Don't Badger Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A wolverine meets a badger, the badger meets two ferrets, then there is the lone wolf, oh my. This short story, under 3,000 words, is about mixing some very true animal facts into a fictional story that just might have happened somewhere, and at some time. Who knows?

Submitted: May 05, 2017

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Submitted: May 05, 2017

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The Sun was just starting to rise over the edges of the surrounding hills and a wolverine, a young female, was in a hurry to return to her den.

Most wolverines do not like to be out and about after sunrise. Some say that they are nocturnal and others say that they are just secretive creatures. So for whatever the reason, and whenever possible, they do their foraging at night and early hours of the morning.

Just as this wolverine was walking near a large snowdrift her nose sensed something; it was food that was buried in the snow. How long ago the stash was placed there was anybody's guess.

There are not many creatures that can smell anything below a snow pack, but this keen sense of smell allows wolverines to hunt rodents that are living under the snow. Now it is true, foxes and owls hunt these rodents too but they use their excellent hearing to locate them beneath the snow packs.

The finding of this food was a good thing for this wolverine. She had not done well in her pursuit of food that night.

Wolverine's use snow like people use refrigerators, they bury their excess food in the snow to keep it fresh. During times when food is scarce the wolverines will go back to their stockpile, their stash, to retrieve a meal.

This wolverine quickly ate what she could, some berries and a couple of gophers, bones, teeth, and all. (Wolverines have very powerful jaws and strong teeth, so they can chew through almost anything.). Then she removed a large chunk of meat and recovered the hole with snow; that is when she made a beeline for her den.

(A short time and distance away, a commotion was heard.)

"Hay, didn't you hear me? I'm talking to you!" exclaimed a badger who was talking to a large, male, wolverine.

"That's too bad because I'm not talking to you! Haven't you heard, we wolverines are not big on conversation?

The badger sat down on its haunches and used its hind foot to scratch its side, and then it chased after the wolverine again.

"Well, --- you sure are one for being rude, Cuzz. I had something really important to tell you, but you can forget that now. I would not tell you what I was going to tell you even if you were to give me something tasty."

"Good! Because I do not have anything tasty and I would not give any of it to you even if I did.

Oh, and I think that I told you before, do not call me Cuzz. We may be distantly related but I am not anybody's Cuzz. Now go away boy, you're bothering me."

"You think that I am following you? Well I'm not," said Badger, "I just happen to be going in the same general direction as you are. After all, I have places to go, things to see, and stuff to do."

The wolverine quickly turned around and looked Badger in the eyes.

Badger backed away, and out of the abundance of caution Badger never took his eyes off the grumpy wolverine.

That is when the wolverine said, “You are following me and that is a fact! I was not born yesterday, you son of a Weasel, and I know exactly what you are doing.

You think that you will do what I do. You think that you can follow me until I get some food and then try to take it from me. Well, that is not going to happen! So just make like a tree and leaf, or I will have to shake a few of your branches. --- Got It?"

"Sure, sure," replied the badger, "I can tell when I'm not wanted, --- Cuzz."

And with that said the badger headed off across a field that was no longer covered with last winter's snow.

As the badger hurried along he suddenly sat down on his haunches and used his hind foot to scratch right behind his front shoulder; then he continued on his way.

 

Chapter II

"Badger Meets Ferrets"

A short while later the same badger was trying to go up a hill covered with snow, but he was not doing a very good job of it.

Suddenly two ferrets ran passed him like he was standing still. When they reached the top of the hill they turned around and headed back down, running and then sliding, running and sliding, until they reached the bottom.

When they headed back up the hill, again, the badger stopped them and asked, "What in Snow-hill are you doing?"

"Having fun," said one ferret.

"Yes sir, Cousin Badger, we do this whenever we have the time, and when the snow is just right, it's a blast. --- Hay, you should try it!" remarked the second ferret.

Badger replied, "It looks like a big waste of time and energy, if you ask me."

"You'd like it if you tried it, Cousin, but you got to do it in the snow because the snow makes you all slicker-ie," said the second ferret.

Badger looked confused and asked, "Why are you calling me Cousin? The only cousins that I know about are the wolverines."

"Well, we ferret come from a diverse family of carnivorous mammals that include badgers, wolverines, weasels, and otters," said Ferret number one.

"Where did you get that story from?" Badger questioned.

"From the boy that lives in the house made of trees. Sometimes we go there and if he sees us, he gives us treats. If we stay around there for a time he tells us stories that he hears from a big thing that he calls a book. The boy says that this book tells him all about animals, and about us too," said the first ferret.

