I had five children: Cap, Straight Line, Arrowhead, Wingtip and Zero, all named for the markings on their back. I protected them, fed them, taught them, hid them from claws and fangs; but it wasn't enough.
Cap disappeared in the dark. The worst thing is not knowing what happened to him - did he get lost, did he starve, did he fend for himself and grow up nice and strong? Or did some horrible thing bite into him and drag him away from me as he tried to call to me for help?
Straight Line drowned in the river. I remember the pale red sky pelting us with cold rain, scrambling across jagged stone, and watching helplessly as a flood of frothing mud washed my second born away, forever.
Arrowhead flew away. The fire licked our heels, all hiding places burned away. A clever hawk swooped my cub up in cruel claws as we fled through the burning forest in a panic. We didn't have to time to grieve, only to run.
I have two children: Wingtip and Zero, named for the markings on their back. They know all the things a badger should: how to scavenge roots and fruits to eat, how to sneak through weeds and spring upon a fox, how to catch a frog in the reeds at the riverbank, how to bark to find each other in the night, how to weather a storm in a hollow log, how to survive a fire by running on hidden paths, and how to find Shelter in the forest.
I'm tired. Old. Soon I will be too slow to continue hunting, but I am not afraid of death. The regret of not being able to save everyone in my family once ripped at my insides. But they died knowing they were loved, and now as I watch my surviving children scavenge for themselves I can finally sleep. Take care, cubs.