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The Toad

by (Edward) Hugh Petrie

Copyright © May 30, 2003

I had just gone to town and bought my first bag of hempnut from Grandma's Pantry in Killaloe Ontario, to see what that might do for my gaining seriously needed weight, sat down and ate 7 tablespoons of it. Felt good.

Went out and filled the lawnmower gas tank, topped up the oil, and started to slaughter the grass on the path to our displaced cottage on a waterless hill.

Iíd mostly done the area I wanted to do in this mad rush of energy when I spotted a quarter inch long toad jumping like mad to get out of my way so I ran right over him to get it over.

No! I stopped the mower, and approached so he - uh? - it, I hadnít figured its sex, jumped madly every which way for a few shots til I zeroed in on him with my hands to either side and began to guide him to the garden about ten feet away.

So he jumped about seven times and then abruptly turned right around and jumped back to my big toe of the right foot and placed his forefeet on the nail of my toe.

So I took my gloves off and put my left hand down to where I could rub its back, which it let me do without fear.

Then I put my right hand down and teased him onto the palm with my left hand forefinger and he moved onto it with no hesitation.

Then I picked him up and took him to a spot in the garden area where I wouldnít be likely to run over him without noticing. He seemed satisfied to be left there and shortly took a jump off to a more covered spot to do his thing.

Some folk think lower animals canít think, but this little fellow had quickly decided that if I could chase him where I wanted and wasnít stomping on him that it might be better to go back and make a deal.

The deal was Iíd help him get to where I wanted him easier than on his own in panic.

I finished a bit more killing green biomass and went in for some more hempnut and Earl Grey tea.

But I have to admit to, on another year, having killed a toad in our yard, before I could see it was hiding in a cool hole in the yard. With the world failing as it is, at least partly due to manís folly, I feel sad that I got one I didnít see thanks to hi-tech cutting machines and being in a hurry.

Hugh
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