Slice of Life Toads

Writing Inspiration

Today’s CLmooc doodle prompt was “frog,” so it stirred up a bit of memories.

My friend Lori and I, while in high school, captured a pair of toads along the Missouri River, keeping them as pets over the summer in the backyard until they escaped. We named them too: Erwin and Edwin P Soup. We’ve been sharing toads and frogs with one another ever since. We have many toads and frogs in our yards and houses. Above is a picture of one from Lori.

Every year I look and listen for toads and bullfrogs in the yard. I know they capture many of the creatures that “bug” me– like ants and bugs and snakes. Take a moment to learn about these amazing creatures:

It’s funny because I don’t like to pick up frogs, but and American bullfrog or a toad is different– they do not look wet and slimy. And so today I decided to take time to write a descriptive poem about toads, a sort of science poem. I hope you learn something and take care with these helpful creatures.

Writing Process

So I reviewed some of the readings above for some scientific descriptions of toads, one of my favorite creatures– alive or in art, as illustration or sculpture. I wanted a poem to remind me of the important things about toads. Perhaps I could have written an “The important thing about Toads” following the pattern of Margaret Wise Brown book, The Important Book. But I didn’t think of it until just now. You can follow the pattern in the video at the end of this post.

Instead I just wrote phrases describing toads that helped me describe them. Then I ordered them into phrases, changing the wording to fit. So I”ve got some ‘b’ ‘p’ consonants: brown, bumpy, bit, poison for some continuity in sound. And for “great big smile” I added in spaces that might not make it into a blog post due to its formatting protocols that eliminate blanks. I ended with why I love them– they eat bugs and snakes– so my garden is pleasant. Here I added “place” for two reasons– alliteration and the long ‘a’ to fit with the long ‘a’ in snake. It helps create an ending rhythm and flow.

It’s just a little science poem, and one you could write too. I hope you like it.

Poetry

Toad

A toad is a frog
But a frog is not always a toad:
Bufonidae-
Toothless with
dry and leathery
brown or grey or green
bumpy skin
that’s a bit of poison,
short little legs and a
great big smile
all the better to eat
bugs and beetles,
slugs, crickets, and ants,
maybe a snake
so your garden stays a
pleasant place.

Sheri Edwards
032322 082.365.22
Poetry/Photography

Your Turn

What’s some creature or element or force that intrigues you? Wolves, copper, gravity. They can all be described in some specifics that help clarify its essence. Do a little research. Write some phrases and organize them. If you’re wondering how to choose words, there are a few little elements that writers employ– I call them Author’s Musts that might help. Try one or two.

In addition, you might want to listen to The Important Book and create a poem with following its pattern.

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