When Londonist learned that a stuffed badger from the Horniman Museum had moved into Bishopsgate Institute to explore the collections, we just had to find out what was going on. We managed to track the urbane Mustelid down, and ask her some questions.
Hi Badger. You don't have a name, but you're a female badger, is that correct?
I am indeed. Names are for pets and I'm nobody's pet!
What's the best thing you've read in the Bishopsgate Institute library so far?
I've enjoyed flicking through a great scrapbook by Fred Wensley, who was Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police in the 1920s. He collected photos and news clippings about the cases he worked on, including famous events like the Siege of Sidney Street in 1911, which happened just over a mile from here.
What are you looking forward to doing while you're at Bishopsgate Institute?
I'm excited about making new friends and sharing lots of the archive on Twitter. I hope I might be able to kick off some debate and discussions too. I'm from the 1970s so I'm still getting the hang of this new 'social media' thing but it's clearly the hip place to be.
Whereabouts can you usually be found in the Horniman Museum?
I'm not usually on display as I'm out and about as part of the Object in Focus programme, but there are other taxidermy creatures like me that organisations can apply to borrow, including a kakapo, a pine marten and a secretary bird. I do miss the walrus when I'm away but we keep in touch through the Twitter.
Are there any animals you can hang out with while you're at Bishopsgate Institute?
Inquisitive humans! I love receiving human visitors so I hope lots of people will come and say hello.
I do miss the walrus when I'm away but we keep in touch through the Twitter.
Apparently you also like to fight for your rights. What are you fighting for at the moment?
I'm campaigning for fairer verbs. Beavering away is a good thing. Ferreting around is pretty neutral. But badgering — why do we get the negative connotations?
What's it like being a badger who lives in London?
I'm from East Anglia originally so it's quite a change being part of the London sett. I love that there's so much happening and so many places to visit. The city's full of museums, libraries and archives — plenty of history to get stuck into.
And seeing as you're nocturnal, are you making the most of the east London nightlife?
I don't have time, dear — too much work to do! But what the staff here don't know is that I play T-Rex loudly at night in the library while I badger away. See, it works as a positive verb too.
The Bishopsgate Badger is in residence until the 24 February 2016. You can follow her on Twitter: @BI_Badger