Who did it?

I was alerted by the canines whimpering, in the wee hours of the morning. Both of them. High-pitched, feverish, like they were in pain.

I rushed out to the patio to find them both gingerly surveying the area, and their eyes nervously darting, before pointing towards something.
In that infinitesimal moment, before my eyes even registered that something, it hit me.
A stench like no other.
Unearthly.
It had me gagging and staggering back.
The canines Sally and Trixie nodded at me, acknowledging my reaction. It was no surprise to them. My eyes focused, zeroing in on the source causing such dismay. A slimy black lump on the ground. In other words, a gigantic stinky pile of poop! Such atrocity! Who would even….Not Sally, not Trixie… No being I know could discharge something so vile, for sure.

My insides quivered with revulsion and a spark of fear…of the unknown. I looked around slowly and asked the two canines in a steady voice, “Who did this?”

In response, both looked at the thick patch of undergrowth beyond the patio and gave weak barks. As if they didn’t want to draw attention to us. Whatever it was, had retreated back to its lair, in the depths of the wild grass.

What was it?

My mind raced to match my speeding heart.

A raccoon?

A snake?

Otherworldly creature? Goblin? Troll? Imp?

Hm…

Later that night, I paid attention to the doggos’ behavior. The moment I heard them shuffling, gasping, whimpering, I stepped out with a camera on hand. Moving as stealthily as I could. Ambushed by the foulest of odors, my nose twitched violently, protesting. The mask I wore offered no protection against the assailing malodor. Sally and Trixie shot fearful glances at me, before turning and drawing my gaze to the familiar ghastly stinky sight. A hideous pile of poop and….next to it, something hunkering in the corner, in the shadows, near the shoe rack, around ten feet away from where they stood.

What was it? A goblin? Poopy devil?

I bravely pointed the lens in the direction of the creature lurking in the shadows and clicked…The camera’s flash momentarily illuminated the mystery pooper, unveiling the identity! Well, almost.

A frog?

No!

A toad? No! Toads. Plural.

And a quick trip to the internet wilds on the wings of Google seemed to confirm that these were indeed toads. Or were they?

As the debate continues about the identity, the creatures never re-appeared after that night. Maybe, just maybe the camera flash did the trick, shocked, scared them beyond measure and sent them packing. Or maybe they plan to return with an amphibian army? Now, that is the stuff of nightmares!!!

Thanks to the camera zoom, here’s the up close and personal view of the intruders, if you are up for it. That coppery glitter in their eyes, stocky, heavyset forms, dry rough skin peppered with warts…they are toads surely?

*As per information online, unlike frogs, all toads are poisonous. The parotoid glands of toads produce a poisonous secretion. A self-defense mechanism against predators. This secretion, a bufotoxin is so potent that it can cause death in small animals and allergic reactions in humans. Toads are equipped with other mechanisms too, for protecting themselves from beings who pose a threat. Like camouflage, puffing themselves up and probably have other tricks up their thick sleeves.
But their poison spewing skill is the one to watch out for. No wonder, Sally and Trixie were giving the toads a wide berth and not venturing too close. And also explains their alarmed behavior and their warning glances and barks as well.

*Never skip reading the fine print…

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