There are not all that many people prepared to hold aloft the small woodland mammal of their choice in mixed company these days, especially when the recent tabloid hysteria questioning the practice of taking a weasel to the supermarket during a Bank Holiday weekend. This is especially disconcerting to those of a nervous disposition for whom, the presence of a badger or pine marten, during their weekly shopping trips is such a comfort, especially during the busy periods such as a typical pre-Bank Holiday weekend.
Of course, there have been a few incidents alleged where an over-stressed badger - or a squirrel in fear for the integrity of its nuts – may have bitten other shoppers. Allegedly, in one case made notorious by the aforementioned tabloids, a shop assistant at the checkout was savagely attacked by a distraught water vole when the store's computer rejected its loyalty card for the third time that week. However, further investigation has failed to come up with any evidence whatsoever for the water vole attack on the checkout staff of any British supermarket, let alone any small woodland creature assaulting another shopper.
Furthermore, most supermarkets - perhaps fearful of their market share and reputation – have all issued statements saying how they regard the use of small woodland mammals as companion shoppers as a great British tradition which they all wholeheartedly support.
Consequently, this whole issue could be one of those occasional tabloid storms that disappears almost as quickly as it became front page news, especially if some minor celebrity happens to go out for an evening in paparazzi-rich environment after forgetting to don any underwear.