There are folktales about everything from trapped women with climbable hair to elves that do nothing but make shoes – so of course, there would be a few werewolf tales out there as well. The old werewolf fairytale I’m going to tell you today comes from Croatia, it may not be a happy ending kinda tale but the original folktales rarely are (thank Disney for making them sweet and happy).
Now gather ‘round, it’s time for the story…
Once upon a time (haha) there was an enchanted mill, made enchanted so that no one could stay there, for it was inhabited by a werewolf. A soldier came across the mill and went in to rest. He made a fire in the parlor, went up into the attic above, made a hole with an auger in the floor, and peeped down into the parlor.
A she-wolf came in and looked around the mill to see whether she could find anything to eat. She found nothing, and then went to the fire, and said, “Skin down! Skin down! Skin down!” She raised herself upon her hind-legs, and her skin fell down. She took the skin, and hung it on a peg, and out of the wolf came a lovely woman. The woman went to the fire, and fell asleep there.
The soldier came down from the attic, took the skin, nailed it to the mill-wheel, and then came back into the mill where he bent over the woman and yelled, “Good morning, damsel! How do you do?”
She began to scream, “Skin on me! Skin on me! Skin on me!” But the skin could not come down, for it was nailed in place on the mill-wheel.
The pair married and had two children.
As soon as the oldest son got to know that his mother was a wolf, he said to her, “Mamma! Mamma! I have heard that you are a wolf.” His mother replied, “What nonsense are you talking! How can you say that I am a wolf?”
The father of the two children went one day into the field to plow, and his son said, “Papa, let me, too, go with you,” and his father agreed. When they had come to the field, the son asked his father, “Papa, is it true that our mother is a wolf?” The father said, “It is.” The son then asked, “And where is her skin?” His father said, “There it is, on the mill-wheel.”
No sooner had the son got home, than he said at once to his mother, “Mamma! Mamma! You are a wolf! I know where your skin is.” His mother asked him, “Where is my skin?” He said, “There, on the mill-wheel.”
His mother said to him, “Thank you, sonny, for rescuing me.” Then she ran away, and was never heard of again.
Yea, not a happy tale, but like I said, folktales are rarely happy and almost never end on a good note. But now you know of a werewolf tale.