Toad shows up every year. We think it’s the same one. Sometimes Toad is little, sometimes big. This spring, Toad is on the large size. I take this as a sign that the living will be easy come summer.
At least once a season, Toad shows up in our downstairs hallway with a confused look on its face, caught in that strange dry world between tile and laminate, threads of dust clinging to it like seaweed on a castaway.
The dim humans have no idea how this happens. The dog and cat keep a wide berth, since they don’t enjoy frothing at the mouth from toad magic.
Upon discovery, Toad is scooped up in a tea towel and tenderly deposited into the spearmint forest at the back door (we strongly suspect that’s its hangout during the day.)
Come nightfall, Toad chills by the patio door, waiting for bumbling bugs drawn to the kitchen light. Toad is no dummy.
We watch for it every night, that placid shape with the countenance of Buddha, a part of this world but beyond it. We anticipate its evening appearance like a late-night talk show celebrity, letting the name roll off our tongues in the deep tones of a town crier: All is well.
We like to say the word Toad.
We like Toad. Warts and all.