I’m researching a folktale called “The Child and the Snake” for my folklore class. A Google search will provide many versions, one of which is the Grimms’ #105. In this version of the tale, the snake is an “Unke,” which my German-English dictionary describes as follows: “1. (Zool.) orange-speckled toad (Bombinator); 2. (coll.) croaker, grumbler, prophet of evil, Jeremiah.” My question is: why? Why Jeremiah=frog? Any ideas? (Granted, this frog does look evil for a reason: it’s not food.) The information is inconsequential to the paper, but I would really like to know! I always thought that song was just nonsense.
** Addendum: Searching the German Wikipedia, I found that “unke” is another word for ring-snake… a harmless and dull-looking species. Why is a non-venomous snake associated with evil? What does this all have to do with the poisonous Bombinator igneus, a Biblical prophet, and Three Dog Night?