To a garden in Ørje once came a toad,
And under a hosta he found an abode.
The hosta was sad, for its leaves were in tatters.
And everyone knows that a leaky roof matters.
‘I want to protect you from rain and hard sun.
But through my poor ceiling the water will run.
And so I can’t ask you for very much rent.
I had other tenants. But wetly they went.’
The toad felt so sorry. He needed the shelter,
For, in the hot sunshine, he’d started to swelter.
There must be a reason behind all the holes.
They were too big for midges and too small for moles.
‘I know what to do! I will stay up all night,
And maybe the culprit will heave into sight.
And then I will ask him why he’s such a vandal.’
He sat in the dark without even a candle.
About half past two the moon dipped behind cloud,
And out of the undergrowth ambled a crowd
Of fat squishy slugs (each was clutching a cuppa
And a knife and a fork). They had come for their supper.
The toad was delighted. In front of his eyes
Was a feast unsurpassed. It was such a surprise!
He gobbled up slugs. He ate every one.
Then he basked on his back in the new rising sun.
‘Your house is just perfect,’ he said to the plant.
‘Although others have left you, I promise I shan’t.
The charms of this residence can’t be ignored.
Where else is the landlord providing full board?’
©Ruth Twyman Lockyer Ørje, Norway September 2013