I should like to make it clear to all enquirers that I kiss frogs, not toads.
Kissing a toad would be weird. I am not weird. Kissing a frog has royal precedence and is a not-unpleasant undertaking.
I have not kissed a newt for quite forty years.
And apologies for rather over-purple prose yesterday, I'm not sure what came over me. I'll leave it as it is, to teach me a lesson.
I have now received a suggestion that I am unfair to toads. This is not so. There are many animals I do not kiss. I am deeply attached to pigs, elephants and ducks, to take but three examples. I am fond of spiders and elephants, to suggest two more. I have never kissed any of these creatures. The animals I do, on occasion, kiss include dogs, cats, horses, very small lambs and chicks and, if invited, chimpanzees.
I also kiss people. Not all. Mostly ones whom I like, but occasonally, politely, I will include those whom I hardly know but who expectantly pucker up and dart towards my face.
Now that they know where my lips have been, they may not be so keen to kiss them again.
A further email has explained it all. Although couched in stern, almost aggressive, language (I have been accused of institutionalised speciesism), its anxiously unconfident undertone is only too clear. Through his specious accusation, my dear friend has simply displayed that he is jealous. Of a frog.
Walter dear, I kiss frogs because it's traditional. And I am ever curious, and ever optimistic of metamorphosisication. And frogs are adorable. They do not, I confess, particularly enjoy being kissed; not by me at any rate, but they are stoical little creatures and bear the ordeal bravely.
If I were faced with a sweet-faced frog and a hunky Wally and only one kiss to spare, it is only too evident where that kiss would go. Isn't it.