Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

A12B. The frog swallows the lights.


During an eclipse or at sunset (marked with*), a toad or frog swallows the lights.

Khasi, Kachin, Wancho, Moklum, Cognac, Apatani, Thai Vietnam, Thai Lue Laos, Thais, Shans, Wa, Khmu, Kolam, Semangi, Lahu, Vasco, Clackamas, Tillamook, Galis, Takelma, Atsugevi, Yuchi, chiroki, screams, seminoles, maidu, kuna.

Tibet is the Northeast of India. Khasi [the girl was stolen by a tiger; she grew up, he decided to eat her, invited other tigers to a feast; the mouse told the girl to run to U Hynroh, a huge male toad; he puts toad skin on her, does maid; The mouse tells her to run to heaven on a tree that has grown to the sky; the girl stays with the Sun woman; her son sees her toad take off her skin, become beautiful; The sun secretly burns her skin, marries her son to girl; U Hynroh is furious, attacks the Sun from time to time, but people make noise and scare it away]: Rafy 1920, No. 1:1-7; moklum [Luk frog lives in the heavenly village of supreme deity Rang; tries to swallow the Sun and the Moon; during eclipses, people scream and make noise, scaring the frog, it releases lights from its mouth]: Elwin 1958a, No. 18:51; cognac: Hutton 1925 [The frog swallows the moon ( details not known)]: 119; Mills 1926 ["I saw a carved image of a frog swallowing the moon"]: 300; Kachin [Sun Brother is the father of nine Sun Girls, Sister Moon has many children- stars; when people started stealing rice, the Sun released all daughters as punishment, gave dogs 9 tails, and field mice (favorite game) 9 burrows; people made a large bow to shoot the Sun alive snakes; then the whole family of the Sun hid; sent the Battleship, the daughter of the Sun killed him; then the Rooster; he agreed that the Sun would revive the Battleship, give him strong clothes and a long tongue; scattered his own daughters, breaking them apart (they also became stars); if the Rooster does not welcome the Sun, the Fox will deal with it; if the Sun does not come out, the Toad will swallow it, and if the Moon does not come out, the Dog will swallow it]: Gilhodes 1908, No. 24:691-693; Apatani [Si was an enemy of Doini and Polo (sun and moon); sent his servant Tamu to eat them; he took the form of a frog; he was promised chickens, dogs, cats, T. disagreed; then Priest Karcha promised to give it all even if D. and P. wouldn't; T. agreed, but from time to time he still tries to eat the sun and moon]: Elwin 1958a, No. 2:37-38; vancho [once a year Luk swallows the Sun and the Moon, but they quickly pass through it; others say that the Sun is swallowing the Frog and the Snake is in a hurry to save it]: Elwin 1958b, No. 28:63.

South Asia. Kolam [if the moon is pink during an eclipse, it is eaten by a caterpillar or scorpion, and if it is dark red, by a frog]: Vahia et al. 2019:56-57.

