Sep. 14, 2017
Mr. Toad set out once again on his long journey, croaking as he went and listening for the echoing response in the distance. Before long the familiar ache in his legs and behind began to set in but he pushed forward. As he hopped into a familiar clearing Mr. Toad paused for a moment to catch his breath and rest his aching body.
“Bartholemeu? Are you here, friend?” The little fairy zipped through the bushes ahead and into the clearing with a light twinkling noise.
“Oh, it’s you.” The fairy had a disappointed look on his face and turned to fly away.
“No, no! Please sir, allow me to apologize.” The fairy paused a moment, looking very annoyed. “You did a wonderful thing to me, gave me a marvelous gift and I took advantage of it. I broke a promise to you and abused the powers that you had granted me. I’m very sorry.”
“Alright then.” Bartholemeu smiled and fluttered to Mr. Toad’s side. “Well, what are you doing out here anyway? It’s a bit far from your home, is it not?”
“Well, I wanted to apologize and wanted to meet this toad after all.”
“I don’t think I could give you wings again…” The fairy trailed off.
“No, no. I do not want them. I will do this on my own. It will make the meeting that much more special.”
“Oh! Well be safe, friend!” Bartholemeu flashed a smile at Mr. Toad and disappeared into the bushes ahead. Feeling much better having resolved his differences with his new friend, Mr. Toad hopped forward, croaking as he went and listening to the replies growing closer and closer.
That evening Mr. Toad met with his new friend and they exchanged the most interesting conversation he had had in months. They talked about the flies that had been out lately, the changes in the creek, and other toads that had passed through. Mr. Toad told his new friend about the crazy journey that had brought him here and they both laughed, ate flies, and basked in their new friendship. The following morning, as the two toads shared a breakfast of morning flies that were enjoying the morning sun reflecting off the water Bartholemeu flew out of the bushes and joined the two.
“Hallo, my hopping friends!” He was quite jovial this morning, perhaps excited to see Mr. Toad so happy.
“Hello, there! This is the fairy I was telling you about!” Mr. Toad replied, turning towards his new friend.
“So happy to see you two getting along. Will you be returning home today, Mr. Toad?”
“Why, yes I believe I will be. I should probably be leaving soon, it’s quite a long journey.” Mr. Toad’s new friend nodded in agreement and the two exchanged goodbyes, vowing to see each other again very soon. As Mr. Toad began to cross the creek Bartholemeu sped off into the woods, reappearing seconds later carrying a massive leave in his hands. He dropped it int he water delicately then, with a spin that flung gold dust everywhere a pole appeared in his hand and the leaf glowed for a short moment.
“Hop on, Mr. Toad!” Mr. Toad looked at the fairy, perplexed for a moment, wondering what trick he was up to.
“I’m far too heavy for that leaf, I’ll sink!”
“Trust me, friend. I was proud that you didn’t ask for wings again, let me help you get home!” Mr. Toad obliged, hopping delicately onto the leaf and he was happily surprised when it stayed afloat.
“Goodbye, friend! We will meet again soon!” He helped with a wave and a croak as the two started to float away. The toad smiled and waved back as Mr. Toad and the fairy floated around a bend in the river, headed for home.
Sep. 14, 2017
Throughout his entire, very long, life Mr. Toad had thought himself to be a simple creature with simple pleasures. As he zipped through the forest, the leaves screaming past him on either size, creatures of all sizes shambling about below he suddenly felt a sense of wonder that he had always been missing. The world was far more interesting from the air than it had seemed from his bend in the creek. As Mr. Toad flew into an opening he looked down and saw his creek running below him, babbling along without a care in the world. He was farther upstream than he had ever been and a small group of toads were hopping about the rocks below him happily.
‘Perhaps I should say hello,’ he thought to himself, but then decided to continue flying for just a bit longer. Mr. Toad took a sharp turn and followed the creek for a short way. He could hear the toad he was searching for’s call echoing down the creek bed up ahead and his heart began to race with anticipation. ‘There he or she is! She’s right up ahead here!’ As his excitement began to mount in his head he remembered the terms the fairy had declared when she gave him his wings. He was to see his new toad friend then return home and the wings would disappear. ‘But I do not want my wings to disappear, the world is so big and marvelous!’ he thought to himself as he approached. Suddenly Mr. Toad banked hard to his left and dove into he forest, zipping away from the bend in the creek as quickly as he could. ‘I will just explore a bit more,’ he said to himself, trying to stay convinced that it was ok.
