London: The richly scented refuge of a training shoe was just too tempting for a stowaway from Gambia. So the African toad hopped in and unwittingly hitched a ride with a British tourist returning home to Birmingham in central England. Farres Powell (40) was startled when he unpacked his bags after a winter break at Kotu and the globe-trotting amphibian waddled out. ``I had just taken a black bag of souvenirs out of the suitcase. I was chatting with my partner about how good the holiday had been when we heard a rustling and looked down to see this toad emerge. ``We couldn't believe it - it was the same toad we'd seen on the hotel balcony the night before while we were playing cards. At the time we thought that was his home - we didn't think we'd be bringing him back to ours. We shook everything for creepy crawlies but I never checked my trainers as they were the last things to go in.'' -

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004