Burma - Indochina. Thai Vietnam [the frog breaks the chain and swallows the stars]: Chesnov 1982h: 488; tai lue Laos [the eclipse of the moon causes a frog trying to swallow it]: Yamada, personal report, 01/09/2011 ; Thais: Plenge 1976:116 [the younger brother asked the older brother to give him rice; he replied that the rice was not ready yet, the younger insisted; the elder scooped up half-baked rice with a spoon and pretended to hit it brother; after death, the eldest turned into the Sun and the Month, and the youngest into a frog; when they meet, the younger one covers with his older hand, causing eclipses], 121 [Buddha had leprosy, Phrá In decided to him help, left medicine on the road; Buddha found it, anointed his sick flesh, recovered; went, came across a dead frog, a pig, an elephant, revived everyone; Buddha's wife opened a box in which There was a magic remedy, the Sun stole it; Buddha sent a pig, the Sun turned it into a star; an elephant was the same; a frog; it still chases the Sun as well as the Moon, and sometimes grabs them with her mouth], 121- 122 [two poor brothers received from Phrá In a means to revive the dead; revived the princess, the eldest married her; contrary to the ban, the wife opened the magic box, the Month remedy is here He stole it; the husband sent the chicken back; it asked people to beat gongs and drums to help her fight the Month; but disappeared and became the Pleiades; the same with the elephant (turned into seven stars in the Daawch constellation áa), a pig (constellation Daawmu) and a turtle (Daawphég constellation); the last is a frog, it fights the Month, and people make noise to help]; shans: Milne 1910 [Sun, Month and Sura were three brothers; the sun rose early, cooked rice, offered it hot to the deity; a month brought cold rice; Sura slept for a long time, brought burnt rice from the bottom; wanted to be more important than the brothers; received from the deities have 3 grains of immortality; swallowed one, hid two under the pillow; the Sun and the Month found them, swallowed them, and also became immortal; Sura pursues their chariots in her dark invisible chariot, sometimes catches up and fights (eclipses); others say a frog tries to swallow the sun or moon during eclipses]: 200-201; Plenge 1976 ["the Shans have the same story as the Thais": two brothers waited guests; the elder was cooking, put the spoon behind his back and forgot about it; without a spoon, the youngest could not give food to the guests, began to look for a spoon; (then the text is cut off, but it is obvious that one of the brothers turned into frog and causes eclipses)]: 118; wa [lunar eclipses cause a frog that swallows its brother of the Month]: Obayashi 1964a: 205; ahem [seven brothers discuss what is most delicious; the elders talk about food, the youngest about the girl; the elders hit him; when they hear his explanations, his mother and father also hit; he goes to the forest, kills wild pigs, climbs a tree; sees how the pig revives the dead a plant; takes part of the plant, revives a dead bird; the ruler's daughter is dead, the ruler promises her to the one who will revive her; the young man revives her, but does not marry her, but asks the ruler for a rooster; if he is pressed , he creates whatever you want; creates a village; the ruler comes and asks him to show what he has revived his daughter with; the young man opens his hand, the Moon descends and takes the means; during an eclipse, he attacks the Moon A frog trying to take possession of it (the product here is called a "piece of wood"); the young brothers come, asking for a rooster to create a village for themselves; frightened by the storm, they shake too much, the rooster dies; the young man makes a comb out of the rooster's bones; when he combs his hair, gold and silver fall; the brothers ask for a comb to borrow, they comb their hair, their hair falls out, they burn the comb; a little bit left, the young man made a toothpick out of it, gold and silver are pouring in again; brothers and parents ask for a toothpick, their teeth have fallen out, they burned the toothpick; the part remains, the young man swallowed it, his intestinal gases have become fragrant; one brother asks what to eat; a young man advises eating some plants; brother got dirty and died]: Lindell et al. 1978, No. 14:112-117.

Malaysia-Indonesia. Semangs (Grik) [a frog swallows the sun every night]: Schebesta in Evans 1937:166.

China - Korea. Lahu [at first only G'ui-sha in the center of the world is like a spider in a web; he scraped off the dirt from his hands and feet, made it four fish: gold, silver, copper and iron; put it on a pole; he laid 4 beams of heaven and 4 earth; made poutrelles from the same scraped mud, creating heaven and earth, but the earth staggered; G. rolled 70,000 balls out of the same mud, filling the cells (mailles) earth; he made the bones of the sky out of his bones and the bones of the earth from the bones of his legs; to find out the thickness of the earth and the thickness of the sky, he created two ants from the mud; one climbed through the sky, the other through the earth; When they returned, they said that the thickness was the same; G. had two assistants: Ca Law, the man he told him to make heaven, and Na Law, a woman who was told to make earth; NL worked day and night, and KL drank tea, Therefore, heaven and earth were not the same in size: the sky was like a large canopy, and the earth was narrow and wrinkled; because the earth was compressed, valleys and mountains appeared; to prevent the earth from swell, G. he put a rock on it, but it slipped; the bulbul bird (Hypsipetes mcclellandii) told her not to slide; G. placed fire in the Sun, fireflies in the moon; but they do not go to heaven, afraid of people; then G. gave them needles {obviously rays that pierce their eyes}; tiger to the Sun: you're too bright; he bit him, hence the eclipses; the frog to the Moon: you're too cold; she tried to swallow it, so there are spots on the moon; by letting a tiger and a frog into the sky, G. made the sun go east and the moon west, otherwise they were constantly in the sky; from the mud scraped off his hands and feet, G. created stars, as well as a chicken and a rooster; a rooster He sang three times and the east lit up; this is how the light separated from the darkness; G. moon: it will be 12 months in the year]: Coyaud 2009, No. 1:9-12.

