Are you looking for the perfect island getaway? Ask me about Anguilla. Beautiful beaches, beautiful people, sunshine and rum punches. There is, however, one teeny weeny problem you should note … toads.
The best way to enjoy this idyllic island is by renting a soft sided jeep and exploring. Weather permitting, which it almost always does, we take the jeep’s top down. This is how she earned the nickname “Miley.” A cloudless day turned into a cloudy evening, so we decided to help Miley get dressed, putting her top on and zipping on the windows. Because my husband, Karl, is still on injured reserve after an unfortunate encounter with a Christmas ham last December, we had to drive the 1/4 mile down the road to dinner. With us was our chaperone and constant companion on this trip, our elder son K.C.
Now K.C. is the poster child for firstborn. The nicest way we phrased it as he was growing up is that he needed to “refine his leadership tendencies.” He is in his third year of law school, where I believe those leadership tendencies are sharpened into weapons. What he is not is a nature boy. He is more of an indoor, museum type guy.
Then there is my husband. He is slightly more outdoorsy, and is good at dealing with most natural hazards like bugs, including the googely-eyed stinging types. He does, however, have an irrational fear of spiders, even the cute ones, so I perform all spider related activities.
So we pack into the now clothed Miley, which I admit I also like to rent because it is fun to watch my six foot son contort and try to stuff himself into the back seat. K.C. screams “Ah, a moth!” with some embarrassingly true terror in his voice. Karl turns around to chastise him for being such a baby at the same instant K.C. says “Everybody out of the car, out of the car right now!” Through years of training, we didn’t even question orders and all tumbled out.
The reason for the hasty exit was terrifying! A toad, no doubt in pursuit of a succulent moth dinner, was hanging out on Miley’s back seat. Okay, I give us the fact that it was an unknown tropical toad variety, and we had vague memories of poison dart frogs at the St. Louis Zoo, but really, a toad. So Karl gets in the universal husband/father defense mode and takes off his shoe. I’m thinking Really, you are going to squish it? I think that would be a little messy! And for some reason I have a bit more compassion for a toad than a bug.
“Karl, don’t squish it!”
“I’m not going to squish it, I am going to scoop it out of the car!”
K.C. in the meantime has backed up behind me and is using me as a human shield. Karl is frantically waving his shoe and one-leg hopping (note injury above) front seat to back and front again to try and scoop out the frog.
“Hold the door open!” he shouts to no one as neither K.C. nor myself is willing to get involved.
The frantic chase continues, and I think someone wet the jeep seat in fright. I hope it was the toad.
Finally the desperately trapped toad launches itself onto a side window, and sticks. K.C. shouts “quick, unzip it!” I am not sure that solution was worth the price of three years of law school, but it was a brilliant idea. Unfortunately at this point the toad somehow got reclassified as a spider, because I was the one who had to do the actual unzipping.
Hero husband did come through at the end, though, and took the offending window and hurled it 20 feet into the grass. With one last baleful look back at us, the assaulted toad hopped away, off to tell his side of the story, I am sure. The moth? I don’t know but can only hope he lived to dance yet again almost too close to the flame.