eyesight, and I'm not sure how long we grappled, but it was long enough for me to lose the match on time restrictions. Jesse seemed to sense when this occurred, and left me to bleed, returning to the kitchen to finish off his liver.

I guess it's about time I blew the eleven dollars on the Android client.



November 19, 2014

Another November

Whenever this month rolls around I am reminded of the winter I found Jesse. Those freezing cold days doing web design, constantly getting lacerated -- I look at my old scars now and wonder how I survived. And I realize now that I was undercharging.

But that winter ended, followed by another, and as Jesse grew into an adult badger, the cold apartment became unbearable, evidently for both of us. One morning, I woke to discover the front door hanging open. Jesse had gotten out! I searched the neighbourhood high and low, squeaking his favourite honey bottle.

Had I not seen the signs? Sure, he had been spending more time beside the window, and there had been that day that he tore out the back of the dryer because he felt a draft. But where would he get his favourite organ meats, if not my fridge?

I returned home badgerless, sinking immediately into deep depression. I couldn't get out of bed, not without his sharp teeth in my carelessly exposed ankle. Who would catch our mice, and smear them across the living room floor? Where would I get my warmth, and where would he get his?

The last few years have been dark. Without a badger in my life, I was vulnerable to the allure of Go, and descended into its black and white vortex, infinite and all-consuming. I graduated from plain old web design to mobile development, and later, to RESTful web applications. Life continued -- and over time, I thought less of Jesse, my deep wounds healing without too much medical attention.

But get this:

I was on one of my walks last week, trying to soak in a few precious minutes of winter sun, when I heard a distinctive snuffling from behind a tree. It was Jesse! A little more silvery around the snout to be sure, but when he leapt from the sidewalk into my arms, almost throwing me into traffic, there was no question. I looked around, but unfortunately no one had captured the moment on a cellphone camera. It doesn't matter.

Jesse is back.



February 4, 2010

Blanket Statements

This apartment is still very cold but I recently acquired an electric heating pad, much like those used in electric blankets, and it has found a home under a regular blanket on my lap. As this is normally Jesse’s spot, there have been, as you can imagine, some tensions.

I was working on a database one cold morning when I decided I needed to get the pad out. My hands were chilly, and every time I would write a new query, I would have to pause and question my will to continue living. I could hear Jesse in the kitchen attempting to get into the garbage, so I knew it was safe to remove the pad from its hiding place. I quietly opened my sock drawer, after putting on some music to cover up the associated sounds, and slid the main portion of the pad under my lap-sized cat quilt. As I bent down to unplug my lava lamp, I heard the sound of a cookie package tearing and some happy snuffling, so I relaxed a little, and, with the pad plugged in, dialled up the heat to the maximum allowed by industry standards.

Jesse might have known something was going on when he heard the music, as it is not usual that I put on late-period Depeche Mode before noon, but responded instantly to the sound of the dial, tearing himself away from the cookie crumbs and running down the hall, coming to a sliding stop in front of the doorway. He had been getting into the garbage a lot lately and was developing a noticeable inertia, cute at first but now downright terrifying. He snarled, the scrap of a Mr. Christie logo stuck on his claws. I tried to not look guilty but the cord was impossible to hide, and Jesse is a perceptive, territorial animal.

My cat quilt was spared and despite the safety instructions on the heating pad which practically guarantee a fire for one reason or another, no fire was started. However, in my haste to hide the more covert but less effective barley bag from his rage, I ended up with a gash which I think actually needed stitches? It was elliptical at any rate. I considered calling Heather for her nursing advice but that website I had designed for her hadn’t gotten a lot of views and things were a little icy between us.

“Jesse,” I said, pressing an old Terry Fox Run t-shirt into the wound, “how can you be my only heat source when you’re always tearing open the garbage?” I removed the shreds of fabric and plastic from his paws and set him down in my lap. He stayed there happily until lunch time, though, and I finally finished that database I was working on.

After lunch I accidentally erased all my data with a bad update query, but I blame myself for that.



November 27, 2009

November

Yesterday my self-loathing was more powerful than usual and I was glad to have Jesse around.

“Jesse,” I rasped from beneath the covers, “can you get me my slippers?” I did not want to move, as I had enclosed a lot of heat under the duvet, and in my half-sleep delirium had designed a business plan for a heat empire, in which I would sell the warmth to neighbouring beds in exchange for things like money. The insulation around my window was almost as useless as I was, and the cord to my space heater had been chewed through, first by mice, then more thoroughly by badger teeth.

Jesse was evidently downcast too, and did not stir from the bed of dirty clothes I had made him.

“Jesse.”

Curled up in a ball, he had a lot of heat to lose if he moved. He would be my first client if he did this for me.

“Slippers.”

I had taught him the command earlier in the week, but had not instilled discipline in the badger, instead giving him treats whenever he made that face of his.

“Slippers, Jesse.”

He did not budge, but made a decisive growl. I had heard this once before, when I had first attempted to take away his honey milk, and the deep scratches on my palm, wrist and along my jawline still stung with thankfully-not-infected hindsight.

Regaining more sense, I put one leg out into the frigid air to feel around for the slippers, fully aware that I was endangering my career in the temperature industry. I winced when my foot touched the bare floor, and my cheeks crackled with frozen tears. The slippers were not where I had thought I had left them, but it had been dark, and I had been bleeding.

“Jesse, where are my slippers.”

No sound. I began to shiver as air from the outside tainted my stores, and my dreams of being an industry leader faded back into my subconscious. I hoped the friction of my skin against the covers would provide some temporary relief as I slid out onto the floor, where I trusted the slippers would be. Not so.

“Jesse.”

His badger face tilted up toward me, and I saw redness in his eyes. There was probably a lot of dust on the floor; in my preoccupations over the past few days, I had neglected to sweep or vacuum. Feeling even worse, I pushed aside a shopping bag full of garbage and curled up beside him, vowing to give him any residual heat that still remained on my person.

But when I edged closer, I saw an edge of scratchy gray material underneath his paws. He had wrapped himself around my slippers, keeping them warm for me! He did not protest when I took them – in fact, I may have even felt a nudge of affection from his tapered head.

After breakfast I washed Jesse’s pile of clothes, and then we went back to bed, where we slept away another ten hours. I missed a hair appointment.



November 23, 2009

A knock at the door

The Authorities were quick to discover my badger.

“Are you ‘Chris?’” one of them asked, his face one-third covered by federal-issue sunglasses.

“Yes,” I said, shielding my eyes from the glare. “I am Chris.”

“Are you in possession of,” he asked, consulting his clipboard, “one… Jesse?”

Internet police. The other man had an eBay pin affixed to the lapel of his suit.

“No,” I said, holding Jesse behind my back with both hands. “No badgers on the premises.”

“We never said Jesse was a badger.”

I tried not to wince as Jesse bit into my hand, the skin still sticky from when I had brushed the honey jar with my knuckle.

“You didn’t need to,” I said. “You’re reading my accounts, obviously.”

“We… don’t have access to your accounts.”

“My accounts of Jesse the Badger.”

“Oh. They were brought to our attention, yes.”

“They are fictional, you realize.”

The man removed his sunglasses. He had green eyes.

“Fictional.”

“Indeed!”

Jesse scratched the back of my shirt with his long claws, tearing through easily and catching himself on my belt. I felt a trickle of blood and squirmed, and the Internet Policeman definitely noticed something was wrong.

“If Jesse the badger is, as you say, indeed, fictional, can you say the same for your light-blue towel!?”

I had foolishly left my Emergency towel in full view on my armchair. His partner cracked a smile but said nothing. I recovered.

“That towel is true.”

“So I see.”

We looked at each other for a few more seconds before anyone spoke. Jesse had attacked the blood and I had to bite my lip to keep from screaming.

“We’ll be back with a warrant,” the man said, and the two of them walked off, down the stairs to the street. I closed the door with my shoulder and put Jesse down. He looked up at me, his bloody snout like a dewy hibiscus, and in his little green eyes I saw something I hadn’t noticed before, but had been there the whole time – gratitude.

We spent the rest of the afternoon tearing apart an old blanket.



November 20, 2009

Bad(ger) for Business

My good friend Heather came over today for a Business Meeting.

“Good afternoon, Heather,” I said, offering my hand. She reluctantly shook it.

“Hi,” she said.

“Would you like a coffee? Or would you prefer to get straight down to Business?”

“Coffee would be great,” she said. We moved to the kitchen and she sat at the table.

“Are you alright?” she asked. “You seem a little different.”

“Oh, I got this badger!” I told her, and Jesse, at that moment, scampered in.

“Oh my God!” She drew up her legs.

“Isn’t he cute? Look, I got him a feeding bottle and everything.” I picked up Jesse and demonstrated the technique. I had put some honey in his milk and I could tell he enjoyed the taste.

“Chris, why the hell are you keeping that in your apartment? Have you taken it to a vet?” She was clearly not in the right frame of mind for Business.

“He’s been tested for all sorts of ailments. And he only sometimes bites. His name is Jesse!” I offered her the furry bundle but had to instead place him on the floor while I prepared the coffee.

Heather eyed the badger, who was sniffing around the base of the stove, looking for mice – he had caught one only fifteen minutes prior to Heather’s arrival, and the bloodlust had evidently struck again.

“So,” I said, “with regards to that website you needed designing. For Business.”

“Yeah, that’s just the thing,” she said, now making sustained eye contact with Jesse, “It’s just… I don’t think I need a website right now. I’m a nurse.”

“Not even for a blog?”

“I had one of those, and you hijacked it, and started your own blog in the comments.”

I had! So long ago now, a child’s lifetime ago, a time when the thought of a badger as a pet would have seemed ludicrous, if I’d had the idea.

Jesse ran at Heather and she screamed, but my relatively new animal friend had just seen a mouse beside the garbage can. It displaced some recycling I had propped up by a shelf.

“I… I can’t…” Heather left the kitchen and headed for the door.

“Heather!”

She turned around.

“I don’t know what’s gone wrong in your life, but you can’t possibly expect to keep a badger –”

Jesse had come out from behind a box formerly used to package shepherd’s pies and was making a whimpering noise. I could practically hear Heather’s heart melting.

I firmly pushed the plunger down on the French press and waited a good thirteen seconds.

“Shall I pour the coffee?”

She looked at Jesse, and then she looked at me.

“Oh, alright.”

She came back, and we talked Business. Jesse caught two more mice that afternoon, and I ended up designing that website! Though Heather spat out the coffee. I think I did it wrong somehow.



November 18, 2009

I found this badger

I live in an area that one would normally not expect to find or even see a badger - I definitely wouldn't call it "wooded", although there is a park with some good trees nearby. But I was on one of my walks, sticking almost religiously to sidewalk, and there it was, on the sidewalk, just bristling at me!

I had brought a towel in a plastic bag for Emergencies and was able to classify this as such, but I did not want to go near the beast, just in case it was rabid. I began to back away slowly, vowing to reconnect to my walking route at the soonest possible convenience, but the badger softened immediately, like a shaving brush in premium oil. It crept after me, and when I noticed the lack of foam in its snuffle, I without any further concern wrapped the animal in my towel (soft, light blue) and carried it home. It did not struggle, and seemed to enjoy the towel's scent. I encountered one passer-by on my way and when she looked at my badger, and then my face, quizzically, I told her I was sorry and hurried away.

That was five days ago and so much has happened since then that I must tell you! He has turned my otherwise normal life upside down. I have named him Jesse.




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