The Angry Toad

            During a particularly unfruitful day, of a particularly unfruitful month, of a particularly unfruitful year, a frustrated toad hopped hopelessly around in search of grub. Its belly was empty, its body, dry, its legs, tired, its energy, angsty, and its mind, racing.

            Lost in exhaustion and almost unable to continue, it came upon a delectable, wriggling worm behind a rock, but upon trying to swallow it, the toad realized it was the tail of a serpent, who whipped back round for a confrontation. Just in the nick of time, the toad jumped away to a nearby stone in a dry riverbed. “What I would give for some rainfall to cool off with…” the toad griped in the heat of the day. No sooner had it uttered these words than a great rumbling began to rattle the rock upon which it sat. Suddenly, without knowing what hit it, a flash flood ripped it from its perch and carried it quickly downstream.

            Back on dry land, the angry toad grew even angrier, when, after scaling a hefty hill to get away from the raging waters, a raccoon came from out of nowhere, dead set on devouring him. Cornered and with little cover to protect him, the toad sprang atop the furthest point of an exposed rockface, and while considering the possible damage from such a cliffside fall, was seized by an adolescent hawk and carried away. Up in the air, the toad, at the end of its wits and lost in the grips of such seeming terrible luck, gave up all anger and surrendered, ready and willing to die. But, suddenly, another, much larger hawk gave chase to the immature one handling the toad, who, before it knew what happened, found itself falling from the sky, before smacking into the soft, spongy soil of a backyard that half-buried it in mud. Lying on its back, belly skywards, still surprised to be alive, it cried out in anguish, “My God, why? I am ready to leave this world!”

            “You have so much to live for,” said a nearby dragonfly, “and there is no such thing as failure, but only a change in direction. Have you ever seen me fly? My path changes constantly, pretty much all the time. Whenever you see me, it means a favorable change of direction may be just around the corner.” After the dragonfly took off, the toad lifted itself up and took a look around, only to notice the many insects, slugs, and snails all around it, in the secluded, vegetable garden where it had fortuitously landed.