The leaves slapped his face and ran across his belly as he zipped through the branches far above the forest floor. He dove towards the ground and swiftly ducked under a log, zooming past a few squirrels that were collecting seeds. As he rocketed back towards the canopy his heart filled with joy at this newfound freedom. Mr. Toad explored the forest around the creek, showing off with loops and circles above the forest creatures below and swelling with pride at their envious stares. As Mr. Toad burst from the leaves and returned to the creek he could see the toad that he had wanted to visit perched on a rock up ahead. ‘Well, I really have no need to talk with a toad on the ground,’ he said to himself as he passed overhead. ‘Let me find a creature that can share my love for flying.’
As he turned a corner and the toad disappeared behind him Mr. Toad saw a flurry of gold dust materialize over the creek straight ahead. Mr. Toad dove towards the creek and prepared to bank to the left to dive into the woods, away from the fairy but the dust surrounded him and he could feel his wings begin to shrink. “No! No, Bartholemeu, please!” Mr. Toad pleaded as he slowed and plopped down onto the hard ground. “You promised I could meet that Toad and return home!”
The fairy materialized in front of him on the ground, arms crossed, tapping his foot on the ground impatiently. “I’m disappointed, sir.” Bartholemeu scolded, walking towards him, hovering just above the ground as gold dust flittered off of his body. “You said you would meet this toad and head straight home, but I clearly saw you pass said Toad as if you were too good for ground creatures.”
“I just did not think he would have much to say to a magnificent creature such as myself,” Bartholemeu cut him off with an angry stare and a wave of his hand.
“Enough. It is clear that without the labors of a hard journey you don’t appreciate the destination!”
“But…” Mr. Toad tried to protest but it would seem that the fairy had had enough of the conversation. With a blinding flurry of gold dust Mr. Toad found himself perched on a roach in his bend in the creek just as he had been the day before. As the dust fell into the water and floated away like pollen on the current, he sighed, filled with sadness for what he had lost. The creek babbled quietly to him and the loneliness was almost too much to bear until he heard the familiar croak in the distance. He puffed his chest and hollered back, listening intently to the echo that resounded through the forest. The return croak was no closer, just as before, so Mr. Toad hopped forward again, heading into the woods one slow hop at a time. ‘I will do it right, this time,’ he told himself. ‘No cheating, I will find my friend.’
Sep. 14, 2017
“Hello, friend!” Mr. Toad tried his best to sound approachable and friendly as he slowly hopped towards the bushes. “My name is…”
“Mr. Toad!” A light, high-pitched voice erupted in excitement from the bushes as they rustled violently. “Oh Mr. Toad! It’s been so long!” A bright yellow fairy zipped out of the lush bushes ahead and swiftly flew in tight circles around Mr. Toad’s head until he was quite dizzy.
“Do I know you?” Mr. Toad inquired, not recognizing the creature at all.
“Oh no, no, I suppose you don’t. I visited your pool from time to time when you were just a small lad, before you had your legs and that magnificent voice.” Mr. Toad’s chest swelled with pride at the compliment.
“Oh my how you’ve grown, Mr. Toad.” The Fairy interrupted, saving him from his stammering of appreciation. “What brings you so far out into these woods?”
“Well, you see, it has been quite some time since I’ve had a visitor and there is a toad in the distance who has been calling. I was waiting for them to travel closer but they don’t seem to be moving so, I suppose I decided to go to them.”
“Well, I see,” said the fairy, rubbing it’s chin with it’s tiny golden hand. “That’s quite a long journey! The toad you seek is past the dark knoll over that hill and beyond the thicket, in a bend in the creek much like your own!”
“You’ve seen them?”
“Oh,” the fairy chuckled, “I’ve seen everything, though I probably shouldn’t have told you that. No no, I should not have meddled in your affairs. Do accept my sincerest apologies Mr. Toad.” The fairy bowed deeply in the air, flitting back and forth in front of Mr. Toad’s face. “I shall leave you to your journey.”
