We are excited to introduce our mascot: The Badgers.
Why did we choose a badger to represent our vision for our students?
Badgers hold on.
In Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis introduces us to a talking badger named Trufflehunter who provides steadiness in an uncertain time of exile and disunity among the Narnians. He is the first to help Caspian after he gets lost in the woods while fleeing his uncle Miraz and he spurs others on to patience and hope.
“The help will come. I stand by Aslan. Have patience, like us beasts. The help will come. It may be even now at the door” (Prince Caspian, Chapter 12).
This badger’s most inspiring characteristic is something we prize very much at Cedar: having a long memory. Even though the Telmarenes have taken over Narnia, disrupting the line of kingship Aslan instituted, Trufflehunter seems unperturbed. He trusts that Aslan will return and put things to rights.
“I’m a beast, I am, and a Badger what’s more. We don’t change. We hold on. I say great good will come of it. This is the true King we’ve got here: a true King, coming back to true Narnia. And we beasts remember, even if Dwarfs forget, that Narnia was never right except when a son of Adam was king” (Prince Caspian, Chapter 5).
We admire Trufflehunter’s simple hope. We love the crown that our friend and designer Ethan Greb (a classical school alum himself!) drew over our badger on our school seal, reminding us that we work and wait in the King’s name.
When badgers fight they aim to win.
Then we come to The Wind and the Willows and one of the most excellent characters in children’s literature, Mr. Badger. This badger lives in a cozy home in the Wild Wood, intentionally staying away from the bustle of the riverfolk.
“Badger’ll turn up some time or other – he’s always turning up – and then I’ll introduce you. The best of fellows! But you must not only take him as you find him, but when you find him.”
“Couldn’t you ask him here for dinner or something?” said the Mole.
“He wouldn’t come,” replied the Rat simply. “Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing” (The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 4).
Yet, when Ratty and Mole get lost in the Wild Wood, Badger (“who wore a long dressing-gown, and whose slippers were indeed very down at heel”) welcomes them into his large fire-lit kitchen and feeds them. Though a homebody, Badger is a generous and hospitable creature. Though a lover of “security, peace, and tranquility” who proudly keeps his larders full of turnips, ham, and honey, he is keen to intervene when his friends need help. As he explains to Mole, when you live underground –
“You’re entirely your own master, and you don’t have to consult anybody or mind what they say. Things go on all the same overhead, and you let ‘em and don’t bother about ‘em. When you want to, up you go, and there the things are, waiting for you” (The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 4).
When the fight is on, up he goes. Badger is steady and wise, so when Toad’s foolishness goes too far, Badger rebukes him and later defends Toad Hall when the stoats take it over. Like the philosopher in Plato’s Republic, Badger is willing to enter Society in order to drag Toad out of the trouble in which he finds himself.
Badgers kill snakes.
Real badgers are tough animals who endure cold temperatures and kill poisonous snakes. This is a nod to our motto, “Thus Always to Dragons.” As G.K. Chesterton says, children already know that dragons exist; we just need to show them that dragons can be killed.
Our Badger is a symbol of valor, friendship, and hope.
We’re Badgers. We hold on. We remember. We fight.