Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Horny Toads...An environmental tale!

The wildlife around here keeps our kids, and well the adults too, on our toes. You can't live in Texas without knowing about the Horny Toad. They are an endangered species actually, and there are all sorts of rumors about them. WB loves to tell the kids they squirt blood from their eyeballs, but come on, really! George has been seen with a few in his beaks, which always raises a loud cry of protest from the girls...."NOT the horny toads, they are endangered!!" And I'm sad to say that I never really thought it was that big of a deal if George or whoever decided to snack on one for lunch until this:


I mean look how cute he is, in a lizardly kind of way.

Actually, his little beady black eyes look very intelligent and watch you as you press your nose close to his face. He lets you hold him and seem to be as curious about you as you are about them. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think they are sweet and would make a great pet, if that was allowed, but it isn't. I think the Horny Toad Patrol or someone would come to your door and demand it's release. This probably would come with a fine and public humiliation. Who knows, you might even be forced to deal with some governmental agency and you know how I love those experiences! I can't take the risk of any of that happening.

WB, who is full of knowledge by the way, says that the disappearance of the Horny Toads is due to the disappearance of the Harvester Ants. This being their main source of food. Cold chills swept through my body at this little bit of information. Because I realized I, myself, am responsible for major environmental havoc. I'm admitting this to you because I feel like I need to confess (yes, the Catholic in me comes out in such weird ways). Here's how I've single handily tried to destroy this little creature. I asked the pest man to get rid of the Harvester ants on my sidewalks and driveway. They bite, which my kids found out shortly after moving here. So you see it's people like me that are destroying the habitat of the Horny Toad!
I apologized profusely to this little guy and told him I'd put up with the Harvester Ants if he'd keep visiting. He just looked at me with those eyes. But I think I was forgiven because we have seen him several times since this first visit and he lets all my kids hold him and make kissy faces at him!

7 comments:

The Fritz Facts said...

Seriously...a little creepy looking. Boo would love it, and I would panic. lol

Anonymous said...

They really do squirt blood from their eyes. Look it up in Wikipedia. Also, there is a rumor that you can put them to sleep by turning them upside down and rubbing their tummy. I've never been able to accomplish that trick, though.

-Hubby

Karen said...

Okay, I'm a little freaked out by the fact that you've held one of those things up to your nose and stared into its eyes! Ha ha! Yikes! I don't know if you recall that I'm not a big fan of nature *grin* ...

Smockity Frocks said...

COOL!

Pat's Place said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat's Place said...

So cool! I thought they had all disappeared! I am so glad that your girls are experiencing horny toads. When I used to go to my grandmother's in Amherst, my cousin and I would catch a bunch of them, put them into an empty coffee can and then put them to sleep on Grandmother's front sidewalk by rubbing their tummies until they went to sleep. We could usually line up 4 or 5 before the first ones began to come to life, turn themselves over and scurry off. I am surprised WB did not mention putting them to sleep that way! We also used to say that they spit tobacco because sometimes a brownish liquid came out of their mouth.

Kara said...

I'm happy to say I've never seen the blood squirting from their eyes nor the brownish liquid coming from thier mouths:) WB did try to put them to sleep but was unsuccessful!