There was such a great noise from the crane and the truck
that were gathering up all the wreckage and mess
that the Badger concluded with average luck
he could mix all the concrete unnoticed. Success
would be mending the house before anyone knew,
in the hope that the Mongoose established her case
in the courts; and perhaps if he saw it all through,
he’d impress the judge well - it was really a race.
When he’d mixed up and poured all the concrete, the sound
stopped soon after. He peeked through the door in surprise;
at the back there was stood, far away on a mound
a young fox with binoculars. Badger was wise
in the ways of the weasel, the stoat and the ferret;
the owl and the rabbit, the rat and the hare -
but the singular creature without any merit
was surely the fox, who would kill without care.
The fox slipped away when he saw he’d been seen,
and the Badger growled softly, “I know what he’s after.
A nice comfy home where a Badger has been,
then the rest of the year he can greet me with laughter.”
The front still remained. So he bolted the door
at the back (he had ordered some strong looking locks
and installed them at once when they came from the store,
just in case of some crafty and criminal fox).
Then he went to the window; outside was a man
in a yellow hard hat, and a grey pinstripe suit,
who it seemed disagreed with the purpose and plan
of the wreckers. He stood in the way of their route.
“Now look here,” he declared, through a thick bushy beard,
“there is nowt for the Council to say about owt.
My potential constituent tells me she feared
for her house; and it shouldn’t be battered about.”
“But we’ve orders,” said Freddie the foreman, whose badge
had been stuck to his chest with a piece of black tape.
“And we’re not here to ask, or to coax, or to cadge;
this whole row will be going. There’ll be no escape
for a house even if the past owner’s inside
with a box of begonias, dressed for the shops;
we don’t care if her house was her joy and her pride,
you can get out the way, or we’re calling the cops!”
“Whilever I’m here, you’ll be hushed, now then thee!”
said the stranger. “Take care to be listening and learning;
Bill Stumpy’s the name, I’m the local MP,
and you have to agree, you’ve no axes for burning.”
“For burning?” asked Freddy. “Well, grinding,” said Bill.
“You can see that I’m flustered and flummoxed and fly;
when you threaten a man, he may speak as he will,
and it’s nobody’s fault but your own, as to why.
There’s a mineshaft right round at the back of the place -
see, it’s here, on this map, that I got from the courts.
Yes, that’s soon wiped the smile from the back of your face –
you’ll be changing your plans, or a badger wears shorts.”
In the house, the old Badger just stared through the pane
as the stranger spoke strangely, and blustered and blew;
He talked nonsense and gibbering pish in the main,
but this Badger wore shorts, all the same, it was true.