“Wait!” Mr. Toad pleaded as the fairy started to zip back towards the bushes from whence it had erupted moments before. “I should very much like to meet this toad that you speak of, but it sounds like a long and perilous journey and I fear my body is not up to the task. Is there another way?” The fairy pondered for a moment, considering its options.
“Well, for a toad such as yourself I suppose not. Hopping is precisely how you get from point A to point B, is it not?”
“For a toad such as myself, yes, but what about a toad that is not such as myself?”
“A toad not such as yourself…” the fairy rubbed its chin again, flitting back and forth as it pondered the riddle. “A toad not such as yourself could perhaps be there much faster if it could fly! I suppose you need to fly. But a toad cannot fly so hop you must!” The fairy began to dart for the bushes again but Mr. Toad stopped her with another question.
“But, fairy…I did not catch your name, I’m sorry. Are you not a magical being?”
“My name is Bartholemieu,” the fairy bowed deeply as it had done with its original introduction, “thanks you, kindly, for asking my good toad! And yes, why of course! All fairies are magical beings.” Bartholemieu acted as if the very question was preposterous.
“Well, could a magical being such as yourself not help a lonely toad in his travels by perhaps giving him some magical wings?” The fairy considered this very seriously.
“It seems to break many rules of nature, toads are not meant to fly, you know.”
“Oh, I know, but I want to meet this other toad so. You can take them away once I’ve had a chance to meet the fellow and returned home.” The fairy thought about this again, long and hard.
“I suppose there is no harm in this, you’re a simple fellow with simple pleasures, no harm can come of your happiness.” And with that the fairy did a little whimsical spin in the air and let out a light squeel of joy. A dusting of particles erupted off of it and sprinkled Mr. Toad, covering him in a golden glow from which beautiful webbed wings appeared.
“Oh my!” Mr. Toad commented as he flitted his new wings and lifted off the ground slightly. Bartholemieu admired them with pride. “You are something marvelous, aren’t you?”
“Do you like them?”
“Oh, I do indeed. Thank you so much!” Bartholemieu nodded, a smile spreading across the fairy’s tiny face.
“Well, I must be going. Once you have found your toad friend and returned home the wings will disappear. Please do this quickly. Toads weren’t meant to fly, you know.”
“Oh, I know, thank you so much, I’ll be very quick indeed!” And with that the fairy zipped into the bushes and disappeared as quickly as he had appeared to begin with.
“What a charming fellow!” Mr. Toad remarked to himself, hovering just above the ground with his new golden wings. “And what marvelous wings I have!”
Sep. 14, 2017
Mr. Toad opened his eyes to the pre-dawn glow the following morning, filled with excitement and energy. He hopped onto a rock near the middle of the shallow stream and stared into the dark sky, observing the light forming at the edges of the horizon with pleasure. Mr. Toad closed his eyes, puffed his chest, and let out a massive croak, one of the best he’d ever emitted, in his own humble opinion. He listened as the croak echoed through the woods and back again. And then he waited.
Several minutes passed with no response so Mr. Toad croaked again. His voice echoed through the woods as he waited, and to his delight a faint croak reverberated back to him that was not his own. His excitement was soon crushed as he realized this toad was still just as far away as it was the day before. ‘Perhaps he or she is in trouble?’ he thought to himself, starting to worry slightly. Most toads make a lot more progress in a day of travel, and if he wasn’t moving he would have heard this toad long ago. ‘I must go find him,’ Mr. Toad decided very quickly.
And so Mr. Toad hopped into the shallow stream, and hopped a few more times until he landed on the shore on the far side. As the water dripped from his skin he croaked again, hoping for a better response. The other toad was still far away and so Mr. Toad began his first journey. Now, Mr. Toad’s legs were very long, but his arms were very short. With every hop he would spring several inches into the air, land on his arms, then fold his legs in under him. With every jump his bottom would bounce off the ground as he tried to pull his legs in fast enough. He wasn’t sure if it was just the nature of being a toad or if it was because he spent his life as a sedentary being, never roaming munch, but after the first 15 hops or so his behind was beginning to ache as it slammed into the ground.
Before long, each jump was accompanied by a quiet ‘oof’ or ‘ouch’ uttered from Mr. Toad’s lips. As he pressed forward into the woods the twigs slapped his face and the leaves rubbed uncomfortable across his back. ‘Why would anyone wish to leave home?’ he wondered to himself, but before he could turn back the faint croak echoed through the woods from up ahead and he pushed on.
‘Oof! Ouch!’ Mr. Toad’s complaints became slightly louder as he pushed further and further into the woods. Twigs snapped beneath his toes and swung up to strike him in the stomach. Leaves batted his face and dirty covered his undersides. Finally, as he reached a small clearing Mr. Toad stopped for a break. Breathing somewhat heavily for a toad, he was not accustomed to such activity you understand, he listened for the faint croaks up ahead. When he heard them he realized he had made little progress and he began to despair.
‘What was I thinking?’ he wondered to himself, starting to feel very miserable. ‘I should never have left my home, toads were not meant to travel so.’ His behind ached and burned with a horrible intensity as he sat in the small clearing. ‘Toads were definitely not meant to travel.’ With a mounting feeling of defeat Mr. Toad resolved to turn around and return to his bend in the creak but a quiet twinkling in the bushes ahead halted his thoughts and demanded his attention.
Sep. 14, 2017
Mr. Toad had lived on the banks of the creek his entire life. He had spent his child and teen years amongst the small pools, and most of his adult life sitting on one rock or another. It was a simple, yet pleasurable, existence. His voice was his best quality, or so he would tell himself on the quiet nights while he listened to the creek babble along. He would puff his chest and exert a loud croak when he felt it acceptable, then he would listen for a reply. Sometimes there was one, sometimes there wasn’t, but he always looked forward to the day where he would meet a new friend. The problem was, no one stayed long. His friends always passed through with idle conversation and he was left wanting more.
“The flies are good today, yeah?”
“Careful, there’s a hawk up ahead. I don’t know if he eats toads but he was scary!”
“Heya, buddy. Where’d you get those spots?”
It was always so dull but Mr. Toad looked forward to it, so. No one ever traveled far in a day but they never came back either. He would wander up and down the creek some days but he always came back to his home. The flies were plentiful due to the boggy surroundings and it was at a convenient bend in the creek that many creatures passed through. The tree cover was perfect for deterring predators and the fresh water smell was always pleasing.
Due to the opportune position of the creek bend Mr. Toad had lots of opportunity for brief company but no one wanted to compete with him for food or intrude on his home so they always moved on. Every evening and into the early morning he would croak and listen for responses. His heart would jump whenever he heard one and he would look forward to meeting this new Toad friend.
For a couple of days now, however, Mr. Toad hadn’t heard from anyone. All night and into the morning he would croak and croak with no reply. The first night was disheartening but it had happened before. The second and third night began to throw poor Mr. Toad into a rather unfortunate state of depression. It wasn’t common for him to go quite so many days without any reply at all. The loneliness was almost too much to handle for the poor fellow and so he began to grow desperate. He would wake up early and stay up late to continue croaking, hoping to hear from someone. Early morning on his fourth day alone Mr. Toad finally heard the faint croaking of a friend in the distance. It was quiet and the echoes made it hard to read, but at least it was someone. That night Mr. Toad went to sleep a happy creature.
The following evening with Mr. Toad awoke his thoughts were full of wonder as he thought about his new friend. You see, Mr. Toad had lived a life of mostly solitude but he was an incredibly social being. As you know he looked forward to visits but he never realized how much he relied on them in order to retain his very sanity. This morning he was suddenly very aware of how much he wished to meet this new toad and so he croaked as loud as he could, hoping to guide this new friend towards his home.
Mr. Toad croaked, then he listened. He croaked again, then he listened. His heart became heavy with sadness as he heard no reply. He was about to give up and go back to sleep when he heard the echoing croak of a faraway toad respond to his greetings. The toad sounded just as far away as it did the night before. He conversed with this mysterious toad for several hours and it didn’t sound like it was any closer. By the time Mr. Toad went to sleep that night he was starting to worry that this new toad would never come his way. ‘One more night,’ he told himself, ‘and he or she will be much closer!’ He closed his eyes to sleep and dreamt of his new best friend.