Around the Town: How the toad frog saved Shelly

By Loretta Humble/Around the Town

Shelly Fugitt lives in the house next door to me on the farm. Shelly has a serious snake problem. When she was 10 years old a king snake, generally considered a friendly snake, flew off the side of a barn and bit her. She admits it was maybe because she was chunking rocks at him. When Shelly was eleven, a snake dropped out of a tree and bit her on the back. it apparently was non-poisonous, and didn’t do much damage other than scare her half to death. Then after she was grown, a copperhead bite on her ankle sent her to the emergency room and a two-day hospital stay where they pumped her full of anti-venom. The next time a copperhead bit her it was on the other ankle, but it didn’t hurt her that bad this time, apparently because she still had anti-venom in her system from the last bite. Since she has lived here on the farm she has seven more serious snake encounters, including finding one on a shelf in her bathroom and another one which dropped in front her from the awning of her front porch.

I, on the other hand, was born right across the road from here, and in all my 80 years I don’t remember ever seeing very many snakes, much less being threatened by one. There must be something about Shelly that attracts them. Needless to say, Shelly doesn’t like snakes, and while she is usually quick to spot one anywhere around, she wasn’t that vigilant last week. Shelly was outside, bending over preparing some pots for plants, when she saw something fat and gray leap between her feet. She raised up and was amazed to see a big toad frog sitting there with a copperhead in his mouth, head first, using his little hands to shove it down further. She knew nobody would believe her, so she ran to the house and got her phone to take a picture. When she got back, he was still sitting there chowing down on what Shelly estimates, to be a foot long, as big around as her thumb, snake! The frog had jumped into a corner, so you can’t see the snake actually in his mouth but I’m pretty sure you can get the idea.

I thought I had the champion toad story. I thought finding one in my purse while I stood in the middle of the VA Hospital in Dallas was the most amazing thing you could say about a toad frog. I didn’t think I would ever get a better frog story than that. I was wrong.

The other exciting news is that the Fall Festival is nearly here, bigger and better than ever. A big good-looking pumpkin patch is already open in our downtown pocket park, Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons, available for taking pictures and buying pumpkins at reasonable prices. The patch will remain open until Saturday, October 20th when the real fun begins! Activities include a car show with Grease Ragg Cruzers, live music, a bounce house, food trucks and over 20 vendors are expected on October 20th from 10-7 pm, ending with a street dance with South of Disorder. This is going to be a lot fun so please don’t miss it.

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