The Bracken is a bully. He never picks a fight alone. He gathers in his hundreds of thousands, grabs you by the ankle and gets the biggest boys to beat you up. The Bracken rules these parts, and those, and all the others. He populates the moor as far as the blinded eye can see. He buries his corpses before they are dead. That way he doesn’t need to dispose of the bodies.

Bracken grows tall in his adolescence. His fists curl brown beneath his green unfurled dreadlocks. His boots are unfastened but their laces are tangled with those of his mates, so their gang will not be, will not be, will not be moved. You cannot carve a path through their county. You are not going anywhere.

My, hasn’t he grown? His grandmother loves him, and he protects her. Heart of gold, the bracken has. He’s a gentle giant. He belongs here and this country is his. He is the patriot who never knew his father. He’s a mummy’s boy and now he’s taller that she, he embalms her with his cosy coming-of-age condescension. At home he is his mother’s pride. Outside, his generosity knows no bounds. He is the thug that just keeps on thugging.

Bracken rules the carrion roost. He’ll hide any cadaver. He’ll launder immoral earnings. He’ll deal in stolen goods, banned substances and unlicensed weapons. He’ll raise an army. He’ll muster rebels. He’ll occupy territory.

Beware bracken. Unless you can pick him out and get him on his own.

Then watch him shrivel.

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