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Wearing tweed, obviously

We went for a walk in some bluebell woods over the weekend while visiting burge's aunt Jane. Gorgeous, of course, and other-wordly and fragrant and all the things that bluebell woods are.

This one is full of badgers.

There are large holes all over the place, under the trunks of trees and tunnelling into banks. The expanse of bluebells is broken by meandering paths that the badgers make as they bimble around. There are clearly lots of setts, and some of them must interconnect. It's a subterranean badger community. A badger village. Probably called Brockholes. At least, in my head it is.

'So,' I asked Jane, 'do you see the badgers around, then?'

'Not all that often,' she said, 'but one of my neighbours puts food out for them, so they come and go in her garden quite regularly.'

'Really?' I said. 'What does she put out for them?'

'Well,' Jane replied, 'they're very partial to a jam sandwich.'

Of course they are. Back in my head, they are sitting around a small table, eating jam sandwiches off china plates (probably serving themselves from a cakestand) and drinking strong tea from mugs. The grown-up badgers probably like damson jam the best, but the cubs always go for the strawberry.

I blame Rupert the Bear for this.

(I've just remembered that alasdair habitually uses 'badgers and jam' as a tag for links about amusing irrelevancies...)



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
King's Wood, in Sanderstead, near Croydon.
Apr. 26th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
I am delighted out of all measure to learn that badgers like jam sandwiches. I mean, I always knew they would, but it's nice to get official confirmation.
Apr. 26th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
Mark my words
It'll all end in tears when tweed clad gangs of brockish ruffians are mugging little old ladies for their home made strawberry seedless. No WI cake sale will be safe from a bimble by jam-snaffling.
Apr. 26th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
I am utterly delighted to learn that badgers like jam sandwiches. I also have the following tale to share.

Some years ago, when I was still living in a houseshare, we had a biggish garden and used to get a lot of urban foxes coming through, or sometimes just sitting around in the sunshine. We noticed, however, that some of them looked rather sick and mangy. When I mentioned this to someone at work, she told me that there was a fox protection charity that gave out anti-mange medicine for free.

So I called the fox charity and they duly sent me a bottle of anti-mange potion. Their instructions were to put several drops of the medicine in some food and leave it outside for them. And the preferred foodstuff that they recommended was... jam sandwiches! Apparently foxes like sweet things, and jam sandwiches are the ideal medicine delivery method because they won't attract local cats.

So much to the bemusement of my housemates, I spent several weeks making jam sandwiches for foxes and leaving them in the garden, where they vanished almost immediately. The foxes seemed to get a bit less scabby-looking, and eventually a mother fox turned up with five little bouncy baby foxes who played in our overgrown garden for several weeks and made us all very happy.

Moral: all British woodland creatures sit around having tea parties when no one is looking. It is a fact.
Apr. 26th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
That is completely brilliant.

Do stoats like scones, I wonder?
Apr. 27th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
I have to know. Do foxes like their jam sandwiches buttered, or just bread & jam?
Apr. 27th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
Just bread and jam is what they were given, and they ate it speedily enough. Admittedly, I didn't offer them the other option, but it was Sainsbury's Basics jam (bought specially for fox-feeding purposes) so I don't think they're all that fussy.

Apr. 26th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
The second I read "jam sandwich" I had that exact same image in my head too. Hurrah for badgers and jam sandwiches!
Apr. 26th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful, thank you!
Apr. 27th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
Brilliant stuff! My auntie and uncle in Godalming used to put peanuts out on the verandah for badgers, it was great to see them so close up but I much prefer your scene of badgers around a tea table eating jam sandwiches.
May. 4th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have just learned that badgers actually eat bluebell bulbs, even though they are poisonous to pretty much everything else.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Stu Nathan

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