List of fictional badgers

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This is a list of fictional badgers. Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. The personality and behavior of the real badger has greatly informed the development of personality and characteristics of the badger character in fiction. Specifically, authors of fictional works employing badgers have often emphasized their natural reclusive privacy and their ferocity and courage when protecting themselves (this aspect drawing its origins from the early tradition of badger-baiting).[1]

The badger's role as a character in fiction can be traced back to the folklore of Europe and Asia where their nocturnal habits have given them an air of mystery. In Chinese and Japanese folklore, the badger character is a shapeshifter.[2] In European folklore the badger character is intimately associated with the bear and is considered a forecaster of the arrival of spring. Older versions of these stories ascribed similar powers to the bear, but as bear populations dwindled, the folklore shifted to use the badger (in Germany and England), and the groundhog (in the United States).[2] In England, the badger character has been adopted in many quarters as a mascot—an evolution from the historic practice of using the badger in heraldic design.[3]

Anthropomorphic badgers have frequently appeared in children's literature, although their personalities have never settled in one particular manner. Characters like Beatrix Potter's Tommy Brock represent the negative side of badgers and reflect the farmer's view of the real badger as a predator of small livestock.[4] On the other hand, characters like Kenneth Grahame's gruff and ascetic Mr. Badger[4] or Susan Varley's Badger (Badger's Parting Gifts)[4] represent the positive side of badgers and reflect the real badgers' purposeful privacy in a way that allows authors to project human characteristics on them. Rural Economy and Land Use Programme fellow, Dr. Angela Cassidy, has noted that the literary figure of the "good badger" has become dominant since the early 20th century, but that more recently the figure of the "bad badger" (now a verminous character usually defined by stench and disease) has made a slight resurgence.[5] Children's book critic, Amanda Craig, has also noted a modern trend away from any instances of the badger character in literature and has identified the lessening of interaction between humans and badgers in modern times as the underlying cause.[4]

In more recent years fictional badger characters have become increasingly abstract, with thoroughly human characteristics and only the appearance of the badger. Indeed, Dr. Cassidy has noted that since 1990, the tendency with badger characters has "accelerated into surrealism and comedy" with the most prominent example being the "BadgerBadgerBadger" meme arising online in 2003.[6] Modern badger characters have shown up in numerous visual media including animation, commercials, live-action film, the internet, and in video games.[6]

Badgers in mythology and religion[edit]

  • The badger kinsmen of Tadg, King of Tara from Irish folklore
  • Mujina,[2] shapeshifting badger in Japanese Mythology
  • Noppera-bō, shapeshifting spirits from Japanese folklore that usually take the form of a faceless human ghosts, but are occasionally translated as mujina (the Japanese badger spirit)
  • Rock hyrax have been translated from the original Hebrew as badgers in the King James Bible
  • Tanuki from Japanese folklore are often translated for English-speaking audiences as badgers

Badgers in literature, poetry, and comics[edit]

Badgers in animated movies and TV series[edit]

Badgers in video games[edit]

Badgers in music[edit]

Badgers as mascots, logos, and insignias[edit]

Miscellaneous fictional badgers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cook, John Douglas (ed.). Badgers. The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, Art, and Finance. Vol.58. No.1499. Pp.76-77. 19 July 1884.
  2. ^ a b c Sax, Boria. The Mythical Zoo: An Encyclopedia of Animals in World Myth, Legend, and Literature - Beaver, Porcupine, Badger, and Miscellaneous Rodents. ABC-CLIO. Pp.32-33. 2001. ISBN 978-1-57607-612-5
  3. ^ The role of badgers in our culture may muddy policy decisions.. Living With Environmental Change. April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g De Castella, Tom. Badger cull: Are we silly to be so sentimental?. BBC News Magazine. 19 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Flood, Allison. Badgers' fate influenced by books, research discovers. guardian.co.uk. 24 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Cassidy, Angela. Vermin, Victims and Disease: UK Framings of Badgers In and Beyond the Bovine TB Controversy. Sociologia Ruralis. Volume 52. Issue 2. Pp.192-214. April 2012.
  7. ^ Gunnerkrigg Court, chapter 36, page 11
  8. ^ http://www.redwallabbey.com/
  9. ^ National Council of Teachers of English (1977). Language arts 54. National Council of Teachers of English. p. 64. ISSN 0360-9170. OCLC 2244875. 
  10. ^ John Thomas Gillespie; Corinne J. Naden (2001). The Newbery Companion: Booktalk and Related Materials for Newbery Medal and Honor Books. Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-56308-813-1. 
  11. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1717501/
  12. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107745/
  13. ^ IGN's Top 100 Video Game Weapons: Number 65 - Postal III Badger Saw