Art

“Kill the Badger!” (An excerpt from William S. Burroughs’ novella The Cat Inside)

An excerpt from William S. Burroughs’ novella The Cat Inside…

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At Los Alamos Ranch School, where they later made the atom bomb and couldn’t wait to drop it on the Yellow Peril, the boys are sitting on logs and rocks, eating some sort of food. There is a stream at the end of a slope. The counselor was a Southerner with a politician’s look about him. He told us stories by the campfire, culled from the racist garbage of the insidious Sax Rohmer – East is evil, West is good.

Suddenly, a badger erupts among the boys – don’t know why he did it, just playful, friendly and inexperienced like the Aztec Indians who brought fruit down to the Spanish and got their hands cut off. So the counselor rushes for his saddlebag and gets out his 1911 Colt .45 auto and starts blasting at the badger, missing it with every shot at six feet. Finally he puts his gun three inches from the badger’s side and shoots. This time the badger rolls down the slope into the stream. I can see the stricken animal, the sad shrinking face, rolling down the slope, bleeding, dying.

“You see an animal, you kill it, don’t you? It might have bitten one of the boys.”

The badger just wanted to romp and play, and he gets shot with a .45 government issue. Contact that. Identify with that. Feel that. And ask yourself, whose life is worth more? The badger, or this evil piece of white shit?

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