The Jumping Frog


Mark Twain

Featured in

Tonight, we’ll read the 1865 Mark Twain short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. It was Twain’s first great success as a writer and brought him national attention. In it, the narrator retells a story he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler in California, about the gambler named Jim Smiley.

Jim Smiley is described as betting on just about anything, for example, on the travels of a “straddle bug”. If you’re wondering what a straddle bug is, just picture a large, commonplace beetle.