ed the spade foot toad
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ed the spade foot toad

September 24, 2011, on a fence line just north of Pakowki Lake in the southeastern corner of the Province of Alberta.
Pronghorn Corridor Project
Team—arb institute

Pakowki Lake, Alberta

Working on the fence line. Finished pounding in 4 wires on one post when he came into view. Like he was sunning himself on top of the post. Edward was named after a dog that I never met. I wrapped him in a tissue and put him in my shirt pocket. In Blackfoot language Pakowki means "bad water."

Late 2012. I thought it might be a swell idea to obtain a permit for Edward. I'd heard that for some beings it was necessary to get a permit for possession. So I placed Edward in my eyeglass case and headed to the local authority's office. I brought a friend along just in case.

The woman dominated the space behind the bullet-proof glass and motioned for the guy who was packing the iron to come on over. He wasn't impressed either. "If I come and check your freezer I'd better not see anything else in there" he growled from underneath the bushy handlebar mustache. As I scanned the rows of impeccably mounted stuffed captives lining the walls, an increasing feeling of dread set in. My friend turned her back to the armed individuals behind the counter and tried to signal me to disengage but I was just too curious. I explained that I was there to do the right thing not the wrong thing. I told them that I really loved animals. After all I was a vegetarian most of my life. It didn't matter—nothing mattered. Edward was confiscated and relegated to the freezer in a secure room.

The first offence was that I hadn't reported the matter within an, ummm, much shorter time span. Next, I wasn't supposed to have transported Edward anywhere. Then, there was a long list of questionable actions on my part which were the consequences of the initial transgressions. How was I to know? Ignorance was no excuse. Apparently, I was lucky I didn't end up in the slammer with Edward.

Weeks later I received a call from the authority's office...."Hi my name is Ed" no not Edward, just Ed. He was a pretty jovial guy. Ed turned out to be the biologist that signed the permit. "You can come pick him up and that'll be ten dollars for the permit." There was a bit of confusion when I arrived to pick him up as no one was able to locate Edward. He was just so small that he got lost in that giant freezer. Luckily I had placed Edward in my yellow eyeglass case before they apprehended him. So other than being hermetically sealed in plastic, Edward was still in fine shape. #420 was released from custody and I hastily exited the office.

Edward is not, and can never be, for sale. He is allowed to reside with me—that's all. If he does move in with someone else, then I will have to apply to transfer the permit to the new guardian. Edward belongs to the Crown—forever. Edward is a Plains Spadefoot Toad. Both he and the permit currently reside with me.


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©cm greco, 2018

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CANADA

©cm greco, 2018