Isabella Toad

by Tracee Sioux

If a toad is a symbol of something it must be change, transformation, evolution and growth. A tadpole seems like an itty-bitty fish-like thing and slowly evolves into a hopping leggy animal.

If Darwin’s Theory of Evolution seems insane, UnChristian and unlikely to you, I recommend watching a toad evolve.

Last week, leaving my grandmother’s house after a spontaneous visit a toad hopped across my path. I promptly scooped it up for the children to marvel at.

Well, I never in my life have caught a toad with my bare hands! Hoppy exclaimed.

Never? I asked. Oh, I have all my life.

We stuck it in a clear container and poked air holes in the top and took it home.

Hoppy, one of 13 children, got her pet-name because she loved the baby bouncer. The kind that hangs from a spring in a door frame. Babies today love them too, it’s a classic.

One of her sisters loved it just as much and they called her Toad.

Sunday before last I was out shopping for a 80th birthday gift. Ainsley and I came upon a gift bag in the shape of a frog. I recalled my great-aunt’s nickname, Toad, and told Ainsley how we should give Faynell our pet toad in a decorative, clear toothbrush holder. I was sure my aunt would appreciate our humor.

It would have been more hilarious had I not mixed up two of my grandmother’s sisters. It was Wanda, not Faynell, who bore the nickname Toad. Faynell’s name was Pete. (I can’t figure out why.)

This Sunday, as Ainsley and I headed off to go exploring in the woods around Hoppy’s house, we found Isabella Toad sitting in a watering can. Upon closer examination I saw these teeny-tiny-skeletal-wiggly things. It took me a minute, but I realized this Toad had just given birth to about 100 little tadpoles.

Last year Ainsley had found quite a few tadpoles in a mud hole at the park.

Come look at the little fish, Mommy!

Fish? No, honey those are tadpoles I think.

What’s a tadpole?

Those will turn into frogs.

No they won’t.

Yes, that’s how frogs are born.

Nuh uh.

It’s really true. Their tails will turn into legs and they’ll be able to breath air and move to the ground.

I don’t believe you.

Okay, lets go home and get a jar. We’ll catch them and you can watch it happen.

And every day we would watch the evolution of our toads, all four of them. It was fascinating. Until one day they hopped away on their springy little legs.

Of course this Sunday we hijacked Hoppy’s watering can so Zack can witness the transformation too. I wonder how many of Isabella Toad’s tadpoles will complete their journey of evolution?

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