National Geographic : 1946 Jan
The toad that makes a piker of the camel TRAVELERS in the arid, upland plains of Australia report that the natives have an unusual way of finding water. A native girl will sniff along the ground like a hunting dog. Suddenly, at a particular spot, she'll stop and dig until she unearths a medium sized toad. Seizing the luckless animal, she'll squeeze enough water outof him to fill awineglass. This toad, Phractops platycephalus, makes the camel look like a piker when it comes to going a long time without a drink. He lives in a country which may not get a drop of rain for months at a time. When the rains do come, they pour down hard. In the resulting puddles, the toad mates, lays its eggs and croaks joyfully all night long. But the rains don't last more than a week or two. So when they stop, and the puddles start to shrink, Platycephalusgets ready for the long dry spell that follows. He fills his body cavities and certain tissues beneath his skin with water, so that he swells to twice his size. Then he digs a hole in the mud and disappears. A day or so later, the blazing sun beats down on a dry, hard-baked surface beneath which the toad rests patiently in his mud prison, living on the fluid he has stored up and waiting for the rains to come again. This problem of preparing, during a period of plenty, for a future time of need is one that faces many of Nature's creatures-including man. The toad solves his problem by storing up water. Man, if he is wise, solves his by carrying insurance. Instinct doesn't always warn man when hard times are coming, as it does the toad. But through insurance-and, these days, through insurance almost alone-a man can make certain that neither accident nor old age, nor even death itself will ever bring a period of scarcity and want to him or his family. MORAL: Insure in The Travelers. All forms of insurance and surety bonds. The Travelers In surance Company, The Travelers Indemnity Company, The Travelers Fire Insurance Com pany, The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, Hartford, Connecticut.