Little Frog Tail

Spanish Proverb: “Sana sana colita de rana”

Translation: “Heal heal little tail of the frog”


The informant is of Mexican origin and has spent most of her childhood around family members of Hispanic culture. They have heard this proverb said whilst growing up by the elders in the family (parents and other guardians). Specifically, it was heard if a child was to have the flu or get injured and was said whilst treating the informant and ‘“healing” them either by providing medicine to drink or placing a bandage on a wound. Traditionally, it was repeated whilst the parent (in her scenario) was treating the wound until the process was complete or the child had stopped feeling the exaggerated amount of pain that had been associated with an injury. Although the phrase did not make sense, her family interpreted it as a distraction in order to prevent a child from continuously crying.


The proverb was used as a form of comfort that the informant had needed throughout their childhood when being injured as it provided reassurance whilst they were in a state of sadness or illness. The association of animals and injury present an encapsulating approach to the proverb as the fascination that children, specifically toddlers, may have with stories and tales of creatures/animals allow them to feel the warmth through the healing action that their parents are performing. This indirectly allows the child to associate the warmth they feel with animals to their interaction with their parents at being placed into a state of ease when they are hurt, binding it to animals and perhaps presenting the cycle of nature and how all organisms experience pain and can heal. The language provided in “little tail of the frog” is ironic as most species do not have tails and conveys that the pain is not actually there, furthermore presenting this proverb as a slight incantation which is prevalent through ancient Mexican culture. This mechanism allows the parents to provide the feeling of comfort and allow children to feel connected to the nature that encompasses Mexico and the various wildlife that live there, reminding them of their heritage.