Monday, April 19, 2021

Let's Play "That One Game"


I don't know. It may be the Cajun in me. Cajuns tend to be very nosey. Maybe in the swamp, they had to be nosey. "Is that a gator snout sticking out from under that car, or is that just the neighbor doing some engine repair?" "Are the kids playing with a soaker hose, or a water moccasin?" "Is that a shrimp or a crawfish? Never mind, pass me some hot sauce." 

Maybe because I'm always writing a portion of "a book" mentally, collecting the things I hear to throw into it, but I tend to remember passing remarks. While my short-term memory is usually shot, things like this get stuck in it, taking up valuable and scarce room.

At work, the school was established by a pair of sisters. They are still there, and work together as the administrators. Oh boy. Boy howdy. Howdy howdy howdy do. Big sis and little sis. Little Sis is as sweet as a bucket of syrup, and Big Sis is as sweet as a gallon of vinegar. About two feet behind me, they started up a conversation.

Little Sis: "Um, oh oh, um, ha ha, oh Dee-Dee, Dee-Dee, do you remember that funny game we used to play? That game?"

Big Sis: "WHAT? What game? What are you talking about? We need to be getting ready for the board meeting."

Little Sis: "Oh, that funny game. You know, the game? Oh, we loved to play it. That one. Oh gosh. Tee hee."

Big Sis: "WHAT? You're a lunatic. What game are you talking about? We didn't play any games. We played dolls."

Little Sis: "Uh-huh, yes we did. We did play games. Oh, I loved playing dolls. But that one. That one momma said, 'You stop playing that right now or you will get warts.'" 

Big Sis: "WHAT? Get warts?"

Little Sis: "Yes, she didn't want us to get warts, but we never got any, did we? We loved that game."


Little Sis: "That game, that one game, that toad game. Toad Catcher!" 

Big Sis: "Martha Ann, we played no such game. What are you even talking about? Toad Catcher."

Little Sis: "Yes we did! We did! We loved it! Toad Catcher! We would play with the toad, we would catch it, and then it would be the other one's turn! Yes we did! You loved it, we played it, you made it up!"

Big Sis: "I did not. I never heard of this in my life."

Little Sis: "Yes, yes yes yes you did! And if the toad peed on you, you lost, you had to hide your eyes! And the toad was the baby, it was the baby and we'd make it a house, too."

Big Sis: "You are crazy, Martha Ann. I never touched a toad in my life. I would never touch a toad. Never."

Little Sis: "Yes you did! We loved that game! You made it up! Yes, yes you did!"

This went on for quite some time. Now I'm left wondering, DID Dee-Dee make up the Toad Catcher game? Is Martha Ann right? How exactly was the game played? 

My husband and I went to check on our community garden plot today after a drive to take some photos of a wild shrub called Mexican Buckeye, that is finishing up blooming. You can spot last year's big pods and this year's immature ones on the same plant.

Mexican buckeye blooms and immature pods

Mexican buckeye new mexico

At the community garden, the wild morning glory (the kind that spreads on the ground, convovulvus) was just spreading and climbing up the sides of the plot, and I wanted to pull it back so that the boards were free of it and it couldn't clamber down into the bed itself. So, I started pulling weeds on my side, and my husband started pulling on his side.

Then, he said, "Whoa! A frog! A frog!" 

New Mexico Woodhouse Toad April 2021

Southwestern Woodhouse Toad

I went over there, and there was a big, maybe four-inch long disgruntled-looking toad sitting, now visible with the weeds pulled away from his little house. I was astounded! A big, clearly an aged, toad, in the desert!

I took a few quick photos and we hastily put the weeds back on top of him or her, and then loaded some pine straw on top of that. There are lots of weeds around some of the unclaimed plots, so I hope he will be all right. I hope he stays by my plot, though. I did an image search on Google and found out that he or she is definitely a Southwestern Woodhouse Toad. And I wonder, is this how the game of Toad Catcher started?


  1. I absolutely love how your mind works and the way you weave a story into such an interesting post.

  2. I not only love the way your mind works, I have the same Mind. i love to eavesdrop when out and about, then like you did, i continue to think about what i heard and what it meant and who was right. like you, things like this stick, but i can't remember the number of my cell phone when someone ask for it. I could tell them about a conversation i overheard a year ago. The sisters sound like Bob and me. we argue over details of what we are remembering. and I never know is knowing I AM RIGHT is true, ot was it me that remembers it different. i do know that we can see the same thing at the same time and then aruge about what we saw. it is always different. I love toads, but not to hold. we have frogs and in 32 years here have not seen but one toad, hundreds of frogs though..

  3. It is good to have frogs in your garden they eat the bugs and that is a sign of no snakes. We have no poisonous snakes but I am always so glad to see a frog in any garden I am working in.

  4. What a big ole toad frog! I remember a jumping game...jump over like a toad! lol Now what was that called! hahaha! Leap Frog...that's it! Thanks for a fun post and some memories!


  6. Sweet toad! Yes, I like toads, well except the nasty invasive cane toads. I never heard of a toad catcher game, but did grow up hearing you'll get warts if you touch a toad. I'm not sure if that lie was started to keep little girls from being too curious about toads or to protect the toads from being harmed in the hands of inquisitive little girls (and boys).

  7. Write it..write the book Dear Dame. Your post as usual is witty and fun. Little toady toady...he looks most unhappy. I remember here that they gave you warts if you touched it..where do these things come from? Ah..the simple times.

  8. -grin- Great post!!!!!!

    Ans so happy you covered the poor thing back up! Yes, I hope he is smart enough to stay on your plot.


  9. Great story! When I was a child a giant oak tree stood over our back yard. A couple of times there were the littlest tree frogs that would fall out of that tree for a season, and siblings and I would gather them into buckets and try to keep them from leaping out. That is the only time I remember enjoying a game with toads or frogs myself, but they are eternally a delight to children who are lucky enough to ever encounter them.

    Thank you for sharing this simple pleasure.

  10. Oh, that was a funny conversation that you overheard. I tend to hear (and remember) bazarre things being said when I'm out and about. I chuckled when you said..... Little Sis is as sweet as a bucket of syrup, and Big Sis is as sweet as a gallon of vinegar. hehehehe.

    Have a wonderful week, Holly. Thanks for the smile today.


  11. Big sis, Little Sis, and then your very own toad. Someone is trying to tell you something.

  12. What a conversation. Too funny...then your very own toad. I grew up hearing that wart story, too.

  13. Hope the toad did not pee on you. Loved Bog Sis and Little Sis. Janice

  14. We had a hollowed out barn footer stone on the porch to hold water for the dogs. It was very irregular, and then we found a toad lived under it, probably because it was cool and damp. Every winter he went off to hibernate, every spring he was back under the stone. We called him Tod.

  15. Those two sisters are hilarious. It's funny how siblings remember things so differently one from the other. Your garden toad is well camouflaged sitting there. I'm glad you covered him back up.

  16. Great story about those sisters! They were certainly chalk and cheese :) Amazing you found that toad in such an arid place but he was obviously surviving and it was good that you covered him up again.

    Here we have frogs and toads (and newts come to that) using our big pond to lay eggs in and we now have tadpoles of various descriptions.

  17. Just make sure you don't let it pee

    Beautiful flowers!!


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