Folk Beliefs
Narrative
Tales /märchen

Frogs

Informant SW is a USC student who went to high school in Hong Kong but his nationality is Korean, so he grew up hearing a lot of Korean folk stories and doing a lot of Korean traditions.

SW: “Once upon a time there was a frog who was very disobedient. He would do the opposite of everything his mom told him. So one day his mom tells him to say croak, and the frog says… crack or something I can’t remember. He says something that isn’t croak. Anyways, one day the mother calls his son over and says hey I’m about to die so could you bury me bury me by the stream and not the mountain, thinking that the frog would bury her in the mountains because he always does the opposite of what she says. When the mom dies the frog feels so bad for never doing what his mom tells him to do, so he does what his mother tells him to do and buries her next to the stream. A storm comes and washes the mother’s grave away and the frog was so sad he just keeps shouting croak. And that is why frogs croak when it rains.”

Even though my informant says that the story is about frogs and why they croak, I feel like the more important message in this story is to listen to your parents. I feel like this is one of those stories that parents tell their kids so that their kids would listen to them. It is very interesting to see different culture’s way of making kids listen to their parents. Some cultures say monsters will come eat the kids if they’re disobedient, and others are less gruesome like this one.

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