• Dale Bowman

A toad (reality & cliche): Ramble with the Lady

Something bolted toward the train track as we came out of the wilds around the town pond and toward the edge of town.

Lady lunged toward it as it sought safety against a rail on the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond.


At first I thought it was a vole or field mouse trying to hide. Then I saw it splayed against the rail and realized it was a toad.

As wet as it has been, I tdouble-checked to make sure it was not a frog.

I kept a good eye on Lady to make sure she did not try to chomp down on the toad.

Which led me naturally, at least naturally for me, to toad licking, yes, you read right, toad licking. It is one of the great urban myths: that you can get high licking a toad. Not true, BTW.

There are quite a few things related to toads in Toadery is probably the most useful term or most used.

I find the use of toad as a fishing cliche, just annoying as hell. I do not know why fishing in particular is so swamped with cliches. No, you did not catch a toad. You caught a damm big fish. Or you caught a 5.5-pound largemouth or a 6-pound smallmouth. Not a toad.

Eradicate toad from fishing talk and the talk immediately becomes more useful and intelligent.

Toad is actually pretty far down on the my list of fishing cliches. But the others can wait for a rant another day.

And you thought I might be headed to Toad the Wet Sprocket, the alternative rockers. Oh, I can go there. They are in my wheelhouse.

Incredibly wet or damp this morning as Lady, our family mutt, and I rambled off.

Geese on the town pond were in protective mode as we came up, but I only counted five families of goslings, same as the last couple days. A few small chunky divers swam around the goose families.

A great blue heron flapped off from the north pit, then circled back around.

All the warmth and dampness has turned the trail, formerly a side rail, above the south pit into a jungle of overgrown bush honeysuckle, which hangs even lower with all the water on it.

Back in town, there was already a bunch of busyness (think that would be the right spelling) centered around Mother's Day. We have a flower shop downtown.

In the alley behind the bus barn, a robin had a worm dangling from its beak like a lowlife with a cigarette, sagging ash on the end, drooping from his lips.

Back home, the air was heavy with the cooing of mourning doves on all sides. There was something about the utter dampness of the warm air that thickened the sound.

I checked the rain gauge: 2.4 inches. That is almost enough to rain a plague of frogs.

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