Saturday, April 21, 2012

“Miss, do you have a frog?”  Nicolas asked standing in the doorway at lunch time yesterday. “What?”   

We found him or her as Luis corrected me hiding under the cabinet that holds a trash barrel.  Not a frog but a very large toad, when “sitting” covering the palm of my hand and extending to the second joint of my finger.  All deep green and bumpy backed with a creamy throat and a hint of chartreuse around the mouth and a little rosy at the throat.  Luis helped me capture him – we put a large bowl over him then slid heavy cardboard underneath and made the transfer to a large plastic bin. Christina brought a roll of screening over from the science room and we covered the bin and added a dish of water and some rocks.  Later we posed for pictures together with Warren as the camera man. Here I stood at age 65 standing with a giant toad in Tegucigalpa Honduras

I am sure no one could understand my excitement and the thrill of holding this toad giant.

Time travel - I am six years old on my first Brownie Scout outing to Camp Delwood.  We had been wading in the river/stream/creek that runs through the camp and then we saw what seemed like hundreds of small (nickel sized) toads leaping about from under the forest floor of  old leaves, wild flowers, mushrooms and other debris. We raced about trying to catch them.  When successful we held them cupped in our hands and peeped in at them staring back at us in fear. I had the thrill of "capturing" a wild creature. We found jars and cups to contain them and after our afternoon we released them to find their homes again.  

Next a visit to Toad Hall in friend and neighbor C’s bedroom where she had a screened cage about 12 inches square with sod on the bottom and a water pool and Thaddeus T. Toad Esquire in residence. As I recall there was a sign stating his name and address “Toad Hall” over the door to the cage. I don’t recall how he happened to come to live in C.’s bedroom or what his destiny was. It seemed that he lived there a very long time. But he sparked my imagination and a lifetime enjoyment and appreciation for the book The Wind in the Willows. 

At the end of the day after much discussion about his fate, my toad was transported by Warren to the lower field and released.  There he hopefully found his way back to a safe “home place” and to his friends Mole and Ratty.  His great adventure behind him at least until the next time the mowers roar into action. 

Oh, yes I have a “frog”!