Toad Wars, Episode V: Toad Strikes Back


He increased his pace, and as the car devoured the street and leapt forth on the high road through the open country, he was only conscious that he was Toad once more, Toad at his best and highest, Toad the terror, the traffic-queller, the Lord of the lone trail, before whom all must give way or be smitten into nothingness and everlasting night. He chanted as flew, and the car responded with sonorous drone; the miles were eaten up under him as he sped he knew not whither, fulfilling his instincts, living his hour, reckless of what might come to him.

– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

In January 2014, I walked away from the Toad. But I can’t get away from him. Not altogether. The Toad, you see, is who I am.

I’ve said for quite some time that there are no endpoints on the human voyage of discovery. There are no answers without their own sets of brand new questions. Or old ones. But I let my head get too big for my britches (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor); I decided that, while I might not have ferreted out all the answers, I had at least mastered the art of searching.

Pride comes before a fall, I guess…

So, the Toad returns, shamefaced, to his former antics: there is a time and a place for everything, except for abandoning my true self. And that is no Zen statement–I’ve made more of those recently than benefits anyone, and as it turns out, nothingness is just that…nothing.

I am Toad. Hear me ribbit!

Autobiography of a Toad

(An epiphany of me)

Born to roam, never
Always quite at home;
Half a toad, half a turtle–
Life’s a joy; life’s a hurdle
To be cleared and caught

Talk is cheap, thought’s
Expensive. Circle wide; view extensive.
Present tense, future perfect and
Imperfect: never not anticipating.
Reborn; restructured;


To say, not much; to
Do, much more: broken window defeats
Closed door. And on and on, and further
Still, bridges to cross, milk to spill.
Words to spell and rearrange;
Clothes to wear and, then, to change.
Danger is but fear embraced–
What’s a life that is not chased by
Angry ghosts and fleeting sands?

The tortoise, only,
Understands the need for speed as
All goes by, so slow, so fast…

Never stop; it
Cannot last.