I am so sad tonight. Probably very few people would understand, but my husband I have grown very attached to a large toad that has hung around our house for a few months now. He has probably lived here longer than that, but in the past few weeks he grew more and more familiar with us and could be found on the back porch every morning and night. (The first time I spotted him I thought he was stuck inside a sprinkler head valve hole and I forced him -gently - out. He then ended up "stuck" in a smaller place, and after I got him out of that place, I realized he had never been stuck to begin with and I had only succeeded in inconveniencing him when he was trying to find a cool place to rest for the day!)
Most recently, Richie and I got used to looking out for Barnabas (of course I named him) to keep the dogs from lunging at him when we took them out. The other night Salem scared him onto my screened in porch and I left the door open all night so he could find his way back out easily. I can't even remember Barnabas not being around; he has become part of the family, an outdoor pet. In fact, last week I had just introduced him to the CFZ blog.
All this time, I have been worried that Barnabas might end up getting hit by one of our vehicles since he does hang out around the driveway, and I have tried to keep an eye out for him when I get in the truck. Well, this evening on my way to the gym, as I was pulling out the driveway, I saw that is exactly what had happened: Barnabas lay dead in the driveway. Even though I'd worried about this very thing, I just really wasn't prepared to see it. I guess it sounds ridiculous that I've been upset all evening. I still can't believe Barnabas isn't sitting in his cute warty fatness out on the porch, his throat pumping, acting cool while we pass by with the lunging dogs. After all this time, he knew he was safe around here. And then we kill him with our stupid vehicles.
I never thought about the possibility of growing attached to a wild toad, but I did and now I feel a big emptiness. Three times I've gone outside to look for Barnabas on the porch tonight. I keep hoping that some other giant toad happened by, not Barnabas who owned the porch and felt safe here.
Goodbye, big, sweet, Barnabas. We miss you terribly.