Friday, November 21, 2014

Honey Badger vs the Darkness

My six year old son had been having problems sleeping at night due largely to the typical childhood fears of monsters, shadows and vague noises. Remembering the fact that Honey Badgers are formidable animals, I hatched a plan where we watched a National Geographic documentary about Honey Badgers. When it was finished my son concluded that honey badgers were about as badass as animals could get. I ordered him a stuffed honey badger and he waited with baited breath for it to arrive.

When the box was opened we played with his stuffed animals a bit, including a sequence where he had to convince his stuffed cheetahs, lions and other fierce creatures to stop being scared of the Honey badger, because he was their friend.

That night when my son went to bed, he brought up his usual fears about scary things in the darkness.

"What time are Honey Badgers most active?" I asked him.

He thought a moment and replied, "At nigh. They're nocturnal."

"Exactly. Your Honey Badger is hunting when you're sleeping. He's on guard while you sleep. That's how he evolved."

My son smiled.

"An you know what else?"


"Do you think there's ANYTHING you're scared of that the Honey Badger can't take out?"

He laughed. "No Daddy." He then got very serious. "But what if there's too many for my honey badger to fight?"

"Remember the documentary?"


"Do you think your other stuffies could sleep through the racket of a honey badger fighting?"

He laughed again. "No Daddy."

"Well then, if anything scary comes by, your honey badger will take it out. If it has any trouble, it'll make so much noise in the fight all your other fierce animals will hear the racket and come to your honey badger's aid. By that point there'll be so much noise Mommy and I will wake up too."

"OK Daddy!" he announced, and flopped into bed, fiercely snuggling his new friend.

He still wakes up at night now and then, but generally because he wants to cuddle with Mommy or Daddy. His fear of dark things in the night has pretty much evaporated. He's even taken to venturing downstairs at night, so long as he has the honey badger and one or two other particularly fierce creatures in tow.