We have....hedgehogs, doormice, robins, ducks, rabbits and foxes. Not exactly the Elite fighting forces of the animal kingdom. But like us as Brits, what they might lack in ability, they more than make up for in character and 'a stiff upper lip'.
The following is a list comprising of my top 3 British animals
3) The humble cow (Bos primigenius)
Cows, as everyone well knows, are docile beasts. They dot the hillsides and fields of our great island, munching away at our plentiful supplies of grass seemingly without a care in the world. Tranquil, peaceful, chilled to the max - behold the cow.
However, I reckon that cows are secretly 'double hard bastards'. Quite often, in human society, the most dangerous individual is the 'passive aggressive' type. That is, the person who stockpiles rage, which typically, will eventually manifest itself in the form of an enormous outburst of homicidal mega-anger:
It is therefore my theory that over a period of time, the average British cow has been storing immense amounts of potential rage. Put it this way, they've been domesticated, subjugated, shot in the head with bolt guns, abducted by aliens (according to popular sci-fi) and sent to the mutant-hybrid frenglish world of Jersey. When it goes off, and it will, it'll be curtains for us all.
"Don't fuck with me dawg!!!!"
2) The noble Badger (Meles meles)
For me, the Badger is THE quintessential British animal. My entire knowledge of them is based on Wind in the Willows, i.e. they generally live in well appointed homes, wear smoking jackets and are very wise.
However, I was utterly flabbergasted to read the following on the most reliable of all Internet sites. The always 100% factually accurate Wikipedia:
"Badgers can be fierce animals and will protect themselves and their young at all costs. Badgers are capable of fighting off much larger animals such as Wolves and Bears. Honey badgers in Africa have been known to fend off multiple lions, hyenas and other dangerous top tier carnivores. The many venomous snakes in Africa are also consumed with ease by the ferocious African Honey Badger. Badgers can run or gallop at up to 25–30 kilometres per hour (16–19 mph) for short periods of time".
Other than the recurring nightmare that I am now having about being chased by a galloping Badger, my other chief preoccupation which followed the reading of the above information, is to wonder how a badger might 'fend off' multiple lions and/or hyenas.
So using my pre-existing knowledge of the Badger, I have constructed the following situation which would explain how it might be possible for a badger to overcome the natural savagery of a Hyena:
- A hyena spots a badger and begins the chase
- The Badger accelerates to 'galloping' speed
- Badger makes it back to the safety of its underground sett
- The Hyena is able, also to squeeze into the underground sett - things are now looking bad for the badger
- Upon entering the sett, Hyena finds Badger sitting in an armchair doing the Times crossword.
- Badger offers the Hyena a snifter of his finest brandy and a nice cigar.
- Hyena accepts
- Brandy is consumed in large quantities by the Hyena
- The Hyena awakens in a random location, covered in vomit with a splitting headache and a black eye.
- The Hyena experiences terrifying flashbacks of Toads driving sports cars and moles boating on lakes.
"I say old chap, you wouldn't have the right time would you?"
Finally my no1 spot for best British Animal goes to.....
1) The Rebel - The Otter (lutra lutra)
"Why the Otter for no1 spot?" you may ask. Well, in my opinion the Otter, represented by 'Edal' has made the ultimate statement of intent against the injustices caused by man. In this case, the statement was made directly against a man whose superiority over animals has been repeatedly demonstrated by his fearless prodding and poking of animals for the entertainment of human children. He is known as....The Nutkins:
Terry Nutkins himself is one of many men who advocate the protection and sanctuary of all animals. In himself is not the enemy of the otter. But, he is a representative of mankind and in turn, all of the horrific things that we have done to our animal co-habitants. For me, the otter simply said: "I don't care how much you profess to have my best interests at heart, I'm gonna bite your fucking fingers off".....
Here's how it went down:
Take that smarmy look off your face Nutkins, or you're 'avin it!
So in conclusion; Africa, you can keep your cornucopia of majestic savannah roaming beasts. Asia, you can continue to pride yourself as hosts of the great jungle dwellers such as the Elephant and the Tiger. But you know what; "Beatrix Potter never wrote shit about no Lions!"