Karen licked the toad one more time. The toad let out a weak, alarmed call. It had had enough attention that evening. Bradley pulled at his mothers dress and asked her why the lady was rolling around on the street floor. His mother smiled. Because she’s free, she replied. The toad had managed a few desperate hops towards a nearby open manhole before Karen noticed. Not so fast hubby, Karen shouted. The toad hopped onto Bradley’s new left sneaker. The toad’s various shades of green complimented Bradley’s orange laces. He looked down in awe. The toad was such a beautiful, complex creature and it had chosen him to be its custodian. He tried to hold back a smile, pushing his cheek by thumb and forefinger to make it go away. Karen crawled along the pedestrian crossing until flopping onto the tarmac in front of Bradley and his mother. She had been laughing maniacally since the last lick. One more, she demanded, cackling. Come one Bradley, let the lady have what she came for, his mother said. But, he said, and pointed down to his left shoe. Bradley, she said in that drawn out manner she uses when he doesn’t do what she thinks is right. The toad looked passive and motionless on top of his orange laces. Bradley was already dreaming of taking it home and looking after it in his room. Are you hubby? Karen blurted out as she lurched towards Bradley’s panicked face.