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What is the Meaning of a Toad?

What is the meaning of a toad?

In elementary school I write a one‐page report on toads. I draw a picture with crayons. I fill one page with information about toads; most of it copied word for word from the World Book Encyclopedia.

What is the meaning of a toad?

I’m with my best friend Mark on a summer afternoon. We encounter a toad with one of its forelimbs missing. What remains is a cylinder of skin with something white, presumably bone, protruding. The toad pees when I pick it up. I think about suffering.

What is the meaning of a toad?

On my Little League baseball team, I am teased and called “Frog” because of my thick glasses. The coach summons me after a game. I am dreading that he is upset because I was saying mean things, all unfounded, about his daughter to other teammates. Instead, he is concerned about how I felt about being called Frog.

What is the meaning of a toad?

Looking for work, I contact someone at Rutgers University who has an open postdoc position with a national food company. He explains that toad parts show up too frequently in their freshly harvested broccoli. I laugh and suggest building a fence. I never hear from him again.

What is the meaning of a toad?

In Monteverde, Costa Rica, a child is holding a harlequin toad, a beautiful multicolored frog that is common in mountain streams. He will not hold it still, and my photograph is blurry. In one year, this is one of the first of many species worldwide to dramatically decline. The blurry image looks like a ghost.

What is the meaning of a toad?

At 8:30 p.m., 30 male toads begin to call in a flooded depression in a fallow field. I decide to study them. The next night I am ready with my research equipment. Despite similar weather as the night before, the toads do not arrive. I listen as a gentle breeze rustles the tall grass.

What is the meaning of a toad?

A male takes the same route every day near sunset to come to the breeding pond. His itinerary includes crossing New Freedom Road. One night he does not show up. The next morning I find his flattened torso on the road.

What is the meaning of a toad?

I remove a male toad that is clasping a female from behind. I move the female to the opposite side of the pond and release her. She swims across the water, ignoring numerous calling males along her path. Two minutes later she is back in the arms of her original lover.

What is the meaning of a toad?

Aram and I are observing a female toad, waiting for the moment she chooses a mate. She has been stationary for the past two hours. I work on other tasks as Aram continues the vigil. A police officer stops by the side of the road and walks into the field to investigate our activities. He is clearly frightened. He orders us to stop what we are doing and to put our hands up over our heads. The female toad hops away.

What is the meaning of a toad?

A few male toads fall into the foundation of a house under construction. Their calls reverberate off the cement walls and the sound carries far. The foundation is a vortex with no exit, beckoning to toads for miles around. Soon, there are no toads calling at their original breeding pond. But I can’t find any toads down in the foundation. A huge snapping turtle, which also must have fallen in, may know where they are.

What is the meaning of a toad?

It is a drought and the toads have not called in over a week. I find them in depressions, trying to pull water out of the soil into their bellies. Suddenly, a torrent of water smashes everything around us. The local fire department is having a training exercise, using a field they thought was deserted.

What is the meaning of a toad?

A study site becomes a housing development. On a rainy night in early May I stand in the mud where the breeding pond once was. About a dozen toads come and call. Several I recognize from the previous year. There is no place for the females to lay their eggs. One of the new neighbors complains about a wet basement.

What is the meaning of a toad?

I am doing a playback experiment in which I observe how a male pickerel frog responds to calls of other frog species. One of the stimulus tapes has calls of American toads. The pickerel frog ignores these calls. However, dozens of American toads appear out of nowhere, surrounding the speaker, and vocalize.

What is the meaning of a toad?

It is late at night and I am counting frogs for the state of Maryland. The humidity and warmth radiating from the road surface attracts insects, which in turn attracts toads. I swerve back and forth to avoid them. But the toad density gets so high that I slow down, eventually coming to a halt. I sit, surrounded by toads, and wonder how I should carry on.

What is the meaning of a toad?

Mac F. Given, a member of Providence (Pa.) Meeting, is a professor of Biology at Neumann College. He conducts behavioral research on various frog species, including toads.

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