A toad

I took Kepler to relieve himself late last night, and when I opened the door two unusual things happened: he stiffened, and I saw a black shape the size of a kitten move slowly away from the doorstep.

I shut Kepler in with Clive, grabbed a torch, and went to investigate.

A large, squashy toad

A large, squashy toad was crouching against the wall.

I’ve seen this sort of toad before – quite probably the selfsame toad. In autumn they dig themselves into loose soil to hibernate, and I’ve felt them in there with my hands.

On the first occasion, not knowing what I’d felt, I dug the toad out completely and held it. It filled my palm and spilled over the sides.

This particular toad was only intent on getting itself into the shadows and it lolloped away.

When I collected Kepler he could tell where it had gone, but he was on a lead so that was one thing he didn’t get a chance to hunt.

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