Statement: The Toad

I do not know the Toad, even though it has lived in a crack outside my apartment since I moved to Texas. On warm nights it crawls up and sits on a step, completely still, waiting. When I come home in the evening I crouch and say, “hello Toad,” before I go indoors. Sometimes I’ll come back out wearing my flannel slippers and stare at the Toad, or take its picture, or laugh. It usually doesn’t budge, which amazes me. There is no fear. I love the Toad, but I do not know the Toad. I cannot, but this has almost nothing to do with the fact that I am human and the Toad is toad. It has a little to do with gaps in communication, but mostly it has to do with the fact that the Toad is a shapeshifter; it is sometimes brown, sometimes gray, sometimes it is the size of my fist and sometimes it is the size of a key fob. Sometimes it is even two toads, and on one wondrous occasion it was three. How could I ever expect to familiarize myself with such magic?