VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.childrenstories.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

FABLES FOR CHILDREN

FABLES FROM INDIA

FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS

FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

For Classes Ii. And Iii.

For Classes Iv. And V.

For Kindergarten And Class I.

FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES

Some Children's Poets

Songs Of Life

STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS

STORIES FOR CHILDREN

STORIES for LITTLE BOYS

STORIES FROM BOTANY

STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN

STORIES FROM IRELAND

STORIES FROM PHYSICS

STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA

STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY

STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

The Little Grey Mouse

THE OLD FAIRY TALES

The Princess Rosette

THE THREE HERMITS

THE TWO OLD MEN

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

The Cat's-eye Toad A Child Of Maka Ina

from Things To See In Springtime





When you were little, O Guide! didn't you delight in the tales of gnomes or nibelungen, those strange underground creatures that lived hidden from the light, and busied themselves with precious stones and metals? How unwillingly we gave up those glad beliefs, as we inevitably grew old and lost our fairyland eyes!


The Cat's eye Toad (life size) The Cat's eye Toad (life size)


But you must not give up all your joyful creeds; you must keep on believing in the weird underground dwarfs; for I am going to tell you of one that the cold calculating Professor Science has at last accepted, and that lives in your own back-yard. That is, the Cat's-eye Toad or Spadefoot. It is much like a common Toad, but a little smoother, the digging spade on its hind foot is bigger and its eye, its beautiful gold-stone eye, has the pupil up and down like that of a Cat, instead of level as in its cousin, the warty Hoptoad.


But the wonderful thing about the Cat's-eye is that it spends most of its life underground, coming out in the early springtime for a few days of the most riotous honeymoon in some small pond, where it sings a loud chorus till mated, lays a few hundred eggs, to be hatched into tadpoles, then backs itself into its underground world by means of the boring machine on its hind feet, to be heard no more that season, and seen no more, unless some one chance to dig it out, just as Hans in the story dug out the mole-gnome.


In the fairy tale the Shepherd-boy was rewarded by the gnome for digging him out; for he received both gold and precious stones. But our gnome does not wish us to dig him out; nevertheless, if you do, you will be rewarded with a golden fact, and a glimpse of two wonderful jewel eyes.


According to one who knows him well, the Cat's-eye buries itself far underground, and sleeps days, or weeks, perhaps years at a time. Once a grave-digger found a Cat's-eye three feet two inches down in the earth with no way out.


How and when are we then to find this strange creature? Only during his noisy honeymoon in April.


Do you know the soft trilling whistle of the common Hoptoad in May? The call of the Cat's-eye is of the same style but very loud and harsh, and heard early in April. If on some warm night in springtime, you hear a song which sounds like a cross between a Toad's whistle and a Chicken's squawk, get a searchlight and go quietly to the place. The light will help you to come close, and in the water up to his chin, you will see him, his gold-stone eyes blazing like jewels and his throat blown out like a mammoth pearl, each time he utters the "squawk" which he intends for a song. And it is a song, and a very successful one, for a visit to the same pond a week or two later, will show you—not the Cat's-eye or his mate, they have gone a-tunnelling—but a swarm of little black pin-like tadpole Cat's-eyes, born and bred in the glorious sunlight but doomed and ready, if they live, to follow in their parents' tracks far underground. Sure proof that the song did win a mate, and was crowned with the success for which all woodland, and marshland song first was made.







Next: How The Bluebird Came

Previous: The Prairie-girl With Yellow Hair



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 1121