Thursday, October 11, 2012

Of Sweet Little Frogs and Hideous Big Toads

Last night found us tiptoeing through the wet garden, loudly shushing and looking in all the damp and thickly leaved places. We followed the noises of the croaking frogs and then squatted and waited, peering expectantly into the darkness.
We failed to find any of the vividly green tree frogs.
Instead we found a big, fat, poisonous, ugly, feral cane toad.
My Sprocket still thought it was wonderful and insisted on bringing it into the house.
In his softest, most tender voice he talked with the toad as it sat in the container on the counter beside him as he had his bath.
"I love you, toad. You just stay here with me and we'll be friends. You can see your mummy and daddy and sister, later. I'll look after you."
The toad pooped a lot and threw itself at the sides of the container.
"You know, Sprocket, toads are a lot happier outside, in the bushes, with all their family," I tried.
My Sprocket looked at me as if I planned to stab him.
"My toad!"
When the kids were bathed, jammied up and looking angelic, I tucked them into bed and quickly went and changed into my own night-gear. Returning, I noticed the place on the kitchen counter where one big fat ugly toad should be, was empty.
Had he managed to throw himself against the sides so much he'd escaped? Was there a toad roaming our rooms, all ready for me to step on in the dark and squish through my toes?
I ran through to the bedroom to find my Sprocket holding the container and cooing. While relieved to find the toad remained contained, I still emptied him back into the garden whence he came. (Despite all protestations of great love and heartbreak, enough to melt a weaker persons determination.)
And it got me thinking.
In two weeks, for National Novel Writing Month, I'm starting on my re-telling of The Frog Prince.
I'd always thought I'd have the frog be a toad, for greater effect, and this just confirms it.
After all, who would mind sharing a meal with a dainty, beautiful little green tree frog? A little green tree frog sitting sweetly on your pillow? Why not. Aww. Little one. Another fly with that?
But who wouldn't shrink from having the solid, hideous hulk of a poisonous toad staring up at them. And as for a toad in your bed? Brrr. No thank you. *
Let's just say, if it had been anyone else, I would have said there was a shriek involved at the thought of  that (poop covered)  toad having got into my bed. I, of course, do not shriek. But perhaps if anyone else had made that noise it would be described as a shriek.
So I'm going to concentrate on being grateful to my Sprocket for supplying me with a visceral reaction to a toad in the bed.
(And continue to pray I manage to escape the fate for the next two nights until we fly home.)

*I realise this depicts me as quite shallow and appearance obsessed. And I plead guilt. But these particular toads are also poisonous and spit poison into peoples eyes. Being a Victorian, and not familiar with these toads, until recently I thought cane toads had poisonous spikes, and if you touched them you dropped dead. Luckily, this is not the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment