24 August 2011

Toad Herding for Fun and Profit

Yesterday night, my flimsy building key stopped working, and I was locked out of my apartment.  This was a bummer because I live alone and had no one to call and let me in at 10 pm. 

This morning, I called to arrange for a new key, and we agreed it could be shoved under my garage door, though the trauma of smashing the crap out of my finger in said door on Saturday was fresh in my mind. 

I got home and opened the garage door, looking for my ticket into the building, and a mid-sized toad hopped in and promptly got itself stuck thinking there was No Escape even though three directions were open to it.  It kept hopping further and further along the wall when it wasn't playing the If I Don't Move the Large Thing Menacing Me Will Forget I'm Here and Go Away and Leave Me in Peace game.   

I suspect that toads are not one of the brightest species in the ecosystem. 

There was no way I was going to just close the door and let the thing die and stink up my garage.  I tried to gently herd it out, and it just wasn't working until a lady walked by and, attracted by the sound of a possibly crazy person waving her hands and cell phone at the ground and trying to be some sort of toad whisperer, stopped to get a better look. 

I explained my problem.  She laughed at me as I kept trying to humanely get rid of my newly acquired amphibian, but she eventually got fed up and whacked that sucker back out into the driveway with a hand like a trowel. 

I was horrified as I watched it tumble and come to a dusty and very final stop, sure she'd killed the silly thing whose only crime was being stupid and confused.  After heart-stopping seconds of being stunned, it rolled over.

"It's alive!" I thought and rejoiced until it hopped toward my garage.  I stomped and waved it away and closed the door before any more drama or trauma ensued.  The woman walked away laughing as I thanked her.

I watched the toad as, at a loss, it headed back out into the middle of the parking lot where it hopped in strange, possibly concussed polyhedrons for a while, despite my encouragement to get out of the place where cars go.  I washed my hands of him eventually, as he seemed destined to end up flattened by someone's tire.

Good night, sweet toad.  May flights of angels sing thee to they rest.  One way or another.

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