Some people have a fear or the dark or rather what may be lurking unseen in its mysterious depths. I remember that dark, terrifying universe under my bed at night. During the day it was a perfectly innocuous space where you might find a dirty sock, a stash of sweeties or a copy of the Beano. After my Nan read me Rikki Tikki Tavi from the Jungle Book the sock turned into a deadly snake and I wouldn’t dare put a foot out of the bed at night. The cuddly toy rabbit that slept on my pillow next to me was standing guard against cobras.
So where are we going with this? It is quite simple. I have looked at my life now and realise I have lost my fear of darkness and now embrace it. I am a very peculiar breed that actually likes the dark. The village where I live is very beautiful at night. It has enticed me out on several occasions to capture it’s dark beauty on my phone. I am often there hiding in the shadows enjoy the black velvety night.
I like to go out at night and go badger spotting. Yes I said badger spotting! No it’s not a euphemism for something else. No sniggering please. I don’t have a fancy camera and can’t get decent pictures of these elusive creatures so I just enjoy watching them. I live close to a nature reserve so all I have to do is go for a walk late at night or early in the morning and there they are!
I only wander where its safe but I still feel like a bit of a warrior. Which bit I am not sure. When I am on the ground looking under cars to see if I can see a badger I often wonder if I have a career with bomb disposal. My poor arthritic knees don’t cope too well with kneeling anymore so I must make a scary sight on all fours grunting and straining with my backside in the air with the effort of searching. One day I will probably get squashed flat by a car. My tombstone will read “DIED BADGER STALKING”. Passers-by must think I am mad when they see me looking under cars. The neighbours tolerate me and give sympathetic looks sometimes. Others must think I am a danger to society.
On a more serious note I am quite careful to maintain distance once I have located one. Badgers can be fierce when startled so it’s quite risky but also I don’t want to cause them any distress. I would never attempt to get too close or touch one. Wild animals are meant to be just that – wild. I am not just a creepy stalker of wildlife I encourage them to visit me too. I helped them out by creating a wildlife garden with native plants, shrubs and a small pond. I put food out and provide shelter. The critters reward me by gracing me with their presence. Welcome to my life dear reader. Are you afraid of the dark?