World's Largest Badger
The world's largest badger, once a fixture at the Badger Country gas station, has been truncated to serve new masters. In the late 1990s the gas station closed and became the Northern Exposure Gentleman's Club. Signs for regular and diesel were replaced by ones promising "Hot Girls" and "Ladies Get in Free."
In the glory days of the Badger, he could be seen poking up out the top of the rounded brown mound that was the Badger Country gift store, his clawed front paws outstretched. Michael Kautza was both owner of the business and creator of the original Badger.
Now, everything south of the shoulders of the once-40-foot-tall badger has been removed -- somewhere -- except for the clawed paws. Its shoulders and hands now rise from a small mound of dirt by the roadside, making the badger appear as if it had been buried in the ground up to its neck and is waving frantically at passing motorists to help dig him out. A small dip has been sculpted out of the fence beneath the badger's chin, providing a better view.
The mighty fallen log with the scampering squirrel -- which sheltered the Badger Country gas pumps -- is still here, although you can no longer drive under it. Its ends have been sealed and the log now serves as a garage.
We mourn the loss of the badger's body, but its new configuration does make it easier to pose next to for once-in-a-lifetime vacation photos. And getting so close to the badger's head enables one to better appreciate its immense size, as well as its unsettling zombie stare.