Monday, 15 September 2014

Bufo Bufo - The Common Toad

Don't bother to ask how my walk went today because
I'm going to tell you anyway -  horrendous.
It was like finding myself trapped in a corner of
Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights!
As a child I grew up with stories from Kenneth Grahame's
The Wind in the Willows and avidly followed the
adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and, of course my favourite
character, Mr Toad.  I love these warty, misshapen creatures and have
even shared my living room with a few when my children were young
and insisted upon bringing them indoors for further observation.

Back swiftly to my constitutional before everyone becomes
totally confused by my many tangents.
I had already found a 5p piece, a couple of conkers
and a small heart-shaped stone by the time I turned into
Mill Lane but I certainly wasn't prepared for the scene
of utter carnage that I was about to find there!

Toads at certain times of the year gather together in groups called
"knots" or "jubilees" and I think perhaps a recent
sudden downpour had disturbed them.

In any event they had certainly taken to the road where they
had been mown down, very recently, in their dozens by passing motorists.
A couple I found were badly injured and barely alive so with the
aid of a stout stick I found in the hedgerow I helped them on
to their last reward.

I then promptly threw up rather noisily in full view of some nearby workmen
and decided to call it a day - bloody Monday!

I shall not be having toad in the hole for my supper
tonight (or indeed for some considerable time to come).
Anyone fancy a muffin - don't even go there Camilla
my sense of humour has temporarily left me
along with my lunch!

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