Toad Club

All the toads sit around in Toad Club in weskits drinking mustard out of tiny eggcups. Lizards serve, with beer bottle-tops for trays.

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Toad Club is convened in the heart of a different oak each year. Woodpeckers work for months, hollowing out its halls and stairwells.

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Any toad who fails to stir at the end of each year is sealed up in Toad Club behind a great door made of hardened wood paste chewed by wasps.

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After a hundred years, the doors to old Toad Clubs are broken down by crows with bars and, often, the incarcerated toads are found alive.

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Frequently, these sealed-in toads are so high on mustard they have no idea a century has passed, and are discovered happily carousing.

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This phenomenon gave rise to the legend that toads know the recipe to Future Juice, and this in turn still leads to outbreaks of toad-licking.

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Would-be time travellers lie, stunned on toad venom, in the glades of the old forest, imagining that they are somewhere deep in the future.

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