Thirty one years ago, on a cold wintery evening, placed carefully next to a badger hole in a wood in Northern Penge, lay a baby. A baby doused in butterscotch angel delight and sporting a human's beard. That baby did not cry. It did not dribble. And it certainly retained full bowel control, unlike most other babies of that era.
That baby was me (but a much, much younger version of me, barely recognisable from my current version).
I was to learn, much later, that my mother, an entity whose sanity had been forever compromised after a tragic incident with a goose inspector and a fire hazard, and about 23 years of alcoholism, was at that time labouring under the intriguing misapprehension that badgers had a penchant for angel delight. And that sooner or later, a curious and perhaps peckish badger of sound olfactory ability would appear, and immediately lick me away to death. This would be a painless and almost enjoyable death and of course, a guilt-free way of relieving herself of her motherly duties. Of course, as any mindful fully-grown knows, badgers do in fact hate angel delight. They will eat custard, though. And turds. Which makes you wonder, really.
Fortunately for me the badger that found me, Furious Penchant, although a bit of a gimp, had the good sense to defer to the leader of the flange, Curbly. Curbly is a good guy, and very sensible too. He immediately suggested that as I smelt so nice, and I had such a fine pair of fluffy feet, they would take me on as one of their own, and raise me as Badger Kin.
And so it came to pass that I spent the first 5 years of my life in a sett - 14b Field, Penge Forest, to be precise. *Nostalgic sigh, etc.* In many ways they were very happy and carefree times. I learnt to speak both badger and human English, I learnt to box in Russian, and I became a 4th Dan master of Astral Ambivalence (Esparanto version). I became a grandMaster of chess, I built up a network of contacts in the Yugoslavian military service, and I practised Chung Khin nightly. Badgers are very fond of self improvement you see, spiritual and physical, and they have a particular penchant for the esoteric and martial arts. That's why they don't get on much with the foxes. However, life with the badgers wasn't without problems. For example, their poor eyesight and ignorance of basic human anatomy meant that they failed to notice that I had been born with only one buttock (it's errant brother was nestling just beside my kidney at the time). I managed, although I'm not sure how, to live my formative years with just the one, while the other slumbered harmlessly inside me. Obviously this meant that the crack, or the Botty Line to use it's technical term, was actually on the side, rather than in the middle, which logistically, made some activities quite messy. (Looking back, I have since wondered if the reason for my mother abandoning me had anything to do with the one buttock situation. Although in all likelihood it is far more likely to have been related to the her-being-irretrievably-insane part.) Uni-buttocked or not, the badgers accepted me, and I can't say that I was even aware of the difference between us, until I entered puberty, early as it was, at the age of 5.3. I was halfway through a pumping session with this quite fit one, Vending Hair I think she was called, the best badger (of that age group, at that time, im the Penge forest area), when my until-then all black fur suddenly started to change. Before my eyes it started to develop a long and odious white streak, which eventually came to cover my back head to tail. Vending Hair was oblivious, writhing and struggling and weeping as she was, but a profound feeling overcame me, (not the usual one), more that of: I do not belong here! Am I a freak? Fur! Over the next 27 years this feeling would grow and grow until it was no longer tolerable and I had to pack my things and leave the badger community forever, to the consternation of all those who had come to love and worship me by that point. Civilisation, buttock redemption, and meaning During the next 18 months I spent my time travelling, seeing sights, meeting people, and generally trying to experience everything Penge (and lower Sydenham) had to offer. It was an eye opening time of my life, a time in which I grew spiritually, like a really big spiritual tree, or a nebulous accretion disc, or a hippy in a yoghurt, or something very growy and profound like that. I was working in this bar on the riverside, a little shack-like place where the old mad fisherman would while away the night hours sucking on pipe-fulls of squid tobacco and drawing pictures of aloof horses. I guess I had been there a couple of weeks and was only just getting to know the regulars, when this repulsive old hag of a creature approached me at the bar, looked at me for a moment or two, and then licked my face. It was fairly odd behaviour, even in that part of town, but by a capricious stroke of fate I had been meaning to remove some liver pate from my face just a moment before, and was struggling to come up with a suitably efficient way of doing so without wasting the succulent meaty squidge. Obviously I immediately fell in Like, and was to remain firmly ensconced in said condition for many years.I took her home that night and ploughed her like a field full of potatoes, and when I was done, she underwent an amazing transformation. Now I have been witness to many magical, esoteric and even otherwordly happenings during my 79 years in this current incarnation, but this one verily took the biscuit. It took the biscuit, the cup of tea, probably the biscuit tin. But not the lid. So she was lying there, as normal, writhing and weeping etc, and she gradually started to emit a glow. A bit like a glowworm. But a sexy/repulsive one. And just then, her skin started to flake off, bit by bit, like a burlesque show for flapjacks. Eventually, after about 3 hours, she no longer resembled the disturbing puffy bloatfish that she had done earlier - she was now a quite stunning young woman, about 18 years of age, with a body that allowed me to go again (straight away!). This was Kipper Burd, a woman I would end up spending many years with, and who would become a big part of my life. It was around this time that, as a result of my rehabilitation into human society, I began to notice the various ways in which I was quite different from my peers. For starters, the whole uni-buttock thing had been freaking out a few people, most notably the chief physician in the Sydenham Naval Service, who actually arranged for me to be discharged with honour (like proud semen) as soon as he saw me sans trousers.I decided to fix myself by any means necessary. As I was not \"on the system\" and had no NI number, going to il Dottore was out of the question, and several of my naval aquaintances who offered to perform the surgery for me were quite severe alcoholics by that time and I didn't entirely trust them. So it was that I came to fashion for myself a buttock made out of wood. 2004. The day I left Papua New Guinea, Mushroom Tony and some of the lads did a dance for me. Very emotional scenes. One day I will go back and see the lads.