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She Kissed the Toad

There's this weird phenomenon that happens every evening in the summer and fall around our house - at sunset, hundreds of toads emerge and find their way to the sidewalks. I assume they are clinging to the last bit of warmth as the sun sets, but it's SO weird. If you go for a walk around the neighborhood at the right time, you'll nearly step on at least a dozen toads.

For real.

Recently, two of them have decided to not bother with the main sidewalk around the neighborhood. Instead, they have decided to warm themselves on our patio, just outside our back door. Which, that's a GREAT place for them. I have nearly stepped on the smaller of the two no less than a dozen times because I forget that it's probably there and go to walk outside, only to sort of lunge and twist and perform some acrobatic feats as I try to maneuver my foot around it a few seconds later than would be ideal. The thing is, the toads don't move. I don't know why, but whether it's a bike or a foot, they stand their ground. They are perfectly willing to die for that warm spot, thank you very much.

Except for that one time that one toad was a little wiser.

Mila and I were going outside for a quick walk around the neighborhood. For what it's worth, that kid bursts in and out of every room. There is no quiet entrance or exit. She explodes onto the scene, throwing chaos around her as she goes. It's the same when she simply opens the back door and steps outside. She's a spectacle, to say the least.

The toads must know she can't be stopped. Last week, one of them decided it was not a good idea to stand its ground and decided to leap out of Mila's way. The only problem is that it leaped into the house. You know what is even more dangerous than an exuberant 5-year old? A house with two dogs and three cats. Let's just say there are a million places that would be safer for a toad than inside our house, and I think in the middle of a fire pit might be one of them.

The good news is that I managed to see it happen. I don't know how I caught the toad leaping out of the corner of my eye, but I did. Even more impressively, I managed to get the attention of another adult and the toad was escorted back outdoors without any creatures catching wind of the potential calamity. THANK GOODNESS.

All was well and good, but then Mila and I went for our walk and ran into about 10 other toads. I'm not joking when I say they are everywhere. They range in size from barely bigger than a quarter to double the size of my fist. I'm a fan of the big ones, of course, because I can see them clearly and have plenty of time to avoid them. That's not the case with the small ones.

None of the toads are scared of me. Ever. I nearly step on them ALL THE TIME. Mila, though. Apparently she emits pheromones that make toads fear her? As we were walking along, ANOTHER toad tried to jump out of her path. This one wasn't fortunate(?) enough to land inside the house, though. On, no. It landed in Mila's lap. One second she was happily rolling along in a stroller, and the next she was EVEN HAPPIER OMG.

It took a very long time to convince Mila that we could not keep the toad. Not even for one night.

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