Southern Voices, Southern Voices: I peed on a toady frog
Posted Oct. 5, 2021
By Michael DeWitt, Jr.
I was born in the summer of 1972. The Vietnam War was still raging. Elvis was still very much alive. Needless to say, I’m not a little boy anymore.
Yet, as I soon celebrate a half century on this planet, I was pleased to learn recently that, deep inside my wrinkled, fatty, hairy exterior, there still lives a five-year-old boy – and he still has a mischievous streak and some unresolved issues.
This epiphany came as I was reflecting on life while standing under the stars enjoying some fresh air, which, in the rural South Carolina Lowcountry, is a nice way of saying I had stepped into the backyard to urinate outdoors. (My apologies if this topic offends our more genteel readers, but you simply can’t write about little boys growing up in the rural South without at least once mentioning the sport of outdoor urination.)
There I was, pondering life’s little moments and mysteries, when low and behold an unsuspecting frog hopped right up to me, almost landing on my toe. I tried to shoo him away with my foot, but the little guy just sat there and wouldn’t budge. It was almost as if the fellow were lonely and thought he had found a friend.
The toady frog, as we used to call them when I was a kid, was about the size of a child’s fist, and about as plump and icky. It was the kind of toad that hung out in the wet grass under your parents’ yard lights when you were a kid, and, every time you picked him up, without fail, he always peed on you. Then you would drop him, run inside screaming to your mother, and she would promptly instruct you to go scrub your hands.
“That’s how you get warts, you know!” Momma would always say.
Now, confronted with this frog 45 years later, a more enlightened, mature soul would most certainly have said something like, “Shoo, little froggy. Go away now!” and went about the mature, responsible business of being an adult.
But the five-year-old lurking inside of me would have none of that.
“That’s the same frog that always peed on you!” the inner boy said to me.
“That’s crazy,” adult Mikey countered. “That can’t be the same toady frog!”
“Look at him!” Little Mikey said. “He’s got the same stripes, the same beady eyes, the same evil grin and everything!”
“He does look a little familiar,” Big Mikey admitted.
“You know what to do!” Little Mikey said, no doubt rubbing his grubby, chubby hands together with excitement. “I won’t tell Mommy if you don’t!”
“Come on, that’s not right! What if my wife finds out? What would the kids think?”
“It is time for someone to finally make things right in the universe!” said Little Mikey with an evil, sinister laugh, and that was all it took.
So it is with a mixture of pride and shame that I confess to you, dear reader, than on Sept. 24, 2021, one of your favorite adult journalists, a Southern Baptist who was once named the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year, a father of two and an otherwise normal, upstanding citizen who pays his taxes on time, urinated on a live frog in Hampton County, S.C.
Just a little bit. Not enough to make it weird, cruel, or unusual. Not enough to make it a case of animal cruelty, but just enough to get my point across and make a statement.
I did it for the irony. I did it for karma. I did it for justice. I did it for every little boy out there in the history of the world of little boys who has ever picked up a mean toady frog and got his curious fingers peed upon.
To all the innocent children everywhere, to all you victims of random and unprovoked frog-pee attacks, you are avenged!
As I predicted, the wife did not appreciate the karmic, life-coming-full-circle magnitude of the moment. There was a lengthy lecture about animal cruelty and setting poor examples for the children. The kids look at Daddy a little funny now. There is talk of calling PETA and the ASPCA. But none of that is important right now.
All that matters is, somewhere out there at this very moment, a toady frog is worriedly asking his Momma if he is going to get warts.
And that’s enough for Little Mikey.
Michael M. DeWitt, Jr. is the managing editor of The Hampton County Guardian, an award-winning journalist, columnist and outdoor writer who has been published in South Carolina Wildlife, Sporting Classics, and the author of two books.
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