Get stuffed …

Nature vs nurture?

Before I had children I was rather convinced by the nurturing arguments – but that has been revealed to me as little more than the arrogance of youth! Yes, of course, there is some impact on the child in the way they are brought up – but it is not the whole story.

And how is that related to taxidermy?

Because the more I have got to know my biological mother the more I find out that we are linked in ways that could not have anything to do with nurture – she had just ten days to imprint her character on me … and I can hardly remember what happened ten days ago, let alone in my very first ten days on the planet!

I went to visit her last week and took, as requested, my stuffed hedgehog (about which I wrote a while ago) because she had someone who wanted to meet it …

For many many years her nickname has been ‘badger’ and when a friend found this stuffed one in a house clearance sale, well … it was irresistible. And I got to pose between an asymmetric intraguild predatory relationship …. which, when you have read The Beauty in the Beast, you will recognise as being related to a rather smutty joke.

So it is not a rigorous scientific survey – but over four decades apart and we both have a desire for stuffed British wildlife … along with a passion for music. And apparently I laugh like her father, but at the things her mother found funny. And much more besides. And now she wants a hedgehog too – so if anyone out there has a nice example of prickly taxidermy they want to be rid of, please drop me a line!

One thought on “Get stuffed …

  1. Hi Hugh,

    how moving this was to read – my daughter has very little contact with her father, but it is scary how she pulls ths same expressions and often comes out with comments that are so like his. Very weird. It does challenge those nature-nuture concepts we thought we knew!

    Much love,


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