Meet Mr. Knobby

Here’s a much smaller visitor to my backyard, only about 2-3 inches long.  Meet Mr. Knobby the Southern Toad. Isn’t he cute?

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This post is especially for my South African blog friend Libra’s Child, who commented the other day on my bunny and squirrel post. “You have all the woodland animals!
I’d like to see a hedgehog now… and a toad (who else was in Wind in the Willows?) A badger?”

Well, there are no badgers here in Florida, but talking of toads reminds me of my stage debut when I was ten-years-old.  I was ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ in our school production of ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Toad was the wealthiest character and the proud owner of Toad Hall. Although quite good-natured, he was impulsive and conceited, and was eventually imprisoned for theft, dangerous driving and impertinence to the rural police. He got a twenty year jail sentence for stealing a car, and escaped disguised as a washerwoman. I had a quick change in the wings and donned an over-sized flowery dress with a lace cap on top of my toad head. Maybe this is where my love of beautiful cars and my expertise as a laundry lady stems from, although these days I do draw the line at wearing flowery dresses and lace caps.

I can vividly remember my costume for the play. A pair of tights, a blouse, and a pair of very large bloomers, all dyed a brilliant emerald-green in a large saucepan on mom’s hob. The bloomers were stuffed to capacity with newspaper and I had a cushion tucked under my blouse into the waistband of the tights, which as you can imagine was extremely uncomfortable. To top this comical creation, was a huge papier-mâché toad head, which fitted non too neatly over mine. It had holes for my eyes and one my mouth, and was most cumbersome and difficult to keep on straight, so I spent most of the play pulling and pushing it into position. The play was presented in the church hall over the main road from the school, and on the day, our teacher stopped the traffic with her ‘lollipop stick’. whilst I waddled across the road in all my greenery. I bet those motorists had a giggle, but I was well disguised and too intent on not losing my head, to notice. I loved every uncomfortable minute of the performance.

Happy Wednesday to you all. I hope I’ve given you a few smiles.

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71 comments on “Meet Mr. Knobby

  1. Awww … I feel terrible. My kitty found a froggie like the one you captured in your photograph and 😤sadly killed it. Hubby kept reminding me that it’s his instinct to do that. Boo-Hoo … nice photograph, though.
    Issy 😎

  2. Cute little Toad. At about the age of 10 I was Badger in Toad of Toad Hall. I loved my costume and I had papier mache badger mask. It was the beginning and the end of my stage career!

  3. Sylvia, I like your newest critter! I really liked the book, Wind in the Willows. It was funny, clever and good for both boys and girls. I am able to picture you as a very cute Toad. (Can’t recall you “Toadette?” Your pretty blonde hair would have been covered by the cap! I bet you were great in your performance! This was a sweet post with your personal story included. 🙂

  4. i sure was smiling while reading fond memories of your stage debut, Sylvia! it must be really fun 🙂 hello to Mr. Knobby! he looks a little shy 🙂

  5. I want to see a photo of you “in costume” . . . you did “paint quite a nice picture” for us with words.

    Green Bloomers, Flowery Dresses, Lace Caps . . . sounds like a Wild Ride for Mr. Toad.

  6. Ah, a cute toad. I am also scared of them too for some reason. I am afraid of their bumpy skin 🙂 But imagining the young version of you in the toad costume makes the toad a bit more friendlier 🙂

  7. oh wow I remember playing with paper mache when I was a kid too, also making masks and stuff, geez those took forever to dry but sure was fun in the end 😀

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