The King of the Badgers was on the phone to me again yesterday practically in tears. He really must pull himself together. Not only has he been getting flak about me taking over Badgertown Rock but now people are claiming that I am trying to buy the Mayoral election.
I admit I got Cowgill and Gubbins to take over a bag full of cash to help Noddy Ninety with his campaign - whats wrong with that?. Honestly - that's the thanks you get for trying to help out the democratic process. Noddy did say he would help me out with a couple of planning applications - but that's just greasing the wheels of industry.
Now Boris Badger is moaning that I am just a moneybags trying to fix the election. Cheek!...never heard him complaining when I got him that job at the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation.
Not surprisingly the Badfort Crowd have got in on the act and have put up Hootman as a candidate on an anti-sleaze ticket. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
The King of the Badgers came to see me today to inform me that the missing discs have been found.
It turns out that Bill Bodger had not sent the data files to his friend Old Mankey after all. He had, mistakenly, been using the CD's as coasters for his mugs of tea and that is why no one could find them.
I am very cross with the King of the Badgers - as you all know he is always strapped for cash so he has agreed to release Jellytussle in return for the money that the Badfort crowd made out of their fake pictures scam.
Perhaps the people who bought the fakes deserve to suffer for their greed but I am not sure if the Badfort Crowd should be allowed to profit by their acts - still, at least the Badgers will benefit.
Everyday I receive a pile of post. Most of them are begging letters. As we were going through them, this morning, the Old Monkey found one for him.
It contained 2 CD's and a letter.
One could see where the confusion had arisen. The letter was addressed to Old Mankey at the Badger Audit Office. The Old Monkey runs the Badfort Audit Office (it catalogues all the known misdeeds of the miscreants) from my office and the postman had obviously got them muddled up.
I thought I better give the King of the Badgers a ring as they might be important.
He was so relieved to find out where they were. Apparently they contain a lot of sensitive information, held by Badger Revenue and Customs, on the recipients of my banana allowance.
They had been looking for them everywhere, behind cupboards, under desks - they had turned over the whole office trying to find them. He said he had been accused of incompetence and could lose his job over it.
I told him not to worry - Goodman would parcel them up and bring them around personally. He would also give them some advice on how to run a reliable office.
The Old Monkey let it be known that he was interested in purchasing the famous portrait of the two of us by the renowned artist Waldovenison Smeare.
The portrait hangs in my office so we knew that anyone claiming to have it would be a charlatan.
Before long the Old Monkey received a scrawled letter inviting him to a meeting at a secluded ramshackle hut on the outskirts of Badfort.
Myself, A.B.Fox, Cloutman, Gubbins and members of the Badgertown constabulary hid ourselves in the environs of the hut whilst the meeting took place. The Old Monkey wore a wire.
Before long Jellytussle turned up and attempted to sell the portrait to him for $10 million dollars! He even had the cheek to try and persuade him to buy a copy of one of his own paintings, Sunrise over Badfort !
The painting hangs in Homeward Art Gallery! - it is a truly awful abstract. One can only assume that the curator must have been bribed into buying it.
As the money was about to change hands we swooped. The constables carted Jellytussle off for what, I hope, will be a long sojourn at the King of the Badgers pleasure.
Cowgill came up with another ingenious gadget to help me retrieve the gold bullion stolen from me by the Badfort gang.
A giant ballista.
Yesterday we launched our attack. I was catapulted into Badfort Castle and took the villains completely by surprise.
I was astounded to see in the central courtyard that they had piled up, not only my gold, but also what looked like millions and millions of dollars. Beaver and his gang were still all fast asleep so I kicked open the gates and my followers burst in.
Hitmouse gave a cry and soon Beaver and his gang came streaming into battle. A furious fight ensued. Although they put up a determined resistance we were like a mighty avalanche and events had soon turned in our favour. I was about to give Beaver a mighty kick up when he suddenly shouted "Look it's Kenny Hogan!"
Was this some kind of trick? I thought. What would the famous television personality and professional Irishman be doing here?
Holding Beaver tight I looked around and saw the celebrity getting out of his stretch limousine with a whole gang of precocious children.
He thanked us profusely for all our good work and proceeded to supervise the children whilst they loaded his car with my gold and Beaver's dollars!!!
What could we say?...after all I had my image as a philanthropist to consider and Beaver could hardly complain given all his rantings about stealing from the rich to give to the poor (which we all know is nonsense).
With a wave as he drove away Kenny once again thanked us for doubling the amount raised this year.
Beaver and I looked at each other disconsolately. "Ever feel you have been mugged?" whispered Beaver. We both looked up at a banner over our heads...written on it in large letters were the words "Children in Need - Sponsored Fight". "Who put that there ?" Beaver and I shouted in unison. Nobody came forward but I noticed the Old Monkey was conspicuous by his absence.
