“I can’t do anything right,” cried the wood toad to the frog.
“What do you mean?” the frog licked his eyeball and looked up from The Daily Flypaper.
“People are always upset at me for something or another. They call me slimy and warty and all these other names.” The toad rubbed a foot over his soft leathery skin that was neither slimy, nor warty. “I’m never wanted, and if I breathe in the wrong place someone tries to run me over with a bicycle or a car.”
“Have you tried not being in the wrong place?” Said the frog as he looked back down at The Daily Flypaper. His tongue ricocheted off an unsuspecting gnat mid-flight and re-entered his mouth.
The toad filled his bellows and let out a croaking sigh. “Why? Do you think I haven’t already tried that?” The toad hopped a little farther along his path, though he didn’t know where it went. “I don’t know why I’m always in the wrong place.”
The frog hopped closer to the pond. “Well, maybe you haven’t found the right place where you belong. I belong in the pond and no one tells me I’m in the wrong place.”
“Lucky you.” The toad rolled his eyes and flicked his nictitating membranes. “It would help if I knew more toads and fewer frogs.”
The frog left the flypaper on the ground and without a word proceeded to the pond.
“Great,” the toad thought aloud, “I’ve chased another creature away. So I’m friendless and always out of place.”
“I know someone that might be able to help you.” The shuddering leaves and branches above him said. When the toad looked up he saw a large owl perched with a raven.
“And why would you help me? Don’t you both eat toads?” The toad gulped, ready to dash for the holes near the roots of the tree.
“That depends – I hear miserable creatures taste awful.” The raven looked at the owl, ruffling her feathers.
The owl in kind hooted with laughter. “I’m not interested in eating anything that doesn’t taste good. Maybe I’ll eat you if you ever come back here happy.” The owl preened a bit and observed her surroundings as the dusk continued to fall. “There’s a witch on the edge of the woods. That witch will help you find true happiness. Follow the walking path from the pond to her stone cottage to her garden. There you’ll find her and be able to ask for help with your problem.”
The raven let out a low, mocking laugh. “Yes. Your problem. Not ours. Now, on your way.”
The toad turned to the path ahead. He was going to have a long night.
I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of The Adventures of Toad. Feel free to like, comment, or share. The comments section is reserved for readers to share their thoughts on the story with me and please have fun! I try to get comments read and posted quickly – moderation helps to prevent spam.