Ahh, autumn. Crisp cool weather, falling leaves, shorter days. Less daylight means doing some barn chores in the dark. As the sun was starting to slumber under the trees and my energy and concentration almost as low, I tired to muster what I had left in the day to clean the paddock. Methodically scooping and tossing manure in the calm dusk was interrupted by a sudden hallucination. No, it was my imagination. The manure balls can’t move on their own; it must have fallen off the pitchfork and rolled. Continuing . . . with a little apprehension – wait,it did move! Kind of jumped. I know Halloween is coming, but horse poop cannot be demonically possessed!
Leaning down to get a better look, squinting in the last glow of light, cringing, expecting some creature to latch onto my face like Alien, I HAD to have an answer. With adrenaline now spiking, I slowly leaned forward to the small figure holding the pitchfork as if about to fend off a mass murderer. My eyes adjusted to the fading light as the demon poop ball moved again! . . . . . and looked at me.
A fat little toad!! I laughed with relief that an alien poop wasn’t going to hurl itself at my face, then became amazed that the little critter was so smart as to park itself right next to the manure pile. What an easy way to get a meal! Why go hunting for food when you can just hang out and wait for it to come to you? With my fears faced, I gently caught my dusky nemesis and placed him near a pile at the fence line so he wouldn’t get stepped on by the horses. From fear of the unknown to amusement and respect; it’s amazing how fast life can change when you try to understand a situation with an open mind. A pitchfork in hand doesn’t hurt either.