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by WaylandCybersmith


I admit I had been foolish not to listen to the advice I had been given.  I had decided to drive from Pho-Lat to Kai-Tam by myself.  When I had gone about a hundred and fifty miles, my land rover completely seized up.  I inspected the engine, but there was no way I could get it to start again.  I reached for a map and my water flask.  The flask was empty.  Again, I had been so sure I would arrive safely at my destination that I had not worried about running out of water.  I checked the map.  There was a small village about fifteen miles away through the jungle.  There I would find food, water and help.


I set off in a direct line to the village, or so I thought.  After several hours, and without anything to guide me, I realised I was quite lost.  I was also hungry and thirsty.  Now, having grown up in Pho-Lat Province, I did have some jungle craft, but I had not needed to use it for many years.  I looked around until I spotted some berries, about the size of a grape and the colour of lemons.  They were not good for food, they were highly acidic and would bring on terrible stomach cramps.  I did recognise the broad, shiny leaves of a plant I knew to be related to the potato.  I dug it up and hungrily ate the root.  I had difficulty in swallowing it because I was so dry.


That is when I spotted the toad.  It was bright red in the dark green of the jungle.   I knew it was poisonous, but I also knew it could help me.  I captured it and started feeding it the berries.  The toad was highly addicted to them and devoured berry after berry.  It stopped for a while and vomited out an acrid mass before returning to the fruit.  Its skin colour started to change through orange to the colour of the berries.  This was what I had been waiting for.  I threw the berries away.  The toad just sat there for a while.  Then it started jumping through the undergrowth.  The berries had given it a mighty thirst and it was using its natural instincts to find fresh water.  And all I had to do now was to follow the yellow sick toad.


© Colin Nelson www.waycyber.com


© WaylandCybersmith 2011


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