Ok so it’s confession time… I am a complete girly gardener! I love my garden, and I am definitely not afraid to get stuck in and get my hands dirty, however, when it comes to things like the little guy in this picture, I tend to let out the odd expletive or squeal so loudly the neighbours must wonder what on earth is going on.
I have been known, when mowing the lawn, so run around the garden with sticks, shouting and yelling, trying to chase all the frogs off the grass, without getting so close that they might jump near me. As you can see from the video below, we are lucky enough to have lots of frogs in our garden.
So, this morning when I was feeding the chickens and I saw a huge toad jumping round in their run, I tried not to panic too much. I asked my husband to come to my aid… no chance. He is even worse than me when it comes to touching animals, don’t even get me started on how he is with the chickens!
So I took a deep breath, grabbed a Tupperware (I quickly upgraded this to a washing up bowl) and a stick and off I went, to save the toad.
I quickly realised that I am, in no way, as brave as I had hoped and what followed can only be described as pathetic. Whilst trying to fend off the chickens who were busy pecking my feet and my bowl, I could do no more than offer the bowl, at arms length, to the toad, hoping he would just jump in casually. He did not.
This continued for a while, until I developed a new strategy. I would usher the toad, using my bowl, out of the door where he would hop away into the sunset (or sunrise.) Apparently he did not agree with the plan and I was shocked to see what happened next.
The toad, having no idea of my plans to show him the door, decided the looming washing up bowl was too much for him and that he had to make a run for it. He was, at this point, cornered against a wall and some chicken wire. To my horror, I watched him stick his head through the wire and get stuck. In my mind I was picturing having to phone someone to come and cut him loose (I don’t think the fire brigade would consider this an emergency?!) Who could I call??
As I watched, I saw the toad suck in his enormous belly and bit by bit he wriggled on, until all that was left were his legs. It was at this point he stopped, and I panicked again, if the hens found him like this he would be in for a tough time. So I started poking him with my stick (I knew that would come in handy at some point) and to my absolute amazement, he wriggled through to freedom! He had done it!! It was amazing to watch and left me feeling almost embarrassed at my feeble attempts to be brave when he hadn’t ever needed my help in the first place.
I guess it’s the thought that counts though right?!!
PS. It is only now that I realise my friend the toad was probably in fact a “she” giving to the the fact that the females are much bigger than the males, apologies for this.