Pepper And The
By Evelyn Forsyth Forrest
Through the wood runs a small stream which is the drinking place for badgers, foxes, rabbits and an occasional deer. Early in June the stream went dry and the long drought forced the animals nearer to human habitation in search of water.
They come for a time to the pond about 100 yards from the house, but this too soon dried up save for a few puddles, and badgers having short legs and heavy bodies do not risk getting bogged.
I have a Welsh Corgi who sleeps in an open shed so that he is free to patrol the property. He is a quiet but efficient guard and we alone in the neighbourhood have escaped the attentions of the ever increasing pack of foxes. Marauders are not allowed near the house or the poultry and we and they sleep with open doors and a sense of security.
However early in June our nights became rather disturbed.
Mrs Badger had a family of cubs in the sand pit and without succulence or water she was becoming rather desperate. I filled a low trough but this was apparently viewed with suspicion and Mrs Badger ventured as far as the yard.
"Pepper" could not allow this, and on several occasions I saw or heard him quietly but firmly persuading her to go away. There would be a deal of grumbling and grunting and finally a retreat down the track to the wood. This went on for about a week and Pepper appeared to employ the characteristic Corgi method of alternating reasoning with a nip in a hind leg. He himself came to no harm, which, with a badger requires a deal of skill and quickness on the part of the dog, and we awaited developments with interest.
We did not have to wait long. One hot still night the silence was ulcerated by the unmistakable sound of trouble in a hen roost. The postman arrived with the news that a neighbour had lost 14 stock birds and that it did not look like the work of a fox. The sunk wire of the run had been rooted up, and the birds terribly mangled and two taken away. I feared the worst.
The next night the neighbour tied his Springer to a tree near the poultry and retired to bed with his gun. Somehow there was lack of co-operation and a repetition of the night before accounted for a further 16 birds.
By now there could be no doubt that a badger was the culprit. She fell a victim at her third visit and weighed 28 lbs.
It is fortunately rare for a badger to go rogue and take to killing poultry and there can be little doubt that in this instance Mrs Badger was in search of water and failing that blood. But for "Pepper", we and the puppies might have been reduced to an egg-less diet but thanks to his watchfulness we have not lost a single hen.
From The Welsh Corgi League Handbook 1950
Illustrations: ©2013 Billie Stahl
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Mrs Evelyn Forsyth-Forrest bred Pembroke Corgis with the prefix Helarian. She was also a well-known judge of the breed and the author of Welsh Corgis, published in 1955 by Ernest Benn, London.