We have a new resident at the farmhouse. Well, it was my good Hunter wellies and then The Bibbed Wonder’s dirty bib overall pant leg, but he’s on the porch, so technically, it’s the farmhouse. This new resident is a welcome guest, either short-term or long-term. He is welcome to stay as long as he wants. I am calling this new resident, Mr. Toad. I know; it’s an original name. Mr. Toad has been living on our porch for most of the summer. He takes up residence wherever he can slip in unnoticed.
I discovered Mr. Toad in my wellie, which I had kicked off on my way to the front door. My boot sat undisturbed for several days. When I finally mustered the gumption to hose down the porch and begin the painting process, I picked up my boot, turned it upside down, and gave it a good shake. Much to my surprise, a large, striped, green, and black toad popped out. I gave a squeal of surprise, jumped back, and then felt a rush of relief that it was an innocent toad and not a snake. This story would have a very different tone if it had been a snake.
I stooped down, picked up the toad, and placed him in the shade of my herb garden next to the front door. I assumed the toad would not take kindly to the disturbance and would move along to another abode. However, this striped green and black fellow arrives to eat bugs outside our front door each evening. I figured he was hanging outside the front door because the bugs are attracted to the light pooling out from the kitchen. After several evenings of spotting this hungry interloper, I decided he needed a name. Thus, Mr. Toad.
My bib overall-wearing buddy habitually drops his drawers near our front door on overly hot evenings or when he has had a particularly dirty day. I appreciate that he doesn’t drag hay, mud, and grass into the house, but it makes for an unsightly display near my front door. Much to The Bean’s dismay, her dad is quite happy sitting in his underwear on the front porch for all the world to see. If he’s not careful, things fall out of his nether regions, and we all see way more than we would like. My fourteen-year-old daughter has become quite comfortable growling in scary tones, “Dad! Gross! Your balls are out!” To The Bibbed Wonder’s credit, he doesn’t pause in conversation; he readjusts his underpants and continues to talk or torment. He tells The Bean he has had no privacy or dignity for the last fourteen years, and this is karma. Sigh. I’m pretty sure Taylor Swift does not consider her father’s balls falling out of his underpants karma, but you must admit it would make for a hilarious verse in her song.
Anyhow, Mr. Toad decided that The Bibbed Wonder’s bib overall pant leg would make a lovely B and B, and he took up residence. I gathered the small pile of dirty bibs to put in the wash, only to be surprised once again to have Mr. Toad fall out of the pant leg. I informed him we had to stop meeting like this. I once again picked him up and moved him to the shade of my herb garden. Once again, Mr. Toad returned to eat bugs near my front door when the sun went down. Mr. Toad is a helpful, accommodating little house guest.
Once I get the trim around the front door painted today, I intend to move a toad house onto the porch. Yes, I have a toad house lying around here at the farm. I told you I like to be prepared. I am going to move the toad house onto the porch, facing east; well, actually, it will be southeast because I am putting it in the corner. I will also put a small saucer of water near his tiny abode to make him as comfortable as possible. If this little guy is willing to eat his body weight in bugs each evening, he is welcome to hang out on my porch for as long as he likes. I find him to be lovely to look at and helpful, and he makes me happy.
The Bean thinks I’m insane. The Bibbed Wonder shakes his head at the strange behavior of the woman he married. Buster and Chubby tried to lick Mr. Toad and foamed at the mouth. They now walk a wide circle around him. I am grateful this little guy comes out each evening to eat pesky bugs. We have more than enough room for him; he’s a welcome guest.
On this sunny summer day, stay safe, be smart, make room for everyone, even toads, and keep washing your hands, especially if you have picked up a toad.