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.



A toad is a frog
But a frog is not always a toad:
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

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.