(Digital Art)

A cackletoad is a soul-sucking mutant parasite from a lower dimension.

Cackletoads devour the light of our true selves and use it to fuel their own growth and influence. Because we are largely unaware of them, they prey on our fears and insecurities. They become so intertwined in our daily experiences that we mistake the ugly behaviors they cause as normal outcomes of being human.

But here’s the thing: Seen in the full light of day, they look absolutely ridiculous. Because they are ridiculous. And they know it. In fact, more than anything else, they fear being found out. Yet, they want to be admired—worshipped even. And the only way they can make that happen is through illusion. They must make their hosts fall in love with their own egos to such an extent that they are blind to their careless, harmful, or uncivil actions.

The good news is that a case of cackletoads can be treated. All it takes is mindful awareness of their existence. With practice, you start being able to recognize their influence. You can avoid the behaviors they cause (or at least quickly remember their presence after the fact and respond with appropriate apologies to anyone harmed).

That’s what these illustrations are for. It’s time to make the world fully aware of the cackletoad epidemic. So go ahead: Laugh at their disgusting absurdity. But just one tip before you do: Beware of their cuteness. In anticipation of the dangers of being seen, many of them have evolved bright colors and cuddly faces. It’s a trap. Once you admire them, they can become untreatable.

Be careful.

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