The coast is the Plateau. Vasco [Coyote's wife is dead; an eagle takes him to a river island; when a big frog swallows the moon, the dead get up to make love; the Coyote kills the frog, pulls its skin, suddenly releases the moon; the dead run away, but the Eagle grabs them and shoves them into the box; already outside the house he hears voices from the box, opens it, souls fly away]: Spier, Sapir 1930:277-278; clackamas [Coyote's wife Frog goes dancing alone; when he swallows the moon, women copulate with lovers; grandson followed; Coyote killed the Frog, put on its skin, could not swallow the moon, spewed; couples in their arms turned into animals and birds]: Jacobs 1958, No. 2:19-21; tillamook [(episodes from the South Win-Trickster and Demiurge adventure series); South Wind came across a sleeping child who covered his eyes with his hand; tried to step on him - his leg froze in the air; so is the second leg, arms, torso; child: call me by name! "Arrow" is my hired servant; "Double Arrow" is also a servant; so a few attempts; finally, Double-Edged Knife is right; the child tells me to go to heaven with him, if SE opens his eyes along the way, he he will throw him off; if he wants to eat in the sky, let him go to the lake, say "Oh, I'm poor", his wives will feed him; SE goes to the lake, sees bubbles in the water (wives laugh); next time he says, "Oh, I'm poor thing", bags of salmon and camas tubers come out; the child tells me not to go to the lake at night: he is afraid himself, his wives are stronger than him; SE is coming, there are beauties and a huge frog; after dancing and singing, she swallows the moon, then belches; while the moon is gone, it is dark and quiet; SE hit the frog, it belched the moon, it became light, he saw that everyone around him was copulating; the child tells me to lie down and not look, then he will return to ground; SE does so, but still falls somewhere; the child touches his lips with a feather, live lizards, snakes and other creatures come out of him]: Jacobs, Jacobs 1959, No. 38:134-139; galis [Bear or The frog eats the Sun during the eclipse]: Barnett 1937, no. 1815:193; takelma [frogs and lizards devour the Month, but it respawns every time; people say so when the young moon appears; they want like her to be reborn]: Sapir 1907:37 (=1909, No. 5:197).

Southeast USA. Yuchi [toad eats moon; people scare off toad, moon gets better]: Speck 1909:110; teal [frog in the sky swallows sun, month]: Mooney 1900:257; screams [Sabakti toad tries to swallow the sun and the month; people scare it away by shooting guns and bows]: Swanton 1928:479; Seminoles [like screams; a toad slowly devours the sun or moon]: Greenlee 1945:139.

California. Atsugevi: Garth 1953 [dark spots on the moon are the Frog Woman swallowed by the Month; and when there is a lunar eclipse, the Frog in turn swallows the Month]: 195; Voegelin 1942 [A month fought the Frog ; first she swallowed it, then he swallowed it, so you can see a frog in the middle of the moon; when the Moon and the Frog fight, the moon is flawed]: 236; Maidu: Dixon 1902, No. 8.1 [The cannibal sun lived north in a huge ice house; to the north of it lived a Frog with three children; the Sun stole one, the second child, came for a third; the frog was sitting outside the house, waving a basket; the Sun grabbed the child, ran away with him, created willow thickets behind her, from which baskets are woven; the frog chased, saw a willow, began to collect; when it ran further, the Sun had already run into its house; the ice house was slippery, but the Frog yet she climbed onto the roof (where the entrance is), invited the Sun to go out, swallowed it; The sun began to grow in her stomach, the Frog burst, the Sun came out; told the frog to live in the water, decided that they would both be harmless for humans; asked her Brother Month if he wanted to walk day or night; the Month invited the Sun to walk at night, but all the stars fell in love with her, the Pleiades followed; the Sun decided it would walk during the day]: 40-41; Voegelin 1942 [frog swallows sun]: 146.

Honduras-Panama. Kuna [during eclipses, the sun or moon is attacked by a dragon or frog]: Wassen 1934a: 640.