Every weekday morning, before the sun pops up and while the kids are very slowly waking up to their morning ablutions, while my dear husband makes the coffee because I'm good for shit until I have at least that first sip down and he knows this, I take Trixie outside.
Most mornings, I join her in the back yard. She jets off for the woods, taking care of her own rituals, while I stay on the porch and stretch, gulp in some fresh air to start my day. And pretty much every day, without fail, I meet up with this guy.
He sits with me while I yawn and stretch and my joints snap-crackle-pop like the cereal the kids are eating inside. He doesn't come on the mornings after the bug guy comes out, but every other morning he's there. Our single toad friend who knows that the eating is good up on the porch, so it's worth risking the bright light of exposure, the humans who occasionally come out and the 80lb black ball of energetic fur and claws known as Trixie.
Occasionally, she's tried to play with him—and as a black lab, her idea of playing involves claws and teeth—but we discouraged this. She got it, and now she'll give him a sniff before moving on to the yard to see what she can find. I should probably apologize to him, that might have been part of his cousin she was rolling around on in the grass the other day. Yeah, it grossed me out, too.
Our toad is undeterred. He knows the risk is not as great as the reward. He understands that sometimes to get the big payoff, you need to take the big chance.
Some days he lets me pet his back or even pick him up to say hello for a second before I put him back down on the ground and let him continue his routine. Other days, when I pick him up, he pisses out more liquid than could possibly be held in his tiny body. I take the risk.
And that's life, isn't it? You have to take the risks to get the reward. Sometimes you get pissed on but other times it creates an adventure or a fond memory to look back on.