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T is for Toad.....

Toads-- those warty, stocky, squat amphibians known for their popularity as an ingredient in witches' bubbling cauldron-brew. These guys aren't exactly the prettiest of creatures, but what they lack in beauty, they make up in creativity. Because their short, thick legs don't offer them much in the line of distance-jumping, the true toads have come up with a rather ingenuous way to deter their predators.

The parotid glands, the largest of the salivary glands, of the Bufo (true) toad family have evolved to secrete a  hallucinogenic toxin that can be deadly if enough of the substance is ingested. The gland is located on the side of the toad's body, behind the eye and is covered in large, visible pores. The toxin is released through pores in the toad's skin. All it takes is for a hungry animal to bite down just a little and suddenly they have a mouthful of milky, mind-altering toxin. It's enough to make you never want to see another amphibian ever again....that is, unless you're like some of the dogs in Australia who, reportedly, lick toads to get a buzz.

Toad Trouble

Bother not, our warty friend,
he'd rather you walk on by.
He doesn't seek to hurt you now,
but, don't test him, he's just a bit shy.

                                                                                           ---e.a.s. demers


  1. All your poisonous poems are amazing. Are you putting these in a book?

    1. Aw, that's sweet.... I hadn't thought of putting them in a book, but, a poisonous poem book does sound like a fun thing to do :-)


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