I remember one day in spring, me and little Randy was catchin toads at Memaw and Papaw’s house. We turned down the edges of a paper sack and covered th’ bottom with sticks and grass for th’ toads to live in. Them toads musta just turned from tadpoles, cuz they was all over th’ yard, ‘specially near th’ ditch. By noon we musta had a hundred toads a piece in our sacks.
Well we got hungry so we come on in an put th’ toad sacks in th’ laundry room and ast her said, Miss Lossie, could we have some lunch. Miss Lossie told us sure, she would make us some sandwiches, and to get a Coke out th’ fridge while we was waitin, which we did.
While she was makin lunch she asked us offhand, Whatcha’ll got in them sacks anyway, we told her Toads. She say Whatcha’ll gonna feed ’em, and we say We don’t know, what should we feed ’em Miss Lossie? And she say It ain’t nothin a toad likes to eat better’n a fly, and they’s sho plenty ’nuff a them hangin round here, ain’t they. Sho is.
So after our bologna sandwiches we got out th’ flyswatters and got to catchin flies. It wasn’t long before we realized they only eat th’ flies that are movin, so we had to figure out how to swat ’em without killin ’em. Th’ best way to do that was to trap ’em up against th’ window panes, then pull off one of their wings. We’d drop ’em in th’ sack and they’d flop all around and them toads would munch ’em up.
We kept this up for three, maybe five days, and all th’ time them toads is eatin flies and gettin bigger and bigger til we have to take ’em outta th’ sacks and put ’em in a box. Memaw said we ain’t got room for two boxes a toads in th’ house, and to turn some of ’em loose. And besides, she says, we need some toads round th’ yard to catch th’ outside bugs. We tell her Memaw, there’s plenty a toads outside. But they ain’t no arguin with a woman like her.
So me and Little Randy each picked out our two biggest toads and turnt th’ rest of ’em loose. We gotta big ole box and filled it with sticks and grass, and used an old peanut butter jar lid for their water. We catched all th’ flies we could everyday for that whole summer. Memaw and Papaw both was pleased about that.
When summer was near over, and our toads had done growed up, we turnt ’em loose so they could go back to their ditch and lay more eggs next year. An that’s how we kept toads.