THE BULLFROG LOVER
A young man courted a girl, who liked him well enough, but her mother was so
much opposed to him that she would not let him come near the house. At last he
made a trumpet from the handle of a gourd and hid himself after night near the
spring until the old woman came down for water. While she was dipping up the
water he put the trumpet to his lips and grumbled out in a deep voice like a
The faultfinder will die,
The faultfinder will die.
The woman thought it a witch bullfrog, and was so frightened that she dropped
her dipper and ran back to the house to tell the people They all agreed that it was
a warning to her to stop interfering with her daughter’s affairs, so she gave her
consent, and thus the young man won his wife.
There is another story of a girl who, every day when she went down to the spring
for water, heard a voice singing, Kûnu′nŭ tû′tsahyesĭ′, Kûnu′nŭ tû′tsahyesĭ′, “A
bullfrog will marry you, A bullfrog will marry you.” She wondered much until
one day when she came down she saw sitting on a stone the spring a bullfrog,
which suddenly took the form of a young man and asked her to marry him. She
consented and took him back with her to the house. But although he had the
shape of a man there was a queer bullfrog look about his face, so that the girl’s
family hated him and at last persuaded her to send him away. She told him and
he went away, but when they next went down to the spring they heard a voice:
Ste′tsĭ tûya′husĭ, Ste′tsĭ tûyahusĭ′, “Your daughter will die, Your daughter will
die,” and so it happened soon after.
As some tell it, the lover was a tadpole, who took on human shape, retaining
only his tadpole mouth. To conceal it he constantly refused to eat with the
family, but stood with his back to the fire and his face screwed up, pretending family, but stood with his back to the fire and his face screwed up, pretending
that he had a toothache. At last his wife grew suspicious and turning him
suddenly around to the firelight, exposed the tadpole mouth, at which they all
ridiculed him so much that he left the house forever.
Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney