Sunday, October 4, 2009

Little does it know ...

Little does it know, resting in my grandson's dirty palm, that the being who holds it could easily end its life.

It's so small - so vulnerable - and blissfully unaware. My grandson found it as it jumped out from under a small pumpkin he had found in a farmer's patch near Etter, Texas.

"Can I keep it?" Gavin asked his grandfather.

Looking at the little toad I couldn't help but be reminded of the many times when I had seen my grandson throw a fit when he was denied something.

I knew the toad's fate was dependent on my reply.

I bent down and put my hand on his shoulder, making sure to look him in the eye, with my eyes filled sincerely with concern for both little ones.

"Would you like a giant to keep you?" I replied.

"A giant?" he asked confused.

"To the toad - you must look like a giant monster!" I said. "You could easily squish him and he knows that."

"He does?" Gavin replied suddenly realizing he must seem very big indeed to the little creature in his hand - something my little grandson had never experienced.

Gavin isn't very tall. Everyone in his class is taller - even his sister is taller - and that's something that bothers him.

"It's up to you. You could keep him in a jar -away from his toad family and friends and he would never be happy - and then one day he would die and you'd be sad ...

... or you could let him go now and both of you go on with your day - both happy."

"You got to catch a cool little toad - and he saw a giant and lived to tell about it! You'll be famous among the toads as the giant who was nice!"

That's a much better story," Gavin said.

He bent down, parted some reeds and let the little toad hop out of his hand.

-Steve Douglass