Badger’s Parting Gifts
by Susan Varley

Badger is old and he knows that he doesn’t have long left on this earth. He’s not afraid to die, but he is worried about how his friends will feel after he has gone. He prepares them by explaining that soon he will be going down the Long Tunnel and that he doesn’t want them to be sad.

Sure enough, one day Badger’s friends come to visit and discover that he has died. They understand that he has gone down the Long Tunnel and that he was not scared to do so, but still they are very sad that they will not see their friend again. As Autumn turns to Winter, the animals stay at home and mourn their loss.

When Spring arrives the friends start to visit each other once again and slowly they begin to talk. Mole tells everyone about the time Badger taught him how to use scissors to make a string of paper dolls. Frog recalls how Badger taught him to skate on the icy pond. Fox remembers when Badger taught him how to knot a tie.

As the special memories are shared, the friends realise that Badger has given each of them a gift and that knowing him has changed their lives for the better.

This beautifully illustrated book about loss and grief encourages little ones to share their feelings and to talk about the memories they have. Originally published in 1984, ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts’ has been comforting children for over 35 years and it has been endorsed by the charity Child Bereavement UK. The book also features a guidance section for parents and carers to help you discuss the story with your child.

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