Trotting down the long farm drive toward Beaver Dam Creek my stout little nose could not help but pick up the scent of fall in the air.
While the soft breeze seems cooler, it is different somehow this year as the drought is really taking its toll on all that surrounds me. The ground is hard as a rock.
The trees just seem weepy and I don’t mean weeping willows. The trees are crying for water to lift their great arms back into the heavens above. As if that is not enough, I come down to the edge of the creek bed and the water sits, almost stagnant from lack of rain and movement.
Alas, it is early in the morning, the sun has not yet begun to rise above the crest of our ridge when who do I see peeking out from underneath the rock ledge where the water is still drifting in and out of a little cove but my old friend Tommy Toad!
“Top of the Morning to you Tommy,” I said in my happiest voice and flashed my best brilliant white tooth grin. Tommy croaked back in his deepest toady voice, “Good Morning Sushi – you brightened my morning as I was beginning to get down in the dumps about this lack of creek water.
“Easier for me to swim across dear Tommy”, I barked. Tommy laughed and plopped himself right out into the water and up onto the rocks ledge.
“You know Sushi,” I think it high time we do something about this rain dilemma. “And, just what do you suggest”? I asked. Just meet me down at the creek right before dusk and bring everyone you can think of.
“You’ve got it Tommy.” And off I trotted.
As I meandered further down the creek bed I came across Freddy Frog and shared with him Tommy’s request. Freddy assured me he would have all the big and little froggies at Tommy’s rock ledge.
Next, I wound up through the woods and back into the fields that led me to the Barn Yard. There, I gave word to those two ornery barn cats Hokie and Mountie.
Before I knew it the day was coming towards an end and all my barn yard friends headed for the rocks ledge on Beaver Dam Creek.
Together, with Hokie and Mountie leading the way, Gnarly Gander and the Goose gang, Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon Red Turkey, the farm ponies, Sadie, Toby and Tink, and a herd of sheep, all made our way down towards the creek.
What a sight it was – toads and frogs, deer and raccoons, squirrels on turtle’s backs, possums hanging by their tails from the trees and even the sly ones – Mr. and Mrs. Red Fox – had come to hear Tommy’s master plan to make it rain.
Flashing my best white tooth grin I barked “Call to order! Call to order! Tommy Toad would like to speak.” With that all the little toads and froggies gathered round.
The young animals were most curious as to what the great Tommy Toad had to say. Tommy Toad and Freddy Frog had quite the reputation. You see, they were the longest living amphibians to keep out of reach of Hattie the Witch’s Toad and Frog Stew!
Tommy cleared his toady throat and croaked “Now it is high time we praise the Lord and give thanks for all we have. I believe the Gods might think we have forgotten in our busy lives just how lucky we are to have roofs over our heads provided by the old sycamore, oak and poplar trees, to have shade and warmth provided by our ancient evergreen trees. Food and water created by our beloved Beaver Dam Creek.” “Hear! Hear!” Freddy Frog cheered.
“Now here is what I propose,” Tommy continued. All you young ones gather ‘round together by family. Look each other in the eye and give thanks first for the family you love. Next, gather paws, hoofs, tails and snails, and start thumping the ground with your feet. Turn in a circle around one another like this and lift your heads towards the heavens and cry out in your prettiest croaks the song of old –
“Rain, Rain, Rain! Oh Rain, Baby Rain! When the honey is slow … and bees don’t know where to go … we need rain baby rain! When the creeks are low and the water can’t flow, we need rain baby rain!
On they all chanted well into the night – dancing and thumping the ground to the depths below until dark cloud cover started moving in and the heavens rumbled in a croak deeper than Tommy’s.
Tommy Toad’s rain dance rang throughout the night and more and more animals gathered in great hopes of thanking the Gods above that rain would come and replenish their quickly dying woods. It was just about this time that Ol’ Mr. Moon was shining his brightest when suddenly a shrieking cackle could be heard high above the treetops and a black silhouette could be seen on a broomstick crossing Mr. Moon. A deathly silence quickly came across the joys of the rain dance – just as Hattie the Witch, cackling at her best, streaked across the moon, as the sky thundered and roared and the rains came pouring down.
All but the Frogs and Toads quickly gathered the young ones and headed for the shelter of their homes to hunker down and wait out the storm.
Now, Frogs and Toads love the rain and often when it is raining, you can see them leaping for joy along the roads as the wet weather brings a watery playground for them to dance in. All the big and little Froggies and Toads cheered and chirped and croaked until the woods rang loud in amphibious song.
“Oh now the witch is gone, the witch is gone, the witch is gone.”
“Oh now the witch is gone – and we can sing and play”
The joy in their croaking was something to hear! They all knew Hattie the Witch would not be out hunting while it rained. Old wrinkly Hattie with her ratty silvery hair and big wart on her crooked nose would melt away if she got a good dose of wetness. Since the time of Halloween was coming, they knew that each one of them could be her next victim for the terrible witches brew!
It was time for me to call it a night and off I trotted up the long farm drive to my home.
So, until Halloween comes and goes, I will pray the Gods above keep me and all of you, my friends, safe and warm from old Hattie the Witch and her magic spells.
I am really glad Cairn Terriers are not a high priority for Witches’ brew. So until next week I cannot wait to share with you the Halloween stories that are bound to happen in the depths of our great woods, down near Beaver Dam Creek!
Be Blessed and Stay Warm –