Monday, September 20, 2010
It is time. I must write, reflect, and disclose my toad tales. Since I was a small child, I have been attracted to toads and frogs. Do you know the difference? Let me explain that frogs live by the water, jump high, are usually brighter green, and have a slimy, smooth skin. Toads don’t need to live near the water, are plumper, have big football shaped eyes, and run or takes small hops to escape. Their plump little bodies just seem cuddly and begging to be held. They are soft, and mushy. The feeling is similar to the shaggy, rubber balls sold at toy stores today. I bet the designer had known a toad.
I remember when I was pregnant with our first born, I would turn the back porch light on to attract nocturnal insects. Then, in my giant while nightgown that fit over my bulging belly, I would grab insects from the light and feed to the toads that lived in my ferns. It was my nurturing nature being fulfilled by timid toads.
When I garden, toads are my friends. They eat the bad beetles and menacing mosquitoes. Squeals of delight can be heard by my backyard neighbors. The reason? I have found Mr. Kudunk hiding under the golden nasturtiums. He hugs his dark, warty body to the earth. He is camouflaged from others, but not me. I grab him and tell him how cute he is. I give him a little squeeze and a kiss on his sweet, soft mouth and tuck him under the leaves of chard. He just makes my heart happy. I hope I have done the same for him. He is one of my favorite creatures made and designed by God.
Another delight I have discovered in toads is their wide low set eyes. They sometimes sleep with the lid half shut and half open. I observe them from my glider on my front patio. Here they prefer living by the splashing fountain and bayberry bushes. They hop, but not high like frogs. They move from place to place and sit and watch me as I watch them. We have a united community. They catch the mosquitoes, and I get to swing longer and watch the sunset.
I give ode to the toad. I value his design, his purpose, and his importance to the earth. For the world is a nasty place, it has fertilizers, pesticides, and pollutants that threaten his life. Toads have few predators. He is divinely equipped with skin that lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns eyes and nostrils of his predators, much like a skunk does. I relate closely to that offense. When anyone attacks my kids and loved ones, I too send words that might burn their eyes or even penetrate their hearts. They back away quickly. I am not proud of my sharp remarks, but please don’t threaten or degrade my loved ones.
One last eccentric pastime is naming my toads. There is Alford, Maria, San Lucia, and Gramps that I have cherished this summer. I call them by name when I pick them up and give them a hug. I don’t need a photo of Mr. Kudunk or the others because their picture in my heart will live forever.