TREBOROUGH, England — At dusk these days, the crackle of gunfire echoes through this normally tranquil patch of countryside. It is the sound calling Jay Tiernan once more unto the breach in Britain’s raging Badger Wars.
Tiernan is one of hundreds of Britons who have rallied to the aid of the nocturnal badger. Their mission: disrupt a government-backed cull of an adored beast straight from the pages of English children’s literature.
But there are two sides to every tale. In the magical world of ‘‘The Wind in the Willows,’’ Mr. Badger was a cuddly curmudgeon with the wardrobe of a proper country squire. But in the real world, farmers here say, his kind have bred like ill-tempered, supercharged rabbits since becoming a protected species in 1973. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.