What do toads and frogs have to do with Halloween? Well, have you heard of the horror frog?
Not only does the horror frog have retractable claws, but breeding males also have a hair-like structure on the body and thighs, leaving them looking just a weensie bit like a were-frog. Grrrrrr.
Found in central Africa, the horror frog is a roasted delicacy in the Cameroon, where some still hold the traditional belief that frogs fall from the sky and, when eaten, help childless human couples become fertile.
In addition to folklore and myths, frogs and toads have also long held a place in fiction, such as in the Brothers Grimm’s The Frog Prince and Mark Twain’s The jumping frog and other sketches. (Interestingly, in the original Grimm version of The Frog Prince the frog's spell was broken not by a kiss but when the princess threw it against a wall in disgust. Ouch!)
But did you know frogs and toads have also starred in erotic fiction?
Jean Johnson in Bedtime Stories (a collection of erotic fairy tales) retells the The Frog Prince tale in an amusing way. Instead of dropping a golden ball into a pond, as was common in some versions of the tale, Princess Gisette accidentally drops her golden dildo into a muddy river. (Oops! Darn it.) The enchanted frog (Prince Henrik) then offers to help her retrieve it in exchange for her help with breaking his enchantment.
In A Sporting Chance, the cane toad is a pet rather than a protagonist, but much rides on whether or not she wins the Australia Day Cane Toad Derby for her owner, Jane, because Jane makes a rather unwise bet with her sexy boss that could see her wearing a French maid outfit for a whole day if her pet loses the race. Read an excerpt here.
To win a free copy of A Sporting Chance, suggest a name for a pet toad in the comments. I'll announce the winner (the person with the best pet name) on this blog.