Sailing ever eastward, we fell off the edge of our map somewhere beyond Pewsey. A nearby track ascends to an old bridge, then drops down to the young Hampshire Avon, a clear chalk stream flowing through boggy woodland. Over the bridge, the track becomes a sunken lane, and then a regular holloway as it approaches the back of the town.
By the bridge where the discreet badger ways intersect is one of their latrines, and a decent distance down the track is their sett, piles of old bedding heaped outside.
In the night I'd listened to the rain on the roof and huddled under the duvet. Waking at half light, all I could hear was blackbird song; so I dressed hurriedly and got out into the May morning. I'd hoped to catch the badgers still out and about, but the sett was all quiet. I dropped down the hill, treading softly. Coming down the track on the other side of the stream came two badgers; an adult, dragging a large cub along by the scruff of the neck. I slowly crouched and waited. What were they doing? Was the cub being dragged home against its will, after going out partying with the other young wild things? ...they got within a few paces before noticing me, then rearranged themselves in the other direction and retraced their steps across the bridge and off into the woods.
|are we nearly there yet?|
|it's not fair|
|we'll go this way instead|