Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Growing Up

A badger cub may stay with his mother for up to two years. Why? Well, for his first three months, he is utterly weak and helpless, so his mother keeps him hidden in the den. But even after that, he’s still hopelessly wobbly and takes months to become coordinated. He has a lot to learn – snakes climb trees, so Badger must too, and this doesn’t come naturally to a clumsy cub. Rodents live in holes, so he must learn the techniques of trapping them and digging them out. Lizards and scorpions must be winkled out from under rocks and this takes patience and skill.
Then there are other predators like lion and leopard who are quick to take advantage of his small size and poor eyesight.

As human foster parents, we couldn’t teach Badge a thing, but we could protect him during this very vulnerable time, which meant catching him as he fell out of trees, often headfirst, and snatching him away from particularly dangerous snakes till he was ready to take them on.
We could be a part of all his early adventures as we followed him back into the wild, but what we couldn’t provide was interaction with his own kind. And that’s where he would be at his most vulnerable. Young males have to be taught to know their place and this
is not an easy lesson for someone with a big ego and plenty of attitude.
Even as a tiny cub, our young badger seemed determined to grow into his fearsome reputation, but there are good reasons for this. Read on to find out more!

Extract from my book “Wild Honey”:
“I was sitting in the shade abluting the baby Badger a few days after he had arrived, while Rich was paying the staff.
‘Ruthie!’ I called, spotting our cook at the garden gate. ‘Could you sit with him while I go inside? He’s very nervous if he’s left on his own.’
Moments later, I heard an escalating roar as though someone had fired up a Harley Davison in the backyard. Hell’s Badger, who could barely stand, was up on trembling legs quivering with fury. Eyes popping, pink mouth wide open, tail up and bristling like a toilet brush, he bawled his rage inches away from a grey-faced Ruthie. And there was an appalling smell around him as Badger’s anal glands kicked in for the first time. It was one of those paralysing moments when something totally unexpected happens and no one knows how to react. Bank notes blew off the veranda table as Rich sat open-mouthed staring at what we had believed was our helpless orphan. It was a bit like tiptoeing into the nursery to visit your newborn, only to discover Dracula waiting in the cot.
Eventually, when he didn’t show any sign of tiring, I squatted down next to him and very gingerly put out my hand. Only when it was right by his nose did the roars begin to subside into growls and finally into pathetic squeaks. Then suddenly Baby Badger was with us again, collapsed and shuddering in my arms. The huge surge of adrenalin was spent and so was he.

“Honey Badgers don’t like surprises”, I read in one of our many reference books. We could vouch for that. Never again did any of us approach Badger without first calling his name and then slowly putting a reassuring hand to his nose.
The only way to understand this Jekyll and Hydish behaviour is to consider what the HB lacks. As a youngster, and except at very close range, his eyesight seems pretty hopeless. He is small and far less powerful and swift than lion and leopard, his traditional enemies. And he’s generally solitary: apart from females and their cubs, the badger can’t rely on anyone else to look out for him.
However, despite all these shortcomings, the Badger trots brazenly through the bush as if he’s invincible. Why? Because he’s got attitude - and plenty of it.
Badgers don’t run, they confront, and through sheer nerve, very often put their enemies to flight. They’ve even been seen squaring up to sinister looking tree trunks that weren’t there when they last looked.”

Tomorrow Life With A Badger

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