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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/830

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time for our friend the badger to come out and see how the world looks in the moonlight.

He has left his hole, and there he stands in the full light of the moon, the great limbs of the oak throwing checkered shadows around him on the greensward and on the exposed surface of the chalk here and there. The greater portion of the sides of the hollow nearest his home is covered with foxgloves and trailing bramble. He looks round about him for a few seconds, and sniffs, just to find out if anything peculiar is in the air; then, finding matters all right, as he thinks, he gives himself a scratch or two and a good shake, and deliberately waddles off to get something to eat—a very easy matter at this time of the year, for on a warm summer night all kinds of creatures are about, and he makes their acquaintance much to his own satisfaction, if not to theirs.

Little does he think that he is wanted on this particular evening. While he goes plodding along, picking up a little bit here and there, the keeper and his lad are holding some conversation about him. I happen to come across them; my sympathies are with the badger, but it is not my business to interfere.

"Have ye got the bag and sack, Jim? If ye have, jest make yer way, quiet like, over t'other hill, an' cum down the side on it, on the quiet, mind; fix yer bag, an' when 'tis done, give three hoots, one arter t'other, to let me know as things is all right; ye minds what I tell ye; I'm goin' back to git Ginger an' Nipper. They'll hussle him up, an' no mistake. They ain't big uns, PSM V38 D830 Indian badger.jpgIndian Badger. but better tarriers than what they be never cum inter this 'ere wurld. Now then, off ye goes, an' before ye gits yer job done I shall be near to ye, fur to hear ye hoot: he's sartin sure to be on the ramble."

Arriving at the spot, Jim produces the bag, or rather a small sack, from his jacket pocket, and places it in the entrance to the badger's burrow in such a way that should the animal rush for home, as he generally does when alarmed, he will go right into it. The string that runs round the mouth of the sack will be pulled tight by the force of his rush, and there he will be like a pig in a poke. The string of the bag is secured, of course, to