How the Little Frog Got So Loud

A tiny type of frog lives on the island of Puerto Rico. It’s called the coquí (Ko-KEE), and it spends a lot of time in trees. The coquí is only about an inch long. But you would never know that from its big sound! When the sun goes down, coquí males start singing: Ko-kee, ko-kee, ko-kee! They call out very loudly till the sun comes up.

The original people of Puerto Rico are called the Taíno. Long ago, they were fascinated by these teeny frogs. The Taíno told many stories to explain why the coquí sings so loudly.

Here’s one of those stories:

Long ago, a goddess came to the island. She fell in love with the son of a local Taíno chief. His name was Coquí. This goddess took good care of Coquí. She helped him catch fish. She protected him from harm. One night, the goddess and Coquí made plans to be together. But then a terrible hurricane blew in. When the storm passed, the goddess searched everywhere but could not find Coquí! He was lost, forever.

To remember her beloved, the goddess taught the frogs to call his name. She is hoping that one day he will answer. That’s why every night across Puerto Rico, frogs chirp, “Coquí, Coquí.”