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“Toads”

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by Rebecca Dance 

Recently, I’ve decided that I don’t believe in toads. 

To give a little background into why I’ve been thinking about amphibians, spring has arrived. At home in Massachusetts, we are constantly surrounded by the song of spring peepers,  a type of chorus frog. They, along with the crocus that bloom right up through the snow, are the first harbingers of spring. When you start hearing the peepers, you can cautiously put away your winter coat. 

While I’m missing the spring peepers here on campus, it got me thinking about the difference between frogs and toads. 

After pondering this with little to no research, I decided that I didn’t think toads were really something separate from frogs. “Toads” are perhaps a little bit ugly, but they’ve also been cursed through the ages as tools of malicious witches. Toads were evil little imps, with poison for blood and malicious intent. 

I think toads deserve a little more kindness. We ourselves have been poisoned not by blood belonging to hypothetical “toads” but by the lies of those who cast out the “toad” from the frog family. With this in mind, we have to ask ourselves: are we willing to stand for prejudice against an innocent creature while frogs (despite regularly being toxic) live free of these shackles of belief, just for being frogs?

In summary, if I don’t believe in toads (and if I can convince people who have been led astray to follow me in this) then they are free of all that slander. The story of the toad will fade into legend. Those frogs formerly known as toads will continue to live their lives peacefully as frogs; free of the prejudice that has plagued them through the centuries.