Jumping Frog of
• A friend of the narrator wrote to him and
told him to ask Simon Wheeler about
Leonidas W. Smiley.
• The narrator believes his friend tricked
him into doing that because he knew that
asking Wheeler about Leonidas Smiley
would remind him of Jim Smiley and then
he would tell a very long and boring story
that the narrator would not be able to
• Simon Wheeler is a bald, fat, man. The narrator
finds him asleep by a stove in a bar.
• The narrator approached Wheeler and asks him
about Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley.
• Wheeler begins to tell the narrator the story of
Jim Smiley. The narrator notices that while he’s
telling the story, he never smiles or gets excited
about any of it, and he finds that strange.
• Jim Smiley liked to gamble—especially by
placing bets, and was usually lucky in
every bet that he made.
• Smiley had a horse (a mare) that he
would bet on. The horse looked sickly,
but would always end up outrunning her
competitors at the very end of the race,
making Smiley money.
• Smiley had a bull pup named Andrew Jackson
that he would lay bets on. The dog was pretty
laid back until you put money on him, then he
would get mean.
• Andrew Jackson would fight by grabbing one of
the other dog’s hind legs and not letting go until
it gave up.
• The dog won every fight it was in until it was
pitted against a dog with no hind legs.
• After he lost that fight, the dog looked at Smiley
as if it was his fault, then he wandered off, laid
down, and died.
• One day, Smiley catches a frog, who he names
Dan’l Webster, and teaches him how to jump on
cue and catch flies on cue.
• A stranger inquires about Smiley’s frog, and
Smiley promptly challenges him to a frog race
for 40 dollars. Smiley even offers to find the
other man a frog.
• While Smiley is out catching a frog for him, the
stranger pries open Dan’l Webster’s mouth and
fills the frog with quail shot, which weighs him
down and makes him lose the race and Smiley
• Simon Wheeler is called away after the
last story, but tells the narrator to wait for
• When he gets back, the narrator seizes
his opportunity to be rid of Simon Wheeler
and the stories of Jim Smiley and leaves.