This is the result of rooting about in my unused drafts. The “yesterday” I refer to is about three years ago, but I don’t think that matters. I have added a couple of links and a few minor edits but it is mainly as written at the time, showing the timeless nature of my aimless ramblings.
If I’m honest, I spent a bit too much time yesterday musing on the trustworthiness, or otherwise, of members of the mustelid family. It is not really a suitable subject of thought for anyone over the age of twelve. However, if you look at the world wide web you will find that I am not the only one who considers such questions.
It was, as usual, the fault of the weasels. I could say, and was in fact tempted to say “the fault of the ferrets” but that would have been untrue. The train of thought was, I admit, started by me thinking of a ferret in connection with a pedestrian who walked out in front of me as I was driving, but quickly moved on to thoughts of politics and weasels. I like alliteration, but I like accuracy more.
We describe evasive words as “weasel words” and refer to untrustworthy people as weasels. We also use the word “ferrety” about people we don’t like. (This “we” is my opinion of what people generally do, but it might just be me. Please feel free to distance yourself from my pronouncements if you feel I am being weaselist.) We even have the expression “morals of a stoat”. I checked that one up just in case it was just me, but find it originates from a speech in the House of Commons. Polecats are generally only spoken of when a measure of smelliness is required. All in all, they do not have a good reputation.
Badgers, on the other hand, and otters, are generally portrayed sympathetically. I see the hand of Kenneth Grahame in this, aided and abetting by BB. Martens are not generally portrayed in fiction and we don’t have wolverines in the UK, though we don’t have racoons either and that doesn’t stop Disney putting them in films set in the UK.
The original stopped after Kenneth Grahame so I have finished it off and will now leave you with the epitaph from the BB link. The picture is, I admit, not a mustelid, but it is the nearest i have.
The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power,
The shapes of things,
Their colours, lights and shades,
These I saw.
Look ye also while life lasts.