BALLAD OF THE TREE TOADS

A Story of Love, Loss, and Natural History

(My Sub-title)

This little poem - called, just The Tree Toads - first attracted my attention in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Nowadays, it shows up regularly as a "tongue twister" in books and on internet sites. The recent versions have a slightly different middle verse (which doesn't rhyme, by the way). The words below, from a 1917 issue of The Colorado School of Mines Magazine, are probably the originals. Even there, it had been copied from something called the Line-o-type News, so is at least a little bit older than that.


 A tree toad loved a she toad

That lived up in a tree;

She was a 3-toed tree toad,

But a 2-toed toad was he.

 

The 2-toed tree toad tried to win

The she toad's friendly nod;

For the 2-toed tree toad loved the ground

That the 3-toed tree toad trod.

 

But vainly the 2-toed tree toad tried --

He couldn't please her whim;

In  her tree toad bower,

With her V-toe power,

The she toad vetoed him.

***

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 © Sanford Wilbur 2018