Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dig the beauty

"Ask a toad what beauty is? He will answer you that it is his toad wife with two great round eyes issuing from her little head, a wide, flat mouth,
a yellow belly, a brown back." -- Voltaire

This fellow wandered by the office the other day and I shot a picture of him before taking him down to the wetlands at the edge of the property. He was pretty big -- when I picked him up, he filled my hand and hung out at each edge.

But looking at the picture, I wonder about the phrase "ugly as a toad." (You might do well to click on the picture to see the detail.)

Look, first, at those eyes, at the gold in his irises. Do your eyes have those highlights?

And check out the beads, the colored bits at the end of his little nubbins. And look at the number of little nubbins on his body. Ponder the complexity of it all.

And see the soft, pinkish ends of his fingers. If only he could understand numbers, and wealth, think of the safes he could pick with those sensitive fingertips!

Okay, yes, it looks like he walked through a cobweb at some point. But consider the level of detail in this little beast.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

Voltaire contends that beauty is subjective. Fair enough. But this is a beautiful little animal.


Sherwood Harrington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherwood Harrington said...

(Wish commenters could edit comments. The one I just deleted is just as follows, but with a bad link.)

Thanks, Mike. A good thought, a fine photo, and a beautiful creature. Just exactly what I needed after a day of finals.

(By the way, Voltaire himself was pretty cute.)

Laura Brown said...

Well said! Frogs and toads are among the most beautiful creatures on earth.

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

This is one great photo - face to face on his level.

Mike said...

When you first posted that bust of Voltaire, Sherwood, it struck me that he looked like Jimmy Stewart. Hardly the image I've had of him from his work.

The toad came to my attention because the back of the building is where the smokers go, as well as where we park. One of the women was concerned for his safety but didn't want to pick him up and knew I wouldn't have a problem with that.

The next day, she said, he had come back up the 30 or 40 yards from the wetland and was back wandering the edge of the building. We decided he knew where he wanted to be and that we should let him take whatever risks came with it.

And that we would watch where we stepped.