I took a walk on woodland path,
A seasoned swath.
Upon the road
I found a toad.
This tiny creature, wart adorned,
Is often scorned.
When found near us,
We virus fuss.
In fact, they don’t cause harm to us
Those tiny bumps
are merely humps.
An American Toad I spotted on the trail this last weekend. He hopped across the path and tried to hide in the leaves, but I got him. The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus, is a common species of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. Their diet includes crickets, mealworms, earthworms, ants, spiders, slugs, centipedes, moths, mosquitos, flies, and other small invertebrates. The warts are not contagious, rather they are features of the Paratoid glands. The parotoid gland (alternatively, paratoid gland) is an external skin gland on the back, neck, and shoulder of toads and some frogs and salamanders. It secretes a milky alkaloid substance to deter predators. The substance, bufotoxin, acts as a neurotoxin. Paratoid glands are normal, healthy parts of the animals that bear them. The vague similarity in appearance, however, is the reason behind the mistaken belief that touching a toad causes warts. So, the is not virus transmission, but that still should not be handled, and certainly not eaten.
A swath is a path along a river or canal often used by horses or mules to drag barges or boats along. In farming it is the path cleared by a scythe.
This poem is a Minute Poem.
The Minute Poem is a poem that follows the “8,4,4,4” syllable count structure. It usually has 3 stanzas that are exactly the same.
So: 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables.
A traditional Minute Poem has 12 lines total. It has 60 syllables (thus the Minute). It is written in a strict iambic meter. The rhyme scheme is as follows:
aabb, ccdd, eeff.
I did use a line of Trochee meter in line 10 here.
This photograph was taken by the author himseld on October 2, 2016.