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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County first editionFirst edition, 1867
By Mark Twain
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1865, The New York Saturday Press as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog"

First book publication
1867, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches

Literature form


Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 2,600 words

Notable lines

In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from the East, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and inquired after my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley, as requested to do, and I hereunto append the result.

— First line

If he even see a straddle-bug start to go anywheres, he would bet you how long it would take him to get to—to wherever he was going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle-bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road.


"What might be that you've got in the box?"

And Smiley says, sorter indifferent-like, "It might be a parrot, or it might be a canary, maybe, but it ain't—it's only just a frog."

And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and turned it round this way and that, and says, "H'm—so 'tis. Well, what's he good for?"

"Well," Smiley says, easy and careless, "he's good enough for one thing, I should judge—he can outjump any frog in Calaveras county."


At the door I met the sociable Wheeler returning, and he buttonholed me and recommenced:

"Well, thish-yer Smiley had a yaller, one-eyed cow that didn't have no tail, only jest a short stump like a bannanner, and—"

However, lacking both time and inclination, I did not wait to hear about the afflicted cow, but took my leave.

— Last line


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