In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Journey of the toad

There was a toad in the garden yesterday morning. I was fooling around, putting rocks along the edges of beds, when a clod of earth magically turned into a toad. He had been quietly hiding in a little fold between the path and the squash bed, in one of those secret places that isn't supposed to exist, but does. I didn't know what else to do, so I quickly built a house for him right where I found him.
To tell the truth, I didn't want to lose him. I wanted him to be happy and content exactly where he was. But a toad has a mind of his own, of course. So after he sat in his new house for a while and considered it, he decided to find a quieter place to live. Someplace where I would not come poking along out of the blue to bother him, or engage in ramshackle construction projects right over his head.
I'm pretty sure he was headed toward the more substantial house, the one with a swimming pool, that I made a few weeks ago.That house is quite secluded, with a tall hedge of ferns, and is just right for a dignified single toad with a mind of his own, who desires privacy.
He had a long way to go: across the squash bed, over a path, through the bush bean bed, again another path, then past oregano, rhubarb, fennel, cilantro, and more paths. But he was not only dignified, but also brave, and wise. He knew that the longest journey begins with a single step.
It was plain he didn't want my company, and I don't take it personally. That's just the way he is. But I do think he will enjoy the garden, with its crumbly earth and tasty grubs and slugs and cabbage maggots and wireworms. I hope those are his very favourite foods in the whole world.
I last saw him as he dashed beneath the oregano, on his way to the cilantro, and after that, his quiet retreat on the edge of the garden. I will leave him entirely alone there, I promise. Though I may just glance over now and then if I should happen to be passing by.

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