March 24, 2006
When I was young, around eight or nine years old, I used to go camping with my grandparents and my sister in Eastern Oregon. We drove around in an old camper and went looking for deer, bouncing over old gravel roads. My sister and I would shriek at the sight of any small critter that ran across the dusty roads, but we weren’t really scared. Or so we told each other.
During the days when we weren’t actually on the road, my sister and I would play in the dirt, chasing each other around, hunt for obsidian rock and arrowheads, and poke down holes in the dirt with our sticks. We were told that the holes were old, abandoned badger homes. Except that Grandpa left out the abandoned part.
My grandfather had a great idea. If we were bad, he’d throw something down the badger holes and then tell us a badger was going to come and get us for being naughty. I envisioned a badger to be a downright nasty creature by the time the threat had been made a good dozen times.
When I got home from camping, I whipped open my North American Wildlife book- yes, I had one- and found a picture of a badger. If I hadn’t heard that this very creature was going to come and hunt me down in my sleep, I probably would have been okay. Instead, the animal’s claws were pictured as larger than they actually were and the teeth became fangs in my mind.
To this day, I still get seriously creeped out by badgers. So why do I love this site so much?