Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Interesting story dislodges frog from queen's nose (WTF - Weird Things in Folktales)

Welcome to my A to Z Challenge blog series titled WTF - Weird Things in Folktales! Find the introduction post (explaining the theme) here. Find all other participating blogs in the comments of each day's post on the main blog! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Here is the thing: There is no I in the Motif Index (probably because it looks too much like the number 1). So instead of going through a section for today, I searched the Index for words that begin with I, and picked the story that fit best. And was the strangest.

N641.2 Frog removed from queen's nose by telling such interesting story that she gives quick breath and dislodges him

This is a folktale from Sri Lanka, titled The Frog in the Queen's Nose (you might have noticed by now that Thompson's motif index is very heavy on South Asian stories). 

One day a Queen, walking in her gardens and smelling flowers, accidentally inhales a small frog, which gets stuck in her nose. People are summoned to get it out, but six of them fail in a row, and are executed for their failure. The King announces that whoever succeeds at getting the frog out of the Queen's nose shall receive a district of the kingdom, and also as much treasure as an elephant can carry.
In the kingdom there is also a couple. The wife is cheating on the husband; one day, while he goes to the rice fields, she makes hot rice milk for her lover. However, the husband's plow breaks, therefore he has to return home early. The wife hides the hot delicacy under the bed in a hurry. The husband comes home, sits on the bed, and burns his butt.
Some time later, the wife hears about the King's announcement - and decides that if her husband is executed, she'd be free to be with her lover, therefore she gets the King's messengers to take him to the palace.
The poor husband, nervous that he will be killed, starts talking about what happened to him earlier - he tells the story to the Queen about the plow, and the rice milk, and his poor burned behind. Hearing the story the Queen is so amused that she snorts - and out comes the tiny frog, flying, from her nose.
The poor man is richly rewarded; and as a bonus, the wife gets to live with her paramour.

(Read the story here.)


  1. How weired.. frog getting stuck in the nose! You are right, how did it enter in the first place...even if I stretch my imagination, this doesn't fit the bill...
    Had fun reading the story!
    Anagha from Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

  2. It's amazing anyone tries to help royalty in folk tales, because failure usually means death! ;P Interesting tale that everyone comes out of it well incl the unfaithful wife, apart of course for those who failed with the frog.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

  3. What a bizarre story! It sounds like the sort of story peasants would tell each other over a... hot rice milk? ;-)

    Agreed, Sophie, fairytale royalty don't deserve help. Usually, though, there's a rich reward, eg the princess's hand in marriage, for success!

  4. Whe I first read the description I thought it was the frog that told such good stories that he shout out of the queens nose!
    I would have liked for the frog to win his own kingdom :(

    Believe In Fairy Stories: Theme - Folklore & Fairy Tales

    1. I like that idea :D There is another story from India where a man swallows a god who turned himself into a frog, and the god gets stuck in his stomach, begging to be let out...

  5. Wait, the unfaithful wife gets to leave with her lover? I mean, good for the farmer, he doesn't have to share his newfound wealth with the woman who was cheating on him, but I'm surprised she just walks away willingly.

    Fairy tales have such poorly constructed plots. :-P

  6. Bwahahah! That's a good one. (Sorry, not the weirdest one you've presented, though.)

  7. I like this one (except for the cheating wife) and good for him!

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Iguanas at our bedroom window

  8. that was funny because it was so strange. i kinda wish the wife and lover were punished or something, but then she did help create the situation that made the queen laugh. i don't know. i just wonder why the queen didn't just try to get the frog out herself. too much work maybe?

    this one was interesting.

  9. Love your knowledge on all these folk tales from literally all over the world. Seriously, kudos.

  10. Now that was an amusingly bizarre story. I don't think the wife deserved a happy ending though. One question - she hid the hot milk under the bed, but where did she hide her lover? Devil's in the details!

  11. That's not fair! the wife got to burn his butt, conspire against him and then get to live with her lover! :) But an all round win win, so justice sacrificed for feel good I guess.


  12. Add me to the list of those unhappy that the unfaithful wife got a happy ending.

  13. Ooh, I do love a folktale with a win-win happy ending. But I might start being a bit more careful about sniffing flowers now that I know how it might turn out.

  14. gotta wonder where people get these ideas. fascinating.

    joy @ The Joyous Living

  15. Well it sounds like that worked out for everyone, especially the frog who is no longer stuck the queens nose, because, euw. And how big was her nose anyway, that she could sniff up even a small frog? Makes for a catchy story though. :)
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

  16. I wonder what the husband did with his new kingdom. Did he marry again? Also wondered if the frog was dead or alive at that point.

    Finding Eliza

  17. As I was reading I kept hearing the voice of the Queen of Hearts yelling “Off with his/her head.” Love the story, the poor little frog.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Is Everything a Weapon

  18. That's a happy ending for everyone! From the title, I thought it was the frog who told the interesting stories.

  19. Seems like snorting would just cause her to inhale the frog even further and, I don't know, lodge it in her brain. I'm sure the frog was glad to get out of there, at any rate. ;)

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

  20. Happy-ish ending for all! I hope the frog got to go home to his lovely flowers too, that can't have been nice being stuck in a nose for so long!

    Here's my "I" post :) http://nataliewestgate.com/2017/04/impatient-secret-diary-of-a-serial-killer

  21. But why is the unfaithful wife rewarded? I dont' understand this

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir