Boris the Badger
with help from 'owner' CM Langan, S8
That dreaded day of the year is fast approaching when all those deafening bangs and blinding lights terrify the wotsit out of me and send me scuttling for shelter behind the nearest tree or bush.
It would have to happen in the autumn, wouldn't it, when us brocks are out there foraging to a feverish pitch in order to get sufficiently nourished for our winter break when we are underground for pretty much all of the time?
Yes, I'm talking about Bonfire Night. A night of sheer terror for us wildlife, especially those of the nocturnal variety like us badgers. Domestic animals like cats and dogs, I believe, are also petrified of fireworks, but at least they can be kept indoors, with the telly on loud to lessen the effects, and can even be given tranquillisers by the vet. No such luxuries for me and my fellow brocks! We've got no option but to tough it out and brave the elements. My 'owner' has witnessed me in distress and seeking refuge behind a tree when a banger's gone off, so she can back me up.
It's not just Bonfire Night. Halloween is a nightmare too, as are any Saturdays in October and early November what with fireworks being let off by those who aren't indoors watching 'Strictly' or the X Factor'. Thank God I'm safely underground in my sett when they go into overdrive in order to see the New Year in!
It seems ironic that the oldest brand of fireworks are called 'Brock' fireworks, considering they are one of us brocks' biggest enemies. According to my 'WICKER-pedia', they were founded in Islington, London, by a very inappropriately (for us) named John Brock. It would've been even worse if his surname was Badger, so I'd better be grateful for small mercies.
We all know that fireworks are also potentially very dangerous for humans if anything goes wrong and that people have been badly hurt, even killed. To think, too, that the money they cost could so easily have gone to charities to help people and animals alike who are impoverished or in distress.
However, I know you humans like to celebrate and have fun. I can't stop you, just like you can't stop me from wickering loudly when you're trying to get to sleep or digging holes in your garden. We all have to share this planet, so we all have to make some compromises.
Just spare a thought for us wildlife and keep those pyrotechnics to a minimum when you're throwing that guy on the bonfire (oh, and please check for hedgehogs in that big pile of wood before lighting it) and tuck into your toffee apples and parkin.
Thanks for understanding.
PS My owner says many thanks for those Blackwell's book tokens! She's well pleased with them. And all because she wrote you a letter about trumping! She says 'Cheers!'