Toads are conservative animals, I think, and not much given to expecting the best from fortune. Some weeks ago, well before the end of October, I accidentally dug up one while turning over some garden earth. I was surprised, naturally, when one of the clods heaved over on its die and there, in some annoyance, sat at toad.
Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you'll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city.
Rupert: "... At this rate, somebody is bound to upset the Warlock once too often, and we'll end up with a Court full of bemused looking toads." "He wouldn't dare use his magic here, " said the Champion. "Don't bet on it, " said Rupert. "The High Warlock has all the practicality and self-preservation instincts of a depressed lemming.
Simon R. Green
I love to see that Nature is so rife with life that myriads can be afforded to be sacrificed and suffered to prey on one another; that tender organizations can be so serenely squashed out of existence like pulp, - tadpoles which herons gobble up, and tortoises and toads run over in the road; and that sometimes it has rained flesh and blood! With the liability to accident, we must see how little account is to be made of it.
Henry David Thoreau
. . . strange and fantastic things really happen. During a rainstorm in Australia, fish fall from the sky; several Southern states consider legislation that would make the licking of toads illegal; Lisa Presley marries Michael Jackson. You read these things and you think to yourself that realism may not be the best medium through which to express the real world.
Karen Joy Fowler
After the sorts of winters we have had to endure recently, the spring does seem miraculous, because it has become gradually harder and harder to believe that it is actually going to happen. Every February since 1940 I have found myself thinking that this time winter is going to be permanent. But Persephone, like the toads, always rises from the dead at about the same moment. Suddenly, towards the end of March, the miracle happens and the decaying slum in which I live is transfigured.
Several centuries ago it was believed that the fly agaric, combined with the bufotenin-containing mucus of toads, was an ingredient of witches' brews, which made flying on their broomsticks possible. Even Santa Claus and Father Christmas are connected to Fly Agaric and their reindeer, which, by the way, like their portion of fly agarics and 'living' water.
A southwest blow on ye and blister you all o'er!' 'The red plague rid you!' 'Toads, beetles, bats, light on you!' 'As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed with raven's feather from unwholesome fen drop on you.' 'Strange stuff' 'Thou jesting monkey thou' 'Apes with foreheads villainous low' 'Pied ninny' 'Blind mole... ' -The Caliban Curses
Gary D. Schmidt
A southwest blow on ye and blister you all o'er!' 'The red plague rid you!' 'Toads, beetles, bats, light on you!' 'As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed with raven's feather from unwholesome fen drop on you.' 'Strange stuff' 'Thou jesting monkey thou' 'Apes with foreheads villainous low' 'Pied ninny' 'Blind mole...' -The Caliban Curses
Gary D. Schmidt
In shape they were like horrible toads, and moved in a succession of springs, but in size they were of an incredible bulk, larger than the largest elephant. We had never before seen them save at night, and indeed they are nocturnal animals save when disturbed in their lairs, as these had been. We now stood amazed at the sight, for their blotched and warty skins were of a curious fish-like iridescence, and the sunlight struck them with an ever-varying rainbow bloom as they moved.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Fine food is poison. It can be as bitter as antimony and bitter almonds and as repulsive as swallowing live toads. Like the poison the emperor took every day to stop himself being poisoned, fine food must be taken daily until the system becomes immune to its ravages and the taste buds beaten and abused to the point where they not only accept but savour every vile concoction under the sun.
Lisa St. Aubin de TerÃ¡n
Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution? I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction. Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless. Therefore the frogs, the toads, keep on singing even though we know, if they don't, that the sound of their uproar must surely be luring all the snakes and ringtail cats and kit foxes and coyotes and great horned owls toward the scene of their happiness.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens, ' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space... In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens,' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space...In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
If it will be an intolerable thing to suffer the heat of fire for a year or a day, or an hour, what will it be to suffer ten thousand times more for ever? What if thou wert to suffer Lawrence 's death, to be roasted upon a gridiron; or to be scraped or pricked to death as other martyrs were; or if thou wert to feed upon toads for a year together? If thou couldst not endure such things as these, how wilt thou endure the eternal flames ?
At the Moor Wanderer in the black wind; quietly the dry reeds whisper In the stillness of the moor. In the gray sky A flock of wild birds follows; Slanting over gloomy waters. Turmoil. In decayed hut The spirit of putrescence flutters with black wings. Crippled birches in the autumn wind. Evening in deserted tavern. The way home is scented all around By the soft gloom of grazing herds; Apparition of the night; toads plunge from brown waters.
If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe. Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that witches are often betrayed by their appetites; dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always; hearts can be well-hidden, and you betray them with your tongue. Do not be jealous of your sister. Know that diamonds and roses are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one's lips as toads and frogs: colder, too, and sharper, and they cut. Remember your name. Do not lose hope - what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story. When you come back, return the way you came. Favors will be returned, debts be repaid. Do not forget your manners. Do not look back. Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall). Ride the silver fish (you will not drown). Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur). There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not stand. When you reach the little house, the place your journey started, you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember. Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before but once. And then go home. Or make a home. Or rest.