Time again for another old wolf folktale, but today’s is a little different from past stories. This old tale is one of greed and deception, showing us just how afraid people were of wolves back in the day.
Once upon a time there was a wicked little thief that rented a room at an inn and stayed there for a few days on the lookout for some goodies to steal. Nothing worthwhile came up, until one day, he saw that the innkeeper had a new and very fine coat. The second he saw the magnificent coat the thief knew he had to have it, so he came up with a plan.
The inn was empty so the thief went outside and took a seat next to the innkeeper and began chatting with him. They had talked for a long time when suddenly the thief yawned and howled like a wolf. The worried old innkeeper asked him if there was something wrong. The thief replied, “I will tell you about myself, sir, but first I must beg you to take charge of my clothes for me, for I intend to leave them with you. Why I have these fits of yawning I cannot tell. Maybe they are sent as a punishment for my misdeeds; but, whatever the reason, the facts are that when I have yawned three times I become a ravening wolf and fly at men’s throats.”
Right after he finished speaking he yawned a second time and howled as before. The poor innkeeper believed every word this horrible thief had said and was terrified of the idea of being attack by a wolf so he quickly got up and tried to run away from the thief. But alas, the thief caught him by the coat and tried to stop him, crying “Stay, sir, stay, and take charge of my clothes, or else I shall never see them again.” As he spoke he opened his mouth and began to yawn for the third time. The innkeeper, overtaken by the fear of being devoured by a wolf, slipped out of his coat, which the thief was still holding onto, and ran inside the inn and locked the doors behind him.
The thief then laughed evilly to himself, slipped on his nice new coat and walked away.