The Ascension of Mister Toad

Red skin glistening in the early morning light, the toad sat amongst the detritus of the suburban greenbelt. Other smaller toads hopped this way and that, paying him little to no heed. He did not mind; toads were not his concern.

Through a thatch of reeds and a few wilting poplars the glow of hearth and home shone with all the temptation of Shangri-La. Shadows moved back and forth, the bustling preparations for a day like any other, or so they likely expected. A crow cawed, a poor substitute for the cock of the morning, but heralding the start of day all the same.

His ponderous eyes blinking, the toad shot a sticky tongue to catch a cicada, a fine meal but not satisfying. The earth under his feet was solid and damp, but he felt the urge to hop, to move, to seek a change. The humid air kissed his bumpy skin, but there was no comfort in the caress.

In a flash of anger, he shot his tongue and swallowed a smaller toad whole. At last, he grinned. It would begin. He would ascend as he had always dreamed.

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