The Toad.

“If you don’t mind me asking, my dear human, why are crying?”

The young boy looked around, his pudgy hands wiping at his eyes. Who’s voice was that and where was it coming from?

He sniffled, one of his hands wiping his running nose.

“Down here child.”

“Hmm?” His head swerved around, surveying the area once more, eventually looking down.

“AHH!” the brown eyed boy jumped back. “What that what! You’re a frog! And you’re talking?!”

“I’m a toad but let’s not talk about me.”

The boy’s wide, shocked eyes stared at the amphibian. How in the world could a frog- no toad- could talk? He scratched his arm, nervous, thinking about either running home or killing the thing and then running home.

“Now, I shall repeat my question. Why are you crying?”

The little boy began picking at a scab on his knee.

Well, this was strange.

A toad was talking to him, but despite his young age, the boy have seen far more stranger, otherworldly things so it wasn’t that horrifying. Huffing out a sigh and looking out at the lake, he decided to tell the animal about why he was sulking.

“My mom broke my heart.”

“Hmm? How so?” The toad questioned.

“My mom promised me that she will take me to the aquarium today to look at the jellyfish but she lied.”

“Lied?”

The curly haired boy nodded his head, sniffing as tears were making an encore.

“She told me that she would try to see me more. That she would make more time for me but all she did was lie. Again. She lied again…” his shoulders slouched as he looked at his face in the water, his tears hitting the water. He kicked his dangling legs out of frustration, his heels hitting the rough, rocky ledge that he sat on.

He huffed out a sigh once again and the toad chuckled.

“You huff so much, are you sure you’re not a dragon?” he joked.

“H-huh?”

The toad laughed, a bit louder this time.

“I ask if whether or not you were a dragon since you’re huffing and puffing so much.”

The boy giggled, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

“I’m not a dragon.” the boy smiled.”

“So then, why does your mother cause you to huff and puff like a dragon?”

The boy’s smile disappeared, his attention being brought back to his reflection in the lake. His face morphed into sadness once more, his right hand unconsciously grabbing a handful of the grass and dirt. Just being asked that question felt like being stabbed in the heart. He thought about not telling the toad about his mom but he wanted to talk to someone, so with a sad glance at the toad, who was waiting patiently for the child to speak, the boy began.

“My mom left me when I was born. She gave me to my grandparents and just left. They’re not my real grandparents though. My mom was adopted.” he frowned as he continued. “All I know is that she wasn’t happy because of me. That she was really sad and stuff. That’s why she gave me to my grandparents and never looked back. Wait, no. She would send me letters. She would talk about coming to see me and taking me out and just being in my life, but she would never do it. She just always lied.”

The toad hummed in understanding.

“What about your father?”

The young boy shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t know. I heard he’s some rich man who lives in the city.”

The boy didn’t know much about his father. He only ever saw pictures of him or whenever he was on TV for some public event. But as his mind was bringing up memories from the past, he remembered hearing his grandmother arguing with his mother over the phone one day when he came home from school. He knew it was about him as his grandmother would always try to tell her daughter to see her only son and that it wasn’t his fault about what happened that night, whatever it is that happened that night. The boy was only 7 so he didn’t understand some of the words that his grandmother was using that day.

The boy looked at the toad, and decided not to tell him about that particular memory.

“I shall take a guess and say that you do not understand why your mother is upset with you.”

The boy nodded, his lip quivering.

The toad continued.

“Since you do not know why, don’t beat yourself up over it. Someday, you’re mother will tell you everything and even if she doesn’t, you shouldn’t allow her treatment of you to eat you up inside. Even if your mother isn’t here, at least your grandparents are. And they love you right?”

“Y-yes.”

“Then why feel so down when you are still being loved? Blood may be thicker than water, but the bonds you make with strangers tend to be far more powerful and stronger than that of blood relatives. Remember that.”

The boy nodded again, rubbing his now tired eyes.

“I will.” he replied softly, a little yawn roaring out of his mouth.

The toad looked at the boy, he couldn’t understand why he was so concerned for the human child but, he was, and seeing the boy yawn and rub his eyes, he knew what to say next.

“You seem tired little one. Go home and rest. You’ll feel better once you are well rested.”

The child mumbled out an okay and moved to his feet. He began walking away, his mind racing with thoughts before turning around to thank the toad for hearing him out.

“Thank… you?” he questioned, as he saw that the toad was gone. The sounds of the wind and the waters of the lake eased the small child heart. He closed his eyes, listening to the sound of the rustling trees, and the letting the gentle breeze cool his warm face down, his mind switching from 100 miles per hour, to about 10. The boys still had thoughts he couldn’t stop his mind from bringing up, but he was much more calmer now.

All though the toad was gone, he wanted to thank him for comforting him in a time of need. So with small smile formed on his lips, a quiet “Thank you.” became one with the wind, and he turned on his heel, walking home with the overwhelming need to embrace his grandparents.

At home, the toad sighed contently as he closed his eyes to go back to sleep.

He hoped that no more crying children would wake him up again.

~a sleepy ghost~

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