In the August edition of New English Review, our favorite doctor professes his admiration for toads and ponders the mystery of human life.
Nowadays when I find a toad, I am inclined to pick it up and place it on an outside table where I can contemplate it more closely. The toad, it seems to me, always has a melancholy rather than a terrified air, like someone who expects nothing good to come of this life. There is also something a bit self-important about him, like a banker lamenting the economic state of the world over a digestif and cigar after a copious dinner of the kind that will eventually kill him. The toad is a sad creature, perhaps aware that no one really likes it.