This Dragon Club is all about Badgers, because there are more baby badgers born this month than any other! We have a LOT of badgers around here (more than anywhere else in the entire world) but they are hard to spot because they only come out at night. If you want to catch a glimpse, try leaving out peanuts in your garden – badgers find them absolutely scrumptious.
What's In A Name?
One of the many Welsh words meaning Badger is Broch, and this is similar to other historical names too – the English Brox, and the Celtic broc. These words came from the ancient western British word, Brokkos, which just means Grey. There are lots of people and places who have "brock" in their name – keep an eye out for these and you’ll be surprised. They all have at least some connection somewhere down the line with badgers of old. The word ‘Badger’ itself dates to the 16th century (500 years or so ago!) where it was noted that a badger’s stripy face looked like the sash (or badge!) that servants wore when they were working at posh country houses.
Because they only come out at night, Badgers have a reputation in folklore for being very mysterious characters. There are ancient Celtic legends that claim they are shape-shifters, turning into people and back again whenever they want.
They can also protect you against witchcraft, which was a big deal 400 years ago, when this poem was written by an unknown author:
"A tuft of hair gotten from the head of a full-grown Broch
is powerful enough to ward off all manner of witchcraft;
these must be worn in a little bag made of cat's skin - a black cat -
and tied about the neck when the moon be not more than seven days old,
and under that aspect when the planet Jupiter be mid-heaven at midnight."
Don’t try doing this at home. Instead why not have a go at these crafts – make some baby badgers, try making a badger mask and do some colouring in.