English 9 Storyboard "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
By a1c306d0, Updated
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Wheeler then gives many funny examples of how Smiley makes bets out of anything he can. Once a man named Parson Walker's wife fell ill and Jim Smiley decided to make a bet out of it. He asked her how she was doing one morning and she felt considerably better. Smiley decides to say that he'll bet that she's gonna die anyway and guess what. She does!
Another example Wheeler gives is when Jim Smiley bet that a very slow mare (female horse) with asthma that people liked to call "fifteen minute rag" would win a race. The mare ends up bolting to the finish and barely winning. It's coughing and wheezing to the point where it can barely breathe.
Jim Smiley also had a small "bull pup" named Andrew Jackson that looked like any dog could beat it in a fight and it looked useless. But as soon as a person would bet a against it, it would fight and beat any stronger, better looking dog. The dogs name as Andrew Jackson shows some symbolism because it portrays Andrew Jackson, an important political figure at the time and our 7th president, as a scrappy young man who didn't look like much but he could put up a hell of a fight.
Still not done making bets, Jim Smiley goes out and catches a frog and decides to train or "learn" it to jump higher than any other frog in Calaveras County. He is so dedicated to "learning it" that he does this for 3 months until it is the frog with the highest jump in all of Calaveras County. Smiley names the frog Dan'l Webster, after another powerful political figure at the time, who had served in the House of Representatives and as Secretary of State.
Now that Jim Smiley has this incredible frog, he sets out to make a bet with it. A (seemingly uneducated) stranger asks Smiley what he has in the box that Dan'l Webster is in and then he proceeds to ask what the frog is for. Smiley explains how Dan'l Webster can out jump any frog in all of Calaveras County to the stranger and Smiley bets $40 that Dan'l can. The stranger says he would agree to the bet if he had a frog so Smiley goes out and catches one.
When Jim Smiley is fetching the frog for the stranger, the stranger gives Smiley's frog a quail shot, which is a type of pellet used in shotgun shells. This makes the frog weight about 5 pounds instead of around 20 grams, making him unable to jump higher than any other frog in Calaveras County.
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