There was a badger called Bandit who built a bridge across a raging river and charged travellers a small sum to cross safely over. One day a woolly mammoth wanted to cross the bridge.

“I must forbid you to make the attempt,” said Bandit, “because you are far too heavy for such a structure.” The mammoth grew highly annoyed at this refusal and barged past without paying the fee. But when he was only halfway across, the bridge collapsed.

“Alas, I was a fool!” lamented the mammoth as the current carried him off to a waterfall. “This badger's advice would have enabled me not only to save my life but my finances too.”

“That's not quite right,” Bandit called after him, “because I would have been more than happy to receive your crossing fee even if you had made a detour. I'm not a charity! As it happens, I plan to sue your descendants for the full cost of repairing my bridge and for loss of earnings, plus the mental stress this incident caused me.”

¶ The ethics of a badger are rarely black and white.