The princess and the toad

As my great-niece Kiera and my great-nephew Brody approach their fourth birthdays in the coming months, I’m finding that while they may both have birthdays on the 28th day of the month — hers in August and his in November — the two talkative tykes are very different people.

He’s blond-haired, blue-eyed and fair-skinned while she’s dark-haired, brown-eyed and darker toned. Those are just the outward differences

Brody is a “Mini-Me” of his father, preferring to spend his time outdoors helping to hunt, trap, fish and work. He gets mud, dust and dirt under his fingernails. Kiera likes frilly dresses, dolls and princesses. She prefers pretty paints on her fingernails — and toenails, too.

Bringing them together for a Buntjer cousins reunion last Saturday at Big Stone Lake, hosted by my cousin Monte and his family, proved to be nothing short of entertaining.

It all began when, just moments after his arrival, little Brody found a rotund yet energetic toad camouflaged in the beach sand on the shore in front of the Buntjer cabin.

With cat-like reflexes he swooped up the toad and paraded it around for all to see. He’d found a friend for the day!

Brody’s mom speculated her first-born son might even skip lunch to ensure his amphibian companion didn’t escape into the wild blue yonder that is Big Stone Lake.

The way he gripped the critter, and his determination not to let the toad get more than a foot away from him in the lake, ensured that this poor captured toad was in for a day-long bout of Brody.

And then came Kiera.

Kiera — the princess-loving, painted toenail promenading preschooler.

She does not like toads. She does not want to be within 20 feet of toads — and certainly not within 20 feet of a little boy carrying a toad.

There arose a battle on the beach. Oh, it wasn’t much of a battle, mind you. Brody stood with his feet in the water, holding his toad as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Kiera, meanwhile, was mere feet from her mommy, pointing at Brody and proclaiming, “I don’t like toads!” “I’m NOT going over there!” and making various other comments with one mean-looking scowl on her face.

Now, what else is an auntie to do but laugh at the situation?

It all seemed quite funny until I looked over at Brody and saw him give the toad a giant smoocheroo — right on the lips!

Just the thought of it now still makes me feel a little queasy!

If he thought kissing the toad might magically present him with a princess, it wasn’t to be. Then again, perhaps if Kiera kissed the toad she’d find her prince.

If there was to be any magic that day, I think she would have had better luck killing the toad with her scowl.

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