Following is my column, which appeared in the Devils Lake Journal in Devils Lake, North Dakota, earlier this month.
It has been a sweltering hot summer here in northeastern Colorado, with most days being at least 90 degrees are more and often in the upper 90s. I for one am ready for some fall weather. Temps in the 70s are going to feel positively balmy!
I don’t know if it is the extremely hot weather that has caused a few wayward toads to weasel their way into our office looking for some cooler climes, but weasel in they did! One morning when I came into work my boss said she had spotted a little toad by her desk and although she had tried to capture him (her), he had escaped, so be on the lookout. A few days later I did spot a very tiny toad under my desk, about the size of a quarter. Although I am extremely squeamish of all things crawly (and hoppy!), I thought I can certainly get rid of one little toad, I decided to take a broom and attempt to swoosh him out the door. That didn’t work at all. He hopped and squiggled away and retreated behind a filing cabinet behind my desk. I decided to ignore him and tried to start working, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Toad and how he might silently hop back under my desk and across my toes. It made me shudder! So in the name of workplace productivity I enlisted the aid of my boss, a former farm girl. She cornered Mr. Toad and grabbed him by his tiny leg, following which she claimed he peed on her, and we escorted him out the door. I bid him farewell, warning him to steer clear of the nearby busy train tracks.
In retrospect I probably should have welcomed in Mr. Toad and some of his hungry pals because the flies in this part of the state are horrendous! Any time the front office door opens or shuts it seems at least one or two flies zoom in. Some of these flies, probably suffering from heat stroke, seem a little crazed and fly in a fast, frenzied stare around my head, which is really quite annoying! Needless to say I have perfected the art of fly swatting and would challenge anyone to a contest.
Several days after sending Mr. Toad on his merry way I was at home one evening and went out around dusk to retrieve something from my car, where I saw a small toad hopping under a bush. Had Mr. Toad tracked me down to seek revenge?! It got me thinking how kit kat Jenni might react to a toad should one weasel its way into our house. Would she take a swat at him or maybe try to eat him? I really did not want to have deal with this scenario so I scurried inside and firmly shut the door.
The forecast is for continued hot weather, so I guess I need to buck up and make frogs and flies my friends, or at least not my enemies.