Last night a Badger paid a visit to our home.
He feasted on 2 hens, 1 cockerel and 3 ducks, leaving a mass of feathers all over the garden.
For two years we have fed, watered, cleaned out and shared our home with our feathery friends. However, on this fatal evening we were over tired, running late to meet friends, presuming the other had shut the hens in – and we forgot.
As a result, Mr Badger and all his relations got lucky.
Since then we have been struck by guilt as our cockerel, Bertie’s, golden feathers fly around the farm in the wind. Two hens escaped the badger but I can’t bear to keep them. How can we, when we were so absentminded? For a while we have to come to terms with our irresponsible neglect, I tell my husband.
I dreaded breaking the news to the children. “I’ve got some awful news,” I say nervously. There’s no easy way to say it – “Our hens and ducks were killed by the badger last night.” They all stare at me. “Not Bertie too?” asks my son. “I’m afraid so,” I explain and then make the dreaded admission that Mummy and Daddy ‘forgot’ to shut them in. There’s a pause as I wait for the sobs. It’s our five year old who speaks first. “Oh well. At least I don’t have to do any more chicken jobs. It was so boring” And then they move on and ask what’s for supper.
Tonight there are were no feathery friends to put to bed. The farm is eerily absent of the familiar sounds of ‘cluck clucking’ and ‘cock-a-doodle-doos’. No doubt the badger will head out to other gardens tonight looking for other broods to fill his belly.