A Korean Folktale: The Green Frog

So, a few months back, I joined a reading club at my university.  There are numerous books in several categories, including fairytales and children’s literature. And there I came upon a novel called The Green Frog, and here’s how it goes:

The Story Begins

A long time ago, there was a tiny pond where a green frog and his widowed mother lived. The green frog acted as if he listened to his mother. However, when his mother tells him to do anything, he does the exact opposite of what she says.

If the mother frog tells him to go up, he will go down. If she tells him to go left, he will go right. He never does what his mother advises him to do.

The Concern of the Mother Green Frog

After a long period of time, the mother begins to be concerned. She pondered how she might improve her son’s behavior. He made her feel embarrassed and stressed. She reflected to herself, “How can I make him a better frog? Why can’t he be like the rest of us? …  Why can’t he do what I tell him to?”. She was worried about what she’d be able to accomplish before she died.

The mother frog nagged the green frog for days and weeks. She fought to break his bad habits and teach him good behavior. The green frog, on the other hand, never listened or paid attention to his mother. He acted the way he wanted to.

Tragedy Strikes the Green Frog Family

The mother frog felt quite anxious, which led her to feel ill, but the green frog decided not to give it any thought. Finally, the mother frog realized that she is going to die shortly. The mother frog summoned her son to her side.

She desires a dignified burial beside the mountain, and is well aware that the green frog will do the opposite of what she instructed him to do. She selected her words with care. “I won’t live much longer, and when I die, bury me on the riverbank, not on the mountainside”.

The son looked at her with deep sadness and regrets. The mother frog asked him to promise to grant her last wish.

The Time Comes

The mother died a few months later, and the green frog was heartbroken. He hates what he did to her and feels bad about it. But it was too late, and he believed that by doing what his mother wanted, he might become a better frog. “I always did the opposite of what she told me, so now I will do what she told me,” he declared.

So, even though he knows it’s a bad idea to bury her by the river, he still does it. When it rains, he stands by his mother’s grave and begs the heavens not to let the water wash her grave away. However, the storm arrived, and the water swept away his mother’s grave.

The Green Frog Now

The green frog sat in the pouring rain by the river bank, crying and crying for his mother. And that is why, to this day, the green frogs sit by the river and cry when it rains.

If you are interested in Korean folktales and mythology, you won’t want to miss the tale of the werebear in Gomanaru Pine Forest. Click Here to read the story dating back over a thousand years.