The Woman Frog

This is another item from Francis Kilvert’s Diary for July 1871. I’ve read similar stories of children being affected by what the mother saw or experienced whilst carrying them, but this woman is unusual as she owns property, unlike the usual victims, who are more likely to be poor. She seems to have been accepted in the local community, which is also unusual.

Mrs Nott told me that Louie of the Cloggau was staying in Presteign with her aunt Miss Sylvester, the woman frog. This extraordinary being is partly a woman and partly a frog. Her head and face, her eyes and mouth are those of a frog, and she has a frog’s legs and feet. She cannot walk but she hops. She wears very long dresses to cover and conceal her feet which are shod with something like a cow’s hoof. She never goes out except to the Primitive Methodist Chapel. Mrs Nott said she had seen this person’s frog feet and had seen her in Presteign hopping to and from the Chapel exactly like a frog. She had never seen her hands. She is a very good person. The story about this unfortunate being is :… Shortly before she was born a woman came begging to her mother’s door with 2 or 3 little children. Her mother was angry and ordered the woman away. ‘Get away with your young frogs,’ she said, and the child she was expecting was born partly in the form of a frog, as a punishment and a curse upon her.

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