2 Apr

Badger awoke one morning and lazily climbed the tree next to his burrow.  There, on a high branch, was the beehive and he reached his paw in and scooped out the sticky honey he could find there every morning for breakfast.

“Thank you, bees.”  He muttered, as he slid back down the tree trunk to sit on the patch of grass and lick the sweet sticky confection from his fur.

Across the meadow where the badgers lived, he watched a family eat big juicy earthworms as they lounged in a bed of flowers.  Badger frowned as he watched the flowers trampled on and worried about earthworms beneath his feet and whether they would someday be some other badger’s breakfast.  He sighed heavily and shook his head.
From a very early age, he had realized he would never fit into his badger clan.  His father had told him, “You don’t think like a badger.”  and he knew it was true.  He didn’t think like the others, feel like them, or even begin to understand them.  So, he burrowed his home far enough away from the others to be left alone.  Alone was much better than that feeling of never belonging.

As he sat watching the others, he heard a rustling in the tall grass behind him.  Immediately alert, he turned to bare his fangs, even though in his soft heart he knew he would never be able to fight a predator.

“I like honey too.”  Came a small voice as a dark downy chick waddled from the weeds with a bright yellow face and stopped right in front of Badger.

“Aren’t you afraid of me?”  He asked curiously.  All the small farm animals were afraid of him.

“No reason to be.”  The chick walked over to a drop of honey that had fallen from Badger’s paw and began licking it from a blade of grass.  “I’m Chick.”

Badger harrumphed, “I like to eat my honey alone.”

“No one likes to be alone.”

“I do.”

“Do not.”  Chick fluffed out her soft feathers and shivered in the sunlight.

“Why aren’t you with your family?”

“They’re eating worms and playing in the water.”  Chick tilted her head.  “I don’t like worms or the water.  I get left behind a lot.”

Badger laughed, his belly full of honey sloshing pleasantly.  “Every duck likes water.”

“Not me.”

“But you’re a duck!”  He exclaimed.

“I don’t have to be like all the other ducks.”  Chick tucked her webbed feet beneath her and sat down in the shade beneath the tree.  “I like to sit and watch the clouds and the bugs on the flowers.”

“Well, I like to be alone.”

“But you don’t have to be.”  Chick gave him a duck smile.  “You have me now.”

Badger huffed with agitation, “But I don’t want you around.  You walked over to me.  I never asked for you to show up here.”

“Funny how those things happen anyway.”

Badger growled and stomped down into his burrow.  He would usually laze in the sun for hours in the morning, but with her presence, he would simply stay inside his hole until she left.  Taking deep breaths of the earth scent, he thought himself clever.  She would leave soon and he could go back to enjoying his aloneness.

“So, this is your house?”  Came a soft voice from the darkness of the burrow.

“Ducks do not go down into holes!”  Badger exclaimed angrily.

“I’m not like all the other ducks.”  She said again and he felt her brush against him.  “I’m usually afraid of the dark.”

“Then leave!”

“Come outside with me.”

“I told you, I want to be alone.”

“But now that we found each other, why would you?”  Chick walked up the burrow and he could see her in the sunlight streaming through.  “The day just started and we have so many things we can do.”

Badger sniffed and shook his head.  Why couldn’t she just leave him alone?

“You’ll see.”  Chick declared.  “We will be great friends because we are more alike than not.”

“But I’m a badger and you should be afraid of me.  I don’t like to be around other animals and I can be grumpy.”

“But you’ll like being around me.”  Chick said, and Badger realized he did.  She was irritating and a know it all, but he could tell he would like being around her.  She didn’t care he didn’t eat worms and she would not care if he was grumpy and lazy.  She would like him just because.

“But one day you’ll grow up to be a duck and you’ll leave.”

“I’ll grow up, Badger.”  She tilted her head and regarded him as if she had known him his whole life.  “But I won’t leave.  We finally found each other, why would I leave?”

“Because I’ll hide in my burrow sometimes and not want to come out.”

“Then I’ll just have to keep talking you out.”  She held out her wing for him to grab as she walked out of the burrow into the sunlight.  “See how wonderful it is out here.  Imagine the fun we can have.”

Badger looked around the meadow where the other badgers lay beneath the sun and the birds flew from branch to branch.  He looked down at Chick who didn’t like water, but for some odd reason she liked him.

“I could get some more honey.”  He suggested.

Chick nodded,  “And we’ll share it.”

Badger felt a lump in his throat he had never felt before.  He finally wanted to share his honey with someone else and as scary as that was, when he sat in the grass the honey tasted sweeter and the sun felt hotter and the sky seemed bluer and he felt happier than he ever had.



  1. Jay L April 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Epic. For so many reasons.

  2. Becca Givens April 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    This is DE-LIGHTFUL … this makes a perfect children’s/adult giftbook … I appreciate the opportunity to read it. 🙂

    • Cold Dead Heart April 10, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really have had fun writing it.

  3. avoid the clap April 10, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    You melted me with this one. So good. Oh, so good.

    • Cold Dead Heart April 10, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the comment. Chick and Badger are close to my heart.

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