"You didn't talk to him did you?" the badger demanded to know.

Both ferrets began to laugh hysterically, then one replied, "Are you nuts? We may be fun loving but we aren't stupid, besides, we know the golden rule about humans; No conversations, no repercussions."

"Good!" said Badger. "Now if you will excuse me, I'll be on my way."

"Hay, aren't you going to try snow sliding? It really is a lot of fun."

"Maybe another time," said Badger, "but for now I have places to go, things to see, and stuff to do."

And with that said the badger plowed his way up the snow covered hill.

(Some minutes later.)

"Hay, what in snow-hill?" said the male wolverine.

"Did you lose something?" Badger asked.

"What are you doing here? Did you take my food stash, you son of a Weasel?" The wolverine bellowed.

The badger replied, "NO! --- I tried to tell you about the other wolverine that dug up your stash. But did you want to know when I offered the information? Nooooooooooooooo! All you wanted to do was to be rude and insult me, and you are still insulting me with that crack about being the son of a weasel. A weasel may be my distant cousin, but not my father, so it serves you right that she took your food."

"What other wolverine? I don't allow other wolverines in my territory."

"I guess nobody told her, or maybe that manly sent of yours is losing its Pizzazz," Badger said as he began laughing.

The wolverine sniffed around in the snow, near the food stash, and then said, "You are right, a female wolverine was here, and for good reason; she has two offspring to feed."

"You can tell all that from a whiff of a snow bank? And here I thought that I had a nose for news. That is amazing," said Badger.

The wolverine laughed a little and then explained, "No, I didn't get all that from a whiff of a snow bank, however, I do have excellent analytical sniffing abilities; that is true.

The fact is, I know this wolverine and her offsprings are mine, so she may take food from my stash.

I go to visit my children, my Kits, from time to time and while they are still nursing, that allows us to bond. Once they are weaned they may join me to hunt and forage.

If that happens then I will be a good father and teach my kits all the ways of the wolverine."

The sun was rising fast, so the wolverine left Badger and made a quick retreat to his den; it was time for a much needed nap.

(Later that day.)

The same two ferrets that were mentioned earlier are now fishing in a stream; it is their impromptu lunch time. There is nothing cleaver about their fishing habits. It is all about speed, agility, and every ferret for himself. And if one is a little too slow, well, you know what they say, ("Those that snooze --- lose.").

As the two critters came out of the water and onto a dry bed of leaves they heard a (snap) sound.

That is when they realized that they were trapped in a net, and the net was hanging a few feet off the ground.

Then, from behind some bushes came an adult man and the boy that lives in the house made of trees.

"That is them, Dad," the boy said, "this one I call Waddles and that one is Squinter. They will be just right for my project."

The ferrets saw the man pull something from a pouch, (his coat pocket), and it didn’t look like any treat that the boy had ever given them; it looked more like a porcupine quill. Very soon the man pocked both of them with the quill-thing, and they fell asleep.

"How long will these tracking collars stay on Dad?" asked the boy.

The boy's father replied, "They are supposed to fall off in about seven days. I hope we will be able to retrieve them and download the data for your class project.

When they fall off, their GPS transmitter will activate and all we have to do is fetch them; I hope they both fall off at the same time, like the operations manual says they will."

It just so happened that several ravens saw what had happened and they flew off in all directions to spread the news, "Humans are trapping, beware, beware!"

 

Chapter III

"The Wolf Encounter"

A young, lone, wolf was traveling through the area and had heard the raven's warning, but he had more important things on his mind, hunting for food.

As the wolf came over a hill he spied an older deer lying in a meadow. From that height, and position, the head and rack of the deer was easy to see, but if the wolf was in the meadow he would have been hard pressed to see the deer lying in the tall grasses.

As the wolf ventured down the hillside he stayed low to the ground and hidden as much as possible, until he arrived in the grassland; once in the meadow he was as concealed as the buck.

The element of surprise was the big advantage and the young wolf used all of it, which made up for some lack of experience.

The fact that the wolf had not eaten in days was a big factor too, hunger bolsters determination. And then there was the advantage that the buck was old and not as strong as he once was. --- It was over quickly.

 

As night fell, it found a full bellied wolf starting to doze-off just a short distance from what was left of the deer. Then an odd sound was heard.

The wolf rose to his feet to see a wolverine munching on the wolf's property.

The wolf had never had dealings with wolverines before so his first instinct was to drive the intruder away, so he charged at it.

