badger-sized Farages considered dangerous

So which is it to be – a Nigel Farage-sized badger, or 10 badger-sized Farages? This is a really great question, far better than the classic horse-sized duck. The problem with the duck is that it won’t scale; anything broadly duck-like that got as big as a horse would be hopelessly immobile on its funny little legs and probably wouldn’t be able to fly, both because it couldn’t sustain the cardiorespiratory effort and because it would need a hell of a lot of wing area. Also, imagine the take-off waddle.

I’d be tempted to opt for the horse-sized duck, in fact, because it probably can’t exist in a world where physics works like it does here, and a walkover is a win, while chasing down the duck-sized horses would be a lot of work even though they aren’t much of a threat. The classic folktale trickster-god way out of this would be to confront you with the horse-sized duck in the water, where its weight wouldn’t be a problem and it could use its wings underwater like a penguin. But I digress.

A Farage-sized badger, however, is much more problematic than either. I can’t see any show-stoppers in scaling the badger up, and there’s a word for a creature a bit like a badger that stands 2 metres tall: it’s a bear. Badgers are pretty robust, powerful creatures that move enormous amounts of earth, and they have big claws. I don’t like the sound of that much.

However, the badger-sized Farages are going to be troublesome, too, because Nigel Farage is human. I was going to say that the decision here comes down to whether you think brute force or intelligence is more dangerous, but then I remembered that people basically eliminated their biological competitors because:

1) We cheat – using weapons, cooperating, re-designing the landscape itself, being best mates with dogs, all that stuff
2) We run – not many other creatures do endurance running at all well. there are plenty that sprint, and plenty that travel very long distances slowly, but running miles at a high pace is a speciality of ours.

Even a scaled-down Farage is going to be intelligent – the lower bound would be as smart as a chimp, say, the upper would be as smart as he is now. This is an important point, because intelligent badger-sized creatures can gang up on you, form plans, adopt tactics, and use weapons. Fighting the badger-sized Farages might be as bad as fighting a group of reasonably-sized monkeys at one end of the scale, not trivial, or as bad as fighting a group of angry dwarves at the other, basically war.

I could ambush the super-badger, trap it, poison it, flood or smoke out its sett, set dogs on it, or snipe at it from a distance. I could adopt persistence predation, the human killer app, and keep it on the run until it tires. Also, I could outrun it over anything more than a very short sprint, so unless it got lucky, I’d probably have the initiative over it and be able to decide how much risk to take.

But assuming the mini-Farages’ physiology is basically human, they will be able to run the persistence predation playbook back against me, with the advantage of being a team, so they would probably control the initiative. In a brawl I would have the advantage over up to three of them, but it only takes one stab wound or unlucky blow to the head, and they’re people – when it matters, we cheat. I’m confident I can run faster and further than a mini-Farage, but then, I’m now thinking about running away from them. They have the initiative.

To put it another way, what if either super-badgers or mini-Farages were historical creatures? I would bet that the super-badger would be long extinct, known from fossils and possibly cave art depicting gangs of people and dogs chasing down the poor sods, but markers of the mini-Farage would probably still be detectable in the human genome. (Now that’s a depressing thought.) I’ll be watching that big hole in the ground, in my trainers.

7 Comments on "badger-sized Farages considered dangerous"

  1. A mini-farage sounds like a snack/treat but i’m not sure whether it would be cheese or chocolate based .


  2. A small, dumbed-down Farage would basically be a toddler? I wouldn’t fear ten toddlers, no matter how nasty spirited. Especially if I could use a stick, or similar means not typically allowed when combating toddlers.


    1. He wouldn’t necessarily be dumbed down – you can’t assume that. Also, according to Wikipedia‘s page on badgers, a European badger is about 18kg, so ten of them adds up to a couple of rugby league players’ worth of bodyweight.

      That said, apparently badgers in southern Spain eat rabbits. who knew?


  3. tommy brock the vulgar badger in beatrix potter’s the tale of mr tod “occasionally eats rabbit pie” — so i guess BP knew?

    (but she says the rabbits have to be very young and small)


    1. I’m sure there was once a news story about a hedgehog sanctuary (outside) being broken into by badger(s) who ate them all. Possibly I dreamed it.


  4. A biologist writes: surely a horse-sized duck is basically a dinosaur? And I don’t think ducks don’t use their wings to swim under water. They paddle with their feet and keep their wings folded.
    Badgers definitely eat hedgehogs, and anything else.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.