My Singing Toad

I hate the sound of crickets, especially in multiples. Goes back to when I was newly married the first time and we moved into a townhouse that was new construction. There were crickets in the walls and they never shut up. The thought of it still makes my skin crawl.

Anyway, we live in an old cheese factory, so a pretty big house. The lower level is full basement below ground on the uphill side and the back/away from the road. Three steps down on the downhill side. The flooring is red baked tiles and has drains all over, because they had to hose the floor down several times a day, I’m sure.

The basement is sort of damp, but nothing horrible. However, we always have tons of crickets and they creep me out, so when the kids would catch a toad we’d put it in the basement to help with the insect population. It works, too, and we’ve had some toads survive for up to 4 years at a time.

When my knees are being particularly bad, I hang onto the handrail while going down the steps. I’ve noticed occasionally that the toad that hangs out under the stairs will start singing while I’m on my way down the steps.

This morning, I figured it out – the handrail squeaks when I lean on it. And because I’m going down the stairs, it squeaks with every step. I even tested it out 2-3 times and he started singing every time I was about halfway down.

It just makes me smile but a little sad at the same time. I guess we’ll have to try to find a toad friend for him so he’s not stuck singing to a woman he’s afraid of.

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