Jul 23, 2005

Toad of Toad Hall

Life arises everywhere, without fail. I've heard that from many scientists when confronted with the fact that even the most forboding and impossible places host some form of living organism.

Life gets into every nook and cranny it possibly can. It grows up trees, in the ground, in your house, everywhere it possibly can. And when Mankind encroaches on it's living area, it starts living where Man does, too. So this is where I come in, and where Br'er Toad makes his grand entrance.

When I started cleaning up the old shop, I found a pile of leftover bricks from when the house was built. I'm certain they were left there 'just in case;' for instance 'just in case someone breaches the outer defenses,' and so they've been here for 30 odd years, patient as, well, er...bricks, for someone to need them. When I started to fix the shed floor I had to store them elsewhere, and I didn't want to toss them out, so they ended up in the yard on a pallet. Where they sat. For a while. A long while. Summer is hot out here, damnit.

Until today! I finally got smart (and fed up of cutting around and around them,) so I used them for a not particularly original but a nice gardening idea--I made a planting bed out of them. Now all I have to do is weed the grass back and bring in some dirt and shade loving plants that will compliment the Clematis there, and the little wheeled plow tool thing, and I'll be hooked up.

When I took apart the stack and pallet, I of course unearthed a ton of roly-polys, and those big horrid wood roaches that live in the grass, and even a kady-did that was avoiding the lawnmower this morning. And Br'er Toad.

Long story short--way back when we lived in the trailer, there lived with us (outside, natch) a huge, and I do mean huge brown hop toad. He nested under the front porch steps, and I often saw him around dark, doing the Dusk Patrol, and sometimes in the early wee hours on Dawn Patrol. He, of course, became Br'er Toad, and he lived there and fathered many a small brown hop toad. When we left, I felt like we had left a part of the family behind, but it wasn't long before I started seeing some of Br'er Toad's offspring around the new house, hiding in the dark places under the propane tank and in flowerbeds. So therefore, Br'er Toad lived on.

When I pulled the pallet up from it's grassy tomb this morning, I saw...you got it, Br'er Toad. I took careful pains to not hit him with the lawn tractor, and he patiently waited on the bare dirt for me to finish. When I had completed the yard, I hooked up the little trailer behind the lawn tractor and loaded up all those tan bricks, and set them as you see in the picture. I went back to the shed to get the Roundup sprayer rig, loaded it in the trailer, hooked everything up, and went for a spin around the yard. Not more than ten minutes had passed when I came up on the ring of bricks, and who did I see poking his pointy little brown nose out? Br'er Toad. He had followed his pile of bricks to the pecan tree, picked out a likely hole in one, and backed his way in, thereby formally declaring that this was Toad Hall, and he was home.

And yes, I know "Mr. Toad" was the denizen of Toad Hall in A. A. Milne's book, and that "Br'er Toad" is an Uncle Remus character, but this is the South, and "Br'er" is more accurate a description than "Mister" any day of the week. So Br'er Toad it is, of Toad Hall.

Stay tuned for more riveting action from Br'er Toad and Irrelephant.

No, really.

1 comment:

Old Grey Mare said...

Please say "Good Day" to Br'er Toad. I feel that I know him from the "tear down the shed" day, when I inadvertenly tore down one tower of Toad Hall. My appologies, hope it was put back to your specifications. And BTW how many mails did you find under that stack of bricks --- er Toad Hall? *S*