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The Word on the Week

The Badger

This quiet animal is seldom in the news unless, like humans, it has been accused of something wrong! It was with a sense of relief from all the reports of human ills that I seized upon an article in today’s paper on our native nocturnal species. Written by a local naturalist its secret life was revealed.

Apparently our badger is different from our English neighbour’s badgers. The latter come from central Europe whereas ours are of Italian or Spanish origin.

According to the researches of University College Cork we have 84,000 and the average family size is 3.9 badgers. That would be about right for the family resident in our garden who are regularly visited by our collie, Holly. She has enlarger both entrances to the sett, perhaps hoping to catch a sight of that 0.9 badger!

We also have a badger hotel in a field appropriately called “Badger Burrows” The underlying rock is tufa, a calcified limestone, ideal for tunnelling and gives good drainage. These tufa dwellers have co-existed with us for many years without a trace of tuberculosis. However this has not prevented annual culls in selected areas of up to 7,000 badgers.

These shy animals come out at dusk and shuffle around grubbing for food. Our local family has enjoyed digging out wasps nests that are concealed in the grass banks of the farm road. The grub filled nests are a delicacy which their sting proof noses can enjoy.

I am sure they would be partial to truffles – C.S. Lewis evidently thought so as he named his heroic badger “Trufflehunter” in Prince Caspian, in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Badgers made there way into the Bible. They were valued for their skins which were used in the Tabernacle as part of the coverings. The Tabernacle was where God met with his redeemed people. It was replaced by Christ in whose Name there is now redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

So don’t be like the badgers that shuffle around in the dark but put your complete trust in Christ. “He (Jesus) rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians chapter 1 verse 13/14)