Between the monsoon and the lockdown, here is something that I hope will bring good cheer and a smile to your face.
Do share with your friends and family, especially the young ones.
Toadying up – a lesson in perseverance
As the intense, dry heat of summer gives way to the pitter-patter of the first monsoon rains, virtually all living creatures heave a huge sigh of relief. Some even heave each other around.
But before we get to the heave-ho bit, once the rains wet the parched earth, puddles and ponds appear which for a brief period, form entire eco-systems.
And the loudest and possibly largest creature to occupy these little water bodies, is the Common Indian Toad, often mistaken for a frog by the untrained eye. The most easily identifiable difference between frogs and toads is that frogs have longer legs, made for leaping; the shorter legs of a toad are designed for hopping. And if you are fortunate enough to see them laying eggs, frogs lay eggs in clusters, toads in strings.
Before laying eggs, toads go through a process known as Amplexus, wherein the smaller male climbs on to the larger female and clasps her in an embrace from the rear. This is called an Amplexus.
Sometimes, another fellow wants to get into the action, perhaps mistaking proceedings for a mountaineering expedition. This is known as Multiple Amplexus, which us mere mortals would take for an orgy.
The newcomer is generally not welcome, showing that toads have no propensity for orgies. This results in our hero being kicked and heaved around. But like Robert the Bruce learnt by observing a spider, our toad too does not give up in a hurry. Try, try, try again.
For interesting tales of birds and aha...!!! nature, reach out to Sarabjit at firstname.lastname@example.org
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