Saturday, 3 November 2012

A distorted picture

As a child I was a great fan of Jean Dulieu, a writer and illustrator who was the spiritual father of Paulus the Gnome, a character who lived in the woods and had various animal friends. One of those friends was Gregorius the Badger, a rather stupid animal who spoke dyslexic. This writer later read his stories on radio, in a weekly broadcast, where he was doing a different voice for every character in his stories; Paulus, Gregorius, Salomo the Raven, Uhuburu the Owl, Eucalypta the witch, etc.

Apart from Paulus, I occasionally read the Dutch translation of Rupert Bear, where Bill Badger was playing a role as one of Rupert's friends. However, I never really got the hang of Rupert, and stuck with Paulus.
When comparing both badgers not the likeness is striking, but the difference.

Bill Badger
As a great believer in Dulieu's knowledge on the subjest of gnomes, witches and badgers, I discarded Bill Badger as a phony character; real badgers should look like Gregorius.
Until .... we saw a dead animal on the soft shoulder whilst driving down the road . We often find dead copyus or river rats alongside that stretch of road. Not entirely convinced it was a river rat, we stopped on the way back to have a good look. And lo and behold, it was a dead young badger. Unnecessary to say that my trust and belief in Dulieu has suffered a severe blow...

Een echte das
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