Sett for Life

Don’t badger me about my burrow, 
it keeps me safe from rain and cold,
from dangerous predators, humans too;
my ancestral home is centuries old.
My forebears' powerful claws dug deep
a sturdy network of chambers and tunnels, 
a realm with a semi-circular keep
beneath the hills and wooded dingles,

where I gather grass and bracken
to make myself a comfy bed.
If sometime this way you should happen, 
I'll welcome you to my humble sett.

Kim M. Russell, 2nd May 2023

Image by Hans Veth on Unsplash

It’s Tuesday and I’m hosting Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub, where we are writing poems about animal architecture. The prompt came to me by way of a lovely poem by John Clare, ‘The Thrush’s Nest’, which got me thinking about other creatures and the ways in which they build their homes, such as  insects, rodents, and larger mammals.  We are writing all sorts of poems with a focus on a creature building its home – but not birds.


26 thoughts on “Sett for Life

  1. Kim, you and I both chose burrowing critters. Nice to learn about how they live. It makes me sad and angry that humans can just not like the look of a critter and somehow are able to kill it on a whim 😦 Chipmunks take a bad rap here also and I don’t see any harm they do either. With them it is their noisiness and that they burrow under driveways that is the excuse for people to kill them. I love them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the same with badgers, Lisa. I’m afraid a lot of British farmers want them culled. They believe they spread TB among their herds. I don’t know if it’s been proved. Badgers related to ferrets, minks, otters, weasels and wolverines. Their Old English name is ‘broc’ and in children’s stories they are often called Brock.

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      1. WTH?! that sounds like a reach in Brock’s giving herds TB. Not enough to murder them until hard evidence proving it’s possible and that it’s a huge issue. Otherwise, leave them alone farmers! With chipmunks all it takes is a little chipping and a few holes here and there 😦

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      1. I’ve only seen them on nature shows and most of the time not walking, more looking out from their dig site. Will look for that waddle next time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We used to see badgers quite often. I say often, maybe twice a year. I haven’t seen one for ages – the cull is obviously working on lowering badger numbers – not sure ir’s make a difference to TB!!!! I love them – you’re right, they do waddle, and I hadn’t realised how long setts were lived in for. Nice writing – informative but still a proper poem.

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  3. Badgers once visited our allotment site and made holes in the Fence-to-keep-out-Rabbits. They gobbled up fallen damsons (there were plenty left on the trees) treating us to a lurid latrine of damson-stones. They also “trashed the sweetcorn” (maize corn-on-the-cob) . But hey, they had been adversely affected by new transport work, which felled some of their woodland. So who can blame them, the old softies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve got all week to give it a go. You’re just as sophisticated and I’d love to read what you make of the prompt. Of course, there’s no pressure. I’m the meantime, enjoy reading.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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