Privileged Position PDF Print E-mail

Llanelli Naturalists Newsletter - Summer 1990
Kath Cottingham

Dusk fast approaching
On a still May evening
Standing silently,
Alone - but observed...
Or scented... or heard...
Or sensed in some way,
By many creatures.

A rare peace in knowing
That the closest humans
Are fields away
And my only companions
For the next hour
Will be non-human
And wild - and wary.

The dampness creeps around
And amongst tree roots
On the opposite bank
Wild garlic flowers show
Bright white in the dusk.
I shift position slowly
Watching the darkening scene.

Then - sticks cracking!
I see a striped head
Parting the nettles - and -
(I try to breathe silently!)
A nose pushes under roots
Eating noisily and - I hope
Oblivious to me.

He disappears into undergrowth
Leaving me filled
With a wonderful thrill
Having seen my first badger
For twenty-odd years.
No longer a childhood dream.

I wait and am rewarded -
His furry bulk reappears In the vegetation
Much closer and unconcerned
Squeezing under a bramble
That flattens his thick coat I see the hairs, disturbed,
Then ripple back into place
The closest, clearest sight I have ever had.

Darkness is descending
Over the fields
We go our separate ways
Me filled with a glow,
Silent tears escaping
Too overwhelmed
To put thoughts into words.

What badger thinks, if anything
We do not know.
But I have no doubt
The sight of any person
Could never give such happiness
To badger
As badger gave to me.