A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Mystery of the Phantom Pooper

I'm going to tell you something incredible.  It's not about Waldron.  It's not about growing up.  It's just a bit of information that I have discovered that is so stunning, it demands to be shared.  Today, you will learn something.

It's all about some little souvenirs in my back yard.

The first one was about a month ago.  Out by our pool, on a concrete stepping stone, a perfectly formed little portion of animal scat.  I looked at it carefully, from a distance.  It was much smaller than the normal product of our little Yorkies, Gus and Gracie.  Hmm.  Must have been an afterthought.

Then, a week or so later, there was another one, identical to the first.  This time, it was on our patio near the back door.  It looked like this:

No, I didn't take that picture.  I found it on the Internet.  I'll tell you where in a bit; be patient.  I don't want to ruin the story.

I informed the lovely Marilyn that we had an intruder.  She scoffed at my suggestion that it might be a monkey.

You see, we have a neighbor who told my father-in-law across the street that, early one morning, he saw something that looked like a monkey getting fruit off of our other neighbor's fruit trees.  This report was met with universal skepticism from everyone except me.  You see, when I was a kid, our neighbor, George Hawkins, had a pet monkey.  It would on occasion escape, and when it did, it would head for the mulberry tree in our front yard, where it would consume as many mulberries as it could before the inevitable recapture.

Gee, I did actually work in something about Growing Up In Waldron.  I feel better.

So, I was convinced that a rogue monkey was scaling our fence at night, coming into our back yard, looking around a bit, possible smoking (I found some butts, but I think they were from the guy who fixed our air conditioner.  Maybe.  I'm not sure.)

And then last night, another deposit.  This time, right on our sidewalk that goes up to the pool.  I discovered it when I took Gus and Gracie out for their final backyard visit of the night.  (This is an interesting ritual, by the way.  Every night, around 10:00, Gus positions himself on the floor in front of my recliner and begins a plaintive whining routine.  This may go on for 10 or 15 minutes.  Now, we have a doggie door, Gus can go outside any time he wants, but he does this whining thing until I look him straight in the eye and say, "Gus, you wanna go outside and pee?"  Upon hearing these words, Gus explodes toward the doggie door in a motion so frantic that Gracie, who is normally sleeping on the couch, jumps from her perch and tries to intercept the crazed Gus.  Unable to tackle him, she trails behind him, barking furtively to get him to stop.  If I do not follow along with them, Gus comes back to the doggie door and scratches until I go outside.)

But I digress.

So, after finding this latest poop, I determined that I'm going to find out exactly what my nightime visitor is.

Now, I'm going to tell you the answer to the mystery, but you are going to say, "Bill, there is no way that this can be true."  But it is.  For we know one thing to be true:  THE INTERNET DOES NOT LIE.

Well, it actually does, that's why there's snopes.com.  But in this case, it's true.  So now, I shall reveal to you the answer to this mystery, the solution to the conundrum; I shall unravel the enigmatic excrement to reveal what lies at the core of this thoughtless beast who invades the sanctity of good people's back yards.

It's toad poop.

It really is.  I knew that every time I went outside with the dogs at night, there was always a fat toad somewhere out there catching bugs.  He is such a regular visitor that Gus and Gracie hardly pay him any mind now.  So, I googled what toad poop looks like and found this wonderful website:


And there, right before me, was the poop I kept seeing at night.  No skunk.  No rabbit.  No possum.  No armadillo.  Just a big fat, somewhat inconsiderate toad.

I'm still looking for the monkey.  I'll keep you posted...