As you can imagine, using a mobile phone is problematic for an elephant.
I'm all fingers and thumbs when it comes to their operation. They have got such fiddly little buttons.
Luckily, Cowgill has come up with a brilliant high tech solution. It is a phone with a trunk sensitive screen which he calls the ephone (e standing for elephant, of course). It is a very clever device that can take pictures, receive television and connect to the interweb. All at the brush of a trunk.
Also it is clockwork so one never needs to worry about battery life.
It is quite bulky because my trunk is quite large but it provides gainful employment for Whitebeard who transports it everywhere I go in a wheelbarrow and keeps it wound up.
You may be wondering how I can allow myself to be distracted by this new electronic toy when I should be planning a counter strike against the Badfort Crowd to retrieve my gold.
Well, Cowgill has another ingenious device that may well provide a solution to the Hateman problem.
As I suspected it has not taken long for Beaver Hateman to take his revenge for his incarceration.
Over the weekend we decided to take a consignment of gold to Badgertown to help the King of the Badgers honour his rash promises regarding flexible working hours.
The route took us directly past Badfort so I took along the strongmen Cloutman and Gubbins to provide security.
On the way we came across a lady in distress. She told us she was a Marchioness and had been robbed of her jewels by some louts who ignored her non-domicile tax status and insisted on "redistributing wealth from fat cats like her".
Typically outrageous behaviour from that gang of thugs.
I told Cloutman and Gubbins to escort the distressed lady home. We steamed at full speed past Badfort. Suddenly - Whoosh - the roof of the traction engine disappeared. We gazed up to see it making a jerky progress towards the roof of Badfort, held by a large rusty hook. Sack-suited figures could be seen wildly turning a wheel at the bottom of a primitive crane on the top of a large tower.
We were exposed to a crowd of sordid yelling figures who crowded the upper windows of Badfort. There was Beaver, with Filljug, Hitmouse, Nailrod, Sigismund, Flabskin, the Wooden-Legged Donkey and all the rest of the nasty crew.
I told the Old Monkey to keep his head down but with a horrible raucous yell of "Take that, Unc!" Beaver threw a duck-bomb at us. Luckily it fell short, but the dangerous fluid splashed against the flywheel of the traction engine. It soon lost speed because of the clogging coat of leathery jelly. We were then assailed by egg-bombs and we were blinded by the loathsome mixture of ink, glue and tin tacks.
The hook swung down again and this time grabbed hold of the chest of gold in the trailer. I tried to make a grab for it but found myself stuck fast. The crane whirred into action carrying the chest high into the air, then swinging round to deposit it on the ramparts of Badfort.
I don't think that we could have stood the assault much longer, but at that point Cloutman and Gubbins returned. We have been tricked they cried - and breathlessly told us how, once they had reached a safe distance from Badfort, the 'lady' had revealed herself to be none other than Hitmouse in another fiendish disguise.
They managed to push start the engine and we got near enough to Homeward to be out of range of further missiles from Badfort.
Wickedness of this magnitude shall not go unpunished. I shall retrieve my gold.
Well that was a short lived respite. Last night, as we sat down for our evening feast, a hideous laugh shattered the tranquility of the evening. It was Beaver. He shouted up to us. "Ha, ha! You thought you could keep me in prison, did you! But I'm here, you fat old humbug! and my revenge will be sweet - just you wait and see!"
Once more, difficulties start. We are mounting a 24 hour watch.
This morning he had the whole of his crew lined up outside Badfort. He was haranguing them. We need to be ever vigilant.
All's well that ends well. The badgers managed to catch the Badfort gang before they got home with their ill-gotten gains. They all managed to scarper but I'd knocked Beaver out - so their leader is no languishing in Badgertown Prison.
I don't want to be overly optimistic but it finally looks like we shall have some peace and quiet around here for a change.
Yesterday, I was invited to hear the King of the Badgers speech opening the new session at Badgertown Town Hall.
This address, delivered amid great pomp and ceremony, is a chance for the government to set out its new legislative agenda.
As my retinue and I arrived there was a loud explosion from the bowels of the Town Hall. The King of the Badgers ran up looking very dishevelled. "It's Beaver," he cried "he stole some explosives from your fireworks party and has used them to blow off the doors of the Treasury safe. He says he will give all the rates money back to the people. Hundreds of badgers are listening to him."
