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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County


by Mark Twain

Jim Smiley Timeline and Summary

  • Smiley bets on everything, including whether the parson’s wife will get well after being sick.
  • He has an old mare that doesn’t look like much but always manages to win on the home stretch of a race.
  • He has a lazy dog he names Andrew Jackson. The dog wins fights by grabbing onto the other dog’s back leg and holding on until the other dog quits. One day, he fights a dog that has no back legs. When he realizes he’s lost, Andrew Jackson limps off and dies.
  • Smiley catches a frog and starts to educate it. For three months, he does nothing but train it. When he knows he has a frog that can beat any other frog, he starts betting. He names the frog Dan’l Webster.
  • Smiley bets a stranger that his frog can beat any other frog. The stranger takes the challenge, so Smiley goes off and catches a frog in the marsh for the stranger.
  • When Dan’l Webster loses the jumping contest, Smiley is puzzled until he picks Dan’l up and the frog burps up some quail shot. Then he realizes he’s been cheated.
  • Smiley runs after the stranger but fails to catch him.
  • Apparently, Smiley also had a yellow, one-eyed cow without a tail – but we never get to hear about that cow because the story ends.