- Badger Mother
Badger Mother is a fictional office in the
Redwallseries by Brian Jacques. It is a term for the female badgers who have served as nurses and guardians for generations at Redwall Abbey.
The office of Badger Mother was started at the time of the Abbey's construction, as a position for the revered Bella of Brockhall. The post was for life, but time and time again it was left empty with the lack of a badger to fill it. Despite this, Badger Mothers were much loved by the inhabitants of Redwall, for their great strength but gentle touch, fierce temper but positive personality, and for all that they contributed.
Each Badger Mother is described, followed in parentheses by the novel(s) in which she appears.
Bella of Brockhall
Boar the Fighter, Bella was a badger who lived in the ancient keep of her Mossflower ancestors, Brockhall. Like many badgers, she took to wandering in her youth, and returned home with her mate Barkstripe. Around that time, Boar left for Salamandastron, leaving Barkstripe and Bella to rule in his stead. Bella lived a happy life, and gave birth to a son, Sunflash the Mace.
Bella's family was shattered by the arrival of
Verdauga Greeneyes, a foul wildcat conqueror and brother of Ungatt Trunn. Verdauga took over the fortress of Kotir, and slew Barkstripe and a large number of those who rebelled against him. To make things worse, Sunflash disappeared, seemingly off to avenge his father, and was presumed dead when he failed to reappear. Bella took refuge at Brockhall, and became one of the leaders of Corim, the resistance to Verdauga and his vermin horde.
For many seasons Bella remained in hiding, striking at the wildcat from the shadows. However, the tenuous period came to an end with the arrival of Martin the Warrior. At this time, Verdauga was poisoned by his daughter
Tsarmina, who threw her brother Gingivere in prison and took over Kotir. With Martin's assistance, the Corim stepped up their conflict with the fortress. However, this was repaid, for after his fight with Tsarmina, Martin would have died had it not been for Bella getting him to the ancient healer in a time for she ran faster and for more time than would have killed any other creature.
With assistance from
Gonff the Mousethiefand Dinny, Bella and Martin uncovered a map to Salamandastron. Believing her father Boar to be alive, and the only one who could lead the Corim to victory, she sent Martin and a small group out to find the mountain. In the meanwhile, she continued battling Tsarmina's forces. Martin eventually returned with reinforcements, and Tsarmina's regime ended.
Bella was also a good friend to Abbess Germaine, and helped her to design and build Redwall Abbey. Bella became the first Badger Mother, watching over the young ones and assisting in any way she could. Bella lived longer than any of her former comrades, becoming the oldest known badger in history. She gave the name Veil to the son of
Swartt Sixclaw, and was reunited with her son Sunflash after so many years. He stayed with her for several seasons, before she finally passed on.
Mossflower, The Legend of Luke, Outcast of Redwall")
The Badger Mother in the time of Mariel of Redwall, Mellus was, like all other badger mothers, stern but friendly. Mellus would not be put off by anything, not even the vicious temper of the amnesiac Mariel. She raised young
Dandin the Sword Carrierand future Abbot Saxtus.
Tragedy struck during the war against
Urgan Nagru, the Foxwolf. While Joseph the Bellmakerand several companions were gone, two searats made their way into Redwall. Believing there was a treasure inside, the two went looking for it. When it was discovered that the "treasure" was nothing more than a box full of Dibbun collected items, one of the rats tried to kill the Dibbuns who showed up at that moment. Mellus then died trying to defend the dibbuns, which she succeeded in doing. She and Cregga Rose Eyes are the only Badger Mothers known to reach violent deaths.
Mellus died of a knife strike to the heart. She was buried in the grounds of Redwall Abbey, and her passing evoked one final act of good. The searat who had not tried to harm them, a misguided corsair named Blaggut, slew his captain and came back to Redwall after running, apologizing for his captain's actions and declaring that he wished to be a good beast.
It was stated in "
Salamandastron" that Redwall had been without a Badger Mother for a long time. Mellus' death may have been the reason.
Mariel of Redwall, The Bellmaker")
The adopted daughter of Lord
Urthstripe the Strong, Mara chafed at the regimental life at Salamandastron. Leaving the mountain with her hare friend Pikkle Ffolger, she ran into Klitch, the son of Ferahgo the Assassin. Tricked into believing him a friend, Mara took him back to Salamandastron, giving Ferahgo knowledge of its location. Her father sent Klitch away, and Mara, upset and tired of the restrictions she was under, ran away with Pikkle to go with Klitch.
Luckily for Mara, the intervention of a Salamandastron soldier prevented her and Pikkle's capture. Still running from Salamandastron, the two were captured by cannibalistic marsh toads. While imprisoned, the two became friends with the
Guosssom(Guerrilla Union of South Stream Shrews of Mossflower). Escaping, they joined forces with the band. To repay the shrews, and gain their allegiance against Ferahgo, Mara accompanied them to an island to recover the Blackstone, a revered shrew artifact that had been stolen by a white badger.
The badger turned out to be
Urthwyte the Mighty, Urthstripe's brother. After learning the story of the badger feud with Ferahgo from Urthwyte's grandmother Loambudd, Mara set out for Salamandastron. Along the way, she found the sword of Martin the Warrior, and joined forces with its carrier, a squirrel called Samkin. The badger maid and her allies then joined the battle at the mountain. The vermin were driven off, but Urthstripe was killed. Mara spoke to his body, apologizing for her behavior, and to his list of titles added but a single word: Father.
After Urthstripe was entombed, Mara left Salamandastron for good, seeking to start fresh. The spirit of Martin the Warrior came to her and Samkin in their dreams, and Mara came with Samkin to Redwall Abbey. Upon arriving, Mara became Badger Mother of Redwall.
Badger Mother in the time of Matthias, Constance was a steadfast presence in the face of menaces like
Cluny the Scourgeand General Ironbeak. She assisted Matthias in the defense of Redwall against Cluny's hordes, and came up with several plans to counter him. Upon a meeting between herself and the Abbot and Cluny, she possessed berserk strength, lifting the main abbey table and threatening to throw it at Cluny and put an end to his life there and then.
When Matthias and the other warriors of Redwall left in search of
Slagar, Constance was left in charge of the Abbey's defenses. When General Ironbeak attacked, Constance was able to defeat him, killing his crow seer Mangiz. When Matthias' company returned to Redwall, she became firm friends with Orlando the Axe, and very fond of his daughter, Auma. She was also the first Badger Mother to groom her successor.
Orlando the Axe, Auma was left with a single parent when her mother Brockrose died. Despite this tragedy, Auma lived happily with her father, happy with his good humor. She was also very fond of mountain plant flowers, which Orlando brought her whenever he could. He also taught her all about their home in the Western Plains and in the nearby mountains.
Auma was abducted by Slagar the Cruel, prompting her father to pursue the fox with a vengeance. Along the way to the ruins of
Loamhedge Abbey, Auma met and became friends with fellow captive Mattimeo of Redwall. The two worked together, helping their friends whenever they could, and always trying to leave signs for their searching parents.
Eventually, Auma and the others were imprisoned in the kingdom of Malkariss. However, during the battle between Matthias' allies and the rat hordes of Malkariss, Auma and co. were freed by a band of Guosim shrews. Joining her father in battle with her inherent strength, Auma made a fierce foe in opposition to the vermin. After the company won, Auma and her father came to live at Redwall. She was taught by Constance the Badger Mother, and became the new Mother when Constance passed on.
Many seasons later, Auma was one of the only two remaining members of that old company, together with Rollo Bankvole. She was Badger Mother under Abbot Durral, and later under his successor Abbess Tansy. Despite her gruffness, Auma was a gentle creature, and enjoyed playing with the Dibbuns more than the Dibbuns themselves.
Mattimeo", " The Pearls of Lutra",mentioned in " The Long Patrol")
Cregga Rose Eyes
The Long Patrol, Marlfox, The Taggerung")
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