Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little Toad on the Prairie

I asked Shannon how the mosquitoes were at her house in the country this year.

"I hardly see any," she told me, "because of the toads."


"Yeah, Toads. They're everywhere, all over our yard. When Shane runs the lawnmower, you see them hopping out of the way all over the place. We've got dozens of toads. I think I've only seen three mosquitoes this year since the toads came out."

"Can I see one?"

"Yeah, just look in any damp, shady spot around my house. Like by the air conditioning unit. And at night they all come out and sit on the driveway. I don't know why, but at 9 pm my driveway is covered with toads."

I had to go see. So I went over to the air conditioning unit. Sure enough, there was a toad.

He was about the size of my fist. I caught him and brought him in the house to show the kids. He felt dry and bumpy and squirmy, so I loosened my grip a little. Next thing I knew, he was flying down Shannon's stairs. I chased him up and down the stairs for a bit before I caught him and returned him to the air conditioning unit.

Then I took his picture. Look at it again. Do you think he looks traumatized?

Poor guy. After that I told the kids they could go out and look for toads and they were welcome to catch any they wanted except that one. He'd had enough for one day.

As we were leaving Shane and Shannon's it was nine pm and sure enough, the toads were coming out onto the driveway. They like the flood light because it means good eating. They didn't really like my kids chasing them all over the place, but they were good sports about it.

Bean never did catch one, though he tried pretty hard. As we were leaving he asked Shannon if he could come back and see her toads again.

"Anytime," she replied.

He's begging me to go back there today. I'm tempted.

I love toads.

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Rob said...

Hey, we just saw a toad in our driveway here in Hutchinson. He wasn't nearly as big the one in your pictures. We're all for fewer mosquitoes after putting up with them in NC. The more toads the better!

Birrd said...

Yeah, I'm thinking about buying one of those little terra cotta toad houses they sell in gardening catalogs and kidnapping one of Shannon's toads. I'm definitely in favor of toads.

Owlet said...