Celebrated Jumping Toads of New England
My best friend in New England, Elise, and I would wander about at night with her dog Heidi, a beautiful gray. We would explore the boundary of forests between our neighborhood and the family's golf course and, sooner or later, end up daring each other to dip our hands into the corrugated lined well that acts as a shield to basement windows. Invariably there would be a toad or two or three that had fallen into the hazard. Yes, we were rescuing the toads so we were, in fact, doing a good deed. However, our true intent was one of daring, and, secondly, to gather up the toads and select the most likely competitors for our very own New England version of the wonderful story the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Elise had a wide driveway, whereas my grandparents drive was composed of two tracks for the long ago use of carriage wheels. A line was marked with stones or leaves, the toads set and, on "GO!", given a gentle push on their bony behind, and the race was on!