The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calveras County by Mark Twain


Mark Twain is a humor writer. This is a funny story about how idiotic small towns and their stories/myths are. This story has also had three titles. First was Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog. Then, it was The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Then, finally it was called The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.


Narrator: He starts the story off and is the one who is listening to Simon Wheeler talk.

Simon Wheeler: Old fat bald guy who is telling the story. He has a very boring voice.

Jim Smiley: The guy who the story is about.


The narrator has a friend in the East who wants to know about this dude named Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley. The guy's friend from the East told him to go see this guy Simon Wheeler. So, the guy goes to a bar and asks this guy named Simon Wheeler about the Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley. Simon starts telling him a story about a guy named Jim Smiley. Jim was this guy who had a big gambling problem. He would bet on anything: cat fights, horse races, how long people would live, etc. Jim had a horse that would race and also owned a dog named Andrew Jackson. Jim also had a frog named Daniel Webster. He taught the frog how to jump. Then he would bet anyone that his frog could jump higher than any frog in Calaveras County. One day he bet this guy. The guy didn't have a frog so Jim went and got him one. While Jim was gone the guy filled Jim's frog with lead shot. Jim returned and they made the 2 frogs jump. But then Jim found out the guy cheated so Jim ran after him.

At this point in the story, Simon Wheeler hears his name called so he stops telling the story and goes outside. When he returns he starts to tell the story another story about Jim Smiley and his yellow, one-eyed, no-tailed cow, but the guy listening gets fed up and leaves; he gets fed up because he wants to know about Rev. Leonidas W. smiley NOT Jim Smiley.


  • This story makes fun of small town people and the stupid stories they tell.
  • In the beginning of the story, the narrator claims that the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley probably doesn’t exist and that his friend from the East probably made it up because he knew it would get Simon Wheeler started talking about Jim Wiley. So, the whole thing was a prank on the narrator because Simon Wheeler is such a jackass and would talk anyone's ear off.