Well that was a big mistake, the wolverine charged right back, there was a brief scuffle, and then a growling, snarling, stand-off. The wolf was bleeding and the Wolverine was not.

After a few minutes and with no sign that the wolverine was going to give an inch, the very full and mildly wounded wolf backed off.

The wolf stated, "Go ahead, whatever you are, eat your fill. I will be back in the morning, after a good night's sleep, and when I return it will be you with the full belly and in need of rest. We will see who fares best at first light.

"Well played wolf, I am a wolverine and we fight best in the dark and when we are hungry, but wolves fight best in the daylight and well rested. --- Sleep well."

The wolf returned to his high place, a-top the hill where he had first seen the deer; and while cleaning his wound he promptly fell asleep.

Early the next day, and as the sun made its way over the hills, the wolf was already on his way through the meadow. When he came upon the place where the deer was, it wasn't. There was not much left of the deer, maybe a light meal, at best. There was no Wolverine either.

The wolf was enraged and began tracking the wolverine. "I am going to kill that thief and nothing is going to stop me; not a full belly or darkness," said the snarling wolf.

After more than two hours of following the wolverine's trail, which lead to a much higher elevation and where snow was more the norm than the exception. And after drudging through the snow the wolf grew tired and very confused.

"It seems that these wolverine tracks in the snow is going around in circles," thought the wolf, "I am wasting energy on a foolish quest. I will come across that wolverine again, someday, and then I shall make a meal of him."

So the wolf headed for lower ground and a warmer climate.

How could that wolf know that he had walked right passed a snow bank that had his fresh venison stored below? The wolverine's latest refrigerator stash was the wolf's deer.

As a Raven sounded the all clear, "The wolf is gone, the wolf is gone," sounds of a sleeping wolverine could be heard coming from somewhere in the snow.

 

Chapter IV

"Coming Together"

 

It was early evening and the Badger was feasting on spring's first batch of wild berries. That is when he saw the two Ferrets, and there was something odd looking about both of them.

"What are those things on your necks?" Badger asked while giggling.

"They are called Tracking Collars, at least that is what the boy told us." replied both Ferrets at the exact same time.

Then one Ferret said, "We were caught in a human's net and went to sleep real fast. When we woke up these things were on our necks and the boy took us out to the snow and let us go. He said these collar-things will fall off in a while. But I don't think that he really thought that we understood him.

I wonder if they are supposed to make me itch, because mine does."

"Yah, mine too!" exclaimed the other Ferret.

Suddenly the lone wolf burst through the nearby brush sending both Ferrets scurrying up and into a big oak tree.

Badger took a defensive position with his eyes locked on every movement of the wolf.

The wolf never took his eyes off the two Ferrets, but glanced in Badger's general direction, then said, "You can leave Badger, I prefer the taste of Ferret. Now go before I change my mind."

"Oh, is that so? Well you'd better leave those two Ferrets alone because they are the property of humans," Badger warned, "and you know what human do if anything makes off with or kills their property."

"No I don't, Badger. What is it that humans do?"

"They gather other humans into a pack, just like wolves do, and they relentlessly track whoever took or killed their property. And when they find them they kill them. They do not give up and they always find who they are after. Why do you think that there are very few wolves around here?" replied Badger.

The wolf looked at the Badger and said, "I understand what you said, but what I don't understand is why you care about what happens to these two Ferrets. You have a chance to walk away, so do it!

Besides, what you're saying sounds like a lie to me because I don't see any humans watching these ferrets. So why should I believe you?"

Badger replied, "See the things around their necks? Those prove that those Ferrets belong to humans. I see those kinds of things on all the animals that humans have. You may have seen them too.

Their cows have ones that make clanking sounds, their goats and sheep have ones too, some make ringing sounds, some don't.

Even their horses have those kinds of things on their heads and around their bellies.

And don't forget about dogs, they all have something similar."

"Well I guess that you have convinced me, the last thing that I need is humans following me. So I'll just have to eat you today, instead of the Ferrets," the wolf said as he moved toward Badger.

"I don't think that you are going to eat anyone," said a voice from the shadows.

The wolf knew that voice, it was Wolverine.

"Are you in the mood to battle a wolverine, a badger, and two ferrets, all at once? I doubt that you will survive it." Wolverine stated.

At that moment the ferrets came down out of the tree and stood with the others.

"What is the deal here?" asked the wolf. Sense when did the likes of you become so concerned about the well being of one another?"

One Ferret spoke up and replied, "Hay, we're family!"

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  --- 05-04-2017


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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