We rushed into the Council Chamber which was awash with badgers. Beaver sat upon the throne shouting a speech. He spotted us and cried out "Look at the great bloated bladder of lard who has just rolled up from his castle! Look at him, citizens, but don't despair! One step at a time! Badgertown today! Homeward tomorrow! Forward! Forward! Join me in manning the Town Hall. Don't be afraid! You're in the money! No more tuition fees! Free degrees for all! You can all be a B.A. and M.A. without effort! That's your right! Down with the bloated tyrants and the silly old King of the Badgers! Join me and rule the place sanely! Up slaves and crush the monster! Share in the share-out!
Hateman's speech was having a great influence on the simple badgers - they were rallying to his side. You are going to have to promise them something really good I whispered to the King. "Oooh I know, I've got a great idea!," he said. He turned to his people and shouted "Flexible working rights!"
The badgers all looked slightly baffled. "What does that mean?" cried one young badger. "Eeerm.." said the King, struggling for an answer "It means....you can work when you like for as long as you like..." he stuttered.
This made the badgers smile and Beaver looked worried and confused. I'm not surprised...it sounded like one of the half baked ideas he would come up with.
What finally clinched the change in events, though, was when one of the badgers spotted a cart filled with gold being driven at a furious pace by Hitmouse towards Badfort. "Oi! they are nicking our taxes!" he cried, and suddenly a stampede of badgers made a rush for the doors to give chase.
Taking advantage of the kerfuffle I seized the Great Town Mace and with a trumpet of rage brought it down on Hateman's head.
My sense of triumph was short-lived as I suspected that I would end up having to bail the King of the Badgers out, yet again, in order for him to fulfil his rash promise to the citizens of Badgertown.
The evenings festivities, last night, were marred by a slightly unfortunate event.
One of Cowgill's rockets veered off course and landed right in the middle of Badfort.
A deputation from Badfort soon arrived.
"All right!" yelled Hateman. "So that's what it's come to: Magnate Bombards Badfort with Rockets! That's going to look well in the Badfort News tomorrow! It's bad enough that you celebrate the loss of our largest ever Black Tom dump every year, now you are attempting to destroy our home. We demand compensation!"
Feeling magnanimous I assured Beaver that it was a pure accident but now he was here why not join the party?
As for compensation, I offered him a few barrels of Cowgill's home brew. His eyes lit up - Cowgill's distillation is renowned as a heady spirit.
I even turned a blind eye when they sang their libelous songs around the fire and scoffed all the sausages.
A recent poll of the inhabitants of Homeward has shown, sadly, that my domain is still deeply divided by social status.
I feel quite hurt that, despite all my attempts to create a land of aspiration and social mobility, many of the dwarves still insist on calling themselves Working Class.
Of course, I have every right to call myself Working Class. Certainly, I have progressed from lowly origins to the position of authority and wealth I have now, however, regular readers will know the long hours that are involved in running my vast domain.
The truth, though, is that I am Upper Class now - the inevitable result of becoming a celebrity. Never let it be said that I have forgotten my humble past, but, I now know the correct time for tea-time. It is when I ring the bell for the Old Monkey to fetch it.
We had an enchanting evening in the Haunted Tower.
From a distance it's enormous black hulk looms over you. You enter through a passage that leads to a kind of Hotel lounge. The walls are mildewed and hung with spiders' webs and the carpet is rat-eaten. At the reception desk a tall cadaverous man welcomed us.
The party took place in an old medieval hall with an enormous fire burning in a fireplace that filled a whole wall. The high point of the evening was when Wizard Blenkinsop brought the suits of armour, that lined the walls, to life and the witches, in return, turned an army of frogs into knights. The two armies then put on a display of mock fighting.
At the end of the evening we retired to bed for a good haunting.
I chose this room, because I remembered that Hitmouse had found it particularly scary.
Once in the room, I could see nothing at first and so was somewhat disappointed. The bed was very comfortable, though, and I was just nodding off when I heard a low groan. Suddenly a very small ghost appeared, made of something like thick fog, standing on the bedside table.
It stood there muttering "I did it! I took the strawberry jam!"
To be polite I pretended to tremble with fear, but I think that he could see through my act. "You are not scared at all are you ?" he moaned "I am such a failure as a ghost just like I was in real life."
I reminded him that he had managed to put the wind up Hitmouse....but had to admit that this was not especially difficult given his cowardly nature.
I ended up having to give the ghost a good pep-talk. It was clear that he had never managed to overcome the incident in his childhood when he had stolen preservatives from his mothers larder. Clearly there were issues here that needed to be dealt with and I recommended a psychoanalyst. I felt sure a good Freudian or Jungian would have the answers to his lack of haunting skills. I suspect he has a mother fixation.
In the end I had a very interesting evening in discussion with the diminutive sprite about understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy.
I told him he had a very important job as modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and benefit greatly from integrating spirituality and an appreciation of the unconscious realm by being scared witless.