Whilst walking back through our village after a night ramble 3rd. February 2017 – I noticed something at the side of the wet road that didn’t look very nice. In the dim light – I thought it was dog’s mess; the right shade – the right shape and positioned at the side of the road at the foot of an unscaleable stone wall -the ‘right’ place so as not to step in it. I don’t know why I stopped and decided to give the slimy, elongated deposit closer inspection – just instinct I guess! Close up it still looked like something I didn’t want to pick up – so I decided to give the small slimy heap a gentle nudge with the end of my umbrella – yes it had rained again. The alien thing didn’t budge – even with gentle persuasion from my umbrella tip. It was cold, swollen and lifeless – a not so beautiful Toad. I think Toad was utterly spent from trying to scale the impossible wall – he’d given up. Exhausted Toad was between ‘a rock and a hard place’ – his only escape if he’d had the energy – was to dice with death and cross the road in the other direction. Without my intervention he was going nowhere fast. With no more ado – I picked up his flaccid body – and carried him home – hoping that he may warm up and revive en-route.
When I got home – I kept hold of him for a while longer and watched life return to his body. As he gained strength – I took a couple of pictures of him as he pushed against my gloved hand – asking for release from my lifesaving grip. One of his eyes was slightly cloudy – but I think it was just full of sleep – or slime – in fact he was very slimy and mucky all over. I expect he had not long emerged from hibernation.
Finally, I put him on a plastic sheet to check him over in the light – and then I set him free in my next door neighbour’s garden – where there’s a pond and open fields close-by. Under torch-light – I watched him crawl away into the night – under lots of dead leaves and moss – towards a new beginning that’s waiting around the corner; SPRING!
While compiling this short post about Toad – I have listened too one of my favourite tracks ‘Bohemian Like You’ by the Dandy Warhols – it’s been playing on repeat at full volume! It’s not easy writing and singing at the same time. I think I put it on today because one of the performers in the You Tube video reminds me of Toad in the nicest possible way; I love toads. See if you can guess which one? Sing along too – “Whoa Ho Woo”!