THE GREAT MIGRATION
Twenty-two toads were crossing the road
To get to their ancestral pond;
Along came a berk, driving home from work,
And the twenty-two toads were all gone.
Stunned by the shockwaves of wheels whizzing by,
Squashed by rubber on road;
Stuck in the tread, it’s fair to say all were dead.
And in the pond not one tadpole or toad.
Twenty more toads were crossing the road
And in danger of The Great Beyond.
I don’t like to brag but I had a bucket, not bag,
And took all twenty toads to the pond.
Centuries of lies have given toads a bad press;
No one cares if they’re squished in the end.
Misunderstood, in fact toads are good:
Eating pests, they’re The Gardener’s Friend.
But with housing developments, habitat loss,
Fast motor cars and new roads:
The future’s not bright and it’s really not right
That we’re losing our once common toads.
So please watch for amphibians crossing your roads
(Creatures of which I’ve grown fond),
Help stem this loss; help them to cross
And bring Life back to field, garden and pond.
Toad Patrolling- quite frankly, there are probably better, certainly warmer, ways to spend a night in early spring but I can’t think of them. The silence that falls after the last blackbird has roosted, the sight of an owl, a badger…and then they start to appear: walking with purpose, sitting up on the look out… and then you hear them singing. Frogs croak but toads sing. And that, my friends, you need to experience for yourselves.
If you have a mind to help the UK’s declining amphibian population (toads, frogs, newts), Froglife is a fantastic organisation. They’ll put you in touch with your nearest patrols. Otherwise – I mean also!- please support the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust or -and I mean also!- your local Wildlife Trust