Jacko the Toad

Drip, drip, drip. It must be raining. Ah yes I can feel the ripples now on my eyeballs.

Not that it makes much of a difference to me. I’ve been a toad at the Shannon Wetlands for 10 years now – man and boy. I love it here.

I’ve got my 20 siblings around me – lost touch with the other 190 – you know what it’s like. And sometimes when I go for a swim I look up and see a plane far, far overhead its rumble a bit like our mating calls but no where near so musical.

There’s a few humans around but they’re not so bad. I rather like their high pitched squeaking but not as much as I love the buzzing the midges make – I love them to death (20 to 30 at a sitting!)

No. All in all mine is a happy lot. It’s just that I get a bit lonely…

I’m sorry I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Jacko and I’m a male Natterjack toad. In my prime I might add!

I did sort of meet (well heard) someone last night during the full moon, her name was Jackie (yep, I know a pretty common name that) and I thought we hit it off quite well but try as I might I haven’t been able to find her today. I think she might be a bit shy of Buffo.

He’s a nice enough fellow not as glamourous looking as us of course, with our dashing yellow stripe. But it’s when he gets together with his friends the problems occur. They make a hell of a racket and I could only just make out what Jackie was saying over it all last night.

Buffo is a common toad. And isn’t around much as his kind hibernate through the winter. But they certainly make up for it each summer. Boys o boys, from dusk to dawn croak this, croak that at the top of their voices. Their mating calls aren’t as loud or as subtle as us Natterjacks (after all we are the toads that natter) but in their numbers it still gets pretty loud.

I think that’s why I only caught half of what Jackie was saying last night and I only got a vague idea of where she was. Still, fortune favours the brave, so I will crack on with my quest to find her.

I really hope all the commotion last night hasn’t made Jackie decide to go elsewhere. We are pretty sparse in numbers us Natterjacks – most thinking we’re only in Kerry nowadays but my ma managed to get a lift as far as Limerick some 10 years ago and well, sure, it’s only a hop skip and jump from there to Shannon Town. So you can image my surprise when I heard Jackie last night and how excited I am to make her acquaintance.

Though, in truth I haven’t had a sweetheart in over four years now – pretty much the same time as Buffo and his pals showed up – strange that. And sadly I hear fewer of my twenty siblings year on year.