In the mountains of Auvergne, a story dating back to 1588 was told of a royal female werewolf. In the story the nobleman was gazing out of his window and upon seeing a hunter he knew asked the hunter to check with details of the hunt. While in the forest, the hunter stumbled upon a wolf. In the ensuing struggle, he severed one of the wolf's paws and placed it in his pouch.
Upon returning to the chateau with his gruesome prize, he opened the pouch to show the nobleman evidence of his encounter. What they discovered was not a paw at all, in fact, the pouch contained what looked to be a feminine hand bearing an elegant gold ring. The nobleman recognised the ring and sent the hunter away. The nobleman then went looking for his wife. When he came upon her in the kitchen, he found her nursing a wounded arm. He removed the bandage only to find that her hand had been cut off.
Finish this story
Students at LaTrobe University School of Education were presented with the same Shewolf material that had been presented to students ranging in age from Grade1/2 to Year 12. These are some of their stories.
Werewolf by Joanna Seidel
The nobleman goes to the kitchen and sees his wife nursing a wounded arm.....
Her arm is wrapped in a whit cloth and blood is seeping through the layers. She looks at her husband with fear in her eyes, rises slowly and moves to the hearth to lie in front of the fire and keep warm. The nobleman stares at his wife in horror and disbelief. But he loves her. He cannot help but sense how hard it has been for his beloved to live such a double life. He leaves her alone by the kitchen fire and heads for the quiet of his study to devise a plan.
The nobleman waits for the next full moon. An hour before midnight he leaves his bed-chamber and prepares for his sojourn to the deep, dark forest. He carries no weapons, not wanting to appear as a hunter, and meanders slowly with the heart of an old man. He finds a tall tree and leans against its sturdy trunk, waiting for the werewolf to appear. Shortly before midnight he hears the sound of a snapping twig and looks around him. A shadowy figure creeps stealthily across the forest floor, unaware it is being watched. The nobleman opens the package he brought with him from the castle, hoping that the smell of food will bring the creature nearer to his hiding place. His plan works and the animal, its snout in the air and ears alert, pads soflty toward the smell of sustenance. It seems unafraid. It smell no fear from the nobleman. It eats the morsels laid at the nobleman's feet. When sated, it lays down on the forest floor and rests its head near the nobleman's outstretched hand.
The nobleman lays down with the wolf and falls asleep, not stirring until dawn shines its light on the trees above. He sits up, turns his head to look for the wolf but finds he is alone. He feels stiff and sore from his night in the forest, but his neck seems to have suffered the most. He reaches his hand up to rub his sore muscles and touches a recent wound, crusted with dried blood.
The nobleman has no memory of receiving the wound but he finds upon his return to the castle that he feels no fear or horror at the sight of his wife. Tenderness overwhelms him. They never speak of how his beloved lost her hand. There is no need. They are together again now and will sleep indoors no more. Their lives have come together not only in this world, but in another world that will hold their secret forever.
Another Werewolf Story by Mink Schapper
Sir Bob and Lady Madge: a story of love and loss
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived a nobleman in a big castle in the countryside. Beyond the castle were deep dark woods, and the villagers said that in the woods there was a werewolf.
The nobleman, (whose name was Sir Bob) sent his hunter out to kill the werewolf. The hunter went into the deep woods, and came across the werewolf. There was a battle, he cut off the werewolf’s right paw, and the werewolf escaped.
The hunter said to himself, “I don’t want to go further into the woods, to find the bleeding, enraged werewolf. He will surely trick me and kill me. I can tell milord that I have, indeed killed the werewolf, showing him the paw as proof.” So he went home to bed, well pleased with himself.
At dawn he rose from his bed, prepared himself to speak to Sir Bob, had a hearty breakfast of porridge with a good dash of salt, and was up at the castle as the people began their day. He presented himself to Sir Bob, telling a story of courage and daring, finishing with a flourish and presenting the paw, wrapped in a bloody kerchief. He quickly left the room, as he’d never been good around blood.
His quick exit was fortuitous. When Sir Bob unwrapped the kerchief, he discovered, not the paw of a wolf, but the fair ringed hand of his wife, Lady Madge. He blanched, then bravely decided to confront Lady Madge with this ghastly evidence of her other life.
Breakfast smells issued from the kitchen, and he could hear his wife’s gentle voice, singing a soothing lullaby, amongst the other busy kitchen noises. He entered the kitchen, and saw, to his dismay, that she was, indeed nursing a wounded arm.
“My darling, dearest. What has happened to you?” he exclaimed.
She cried pitifully, “I was making your favourite meal, wolf-soup, and when I was chopping through the sinews, the hatchet slipped and cut clean through my wrist. My hand fell into the soup, see?”
With trepidation, he peered into the large cauldron, and sure enough, there was a sinewy, gristly hand-looking object, bubbling noisily away, along with the rest of the meat, onions, turnips, herbs and spices. It smelt good.
“Please, my darling!” she pleaded. “To show me how much you love me, please let us eat this meal together, so that we will have taken back into our bodies, that which has been taken away from me?”
Poor Sir Bob was torn. He loved his dear wife, and very much wanted to reassure her of his attachment to her. They would indeed partake of this meal together, but first he needed to have Lady Madge’s dreadful wound attended to. He called the local healer to pay a visit, and she made a draught of healing herbs for Lady Madge to drink, and a poultice to wrap around her stump. After which they ate, and a delicious meal it was indeed.
Sir Bob had many important nobleman duties, so he sent Lady Madge off to bed and recovery. He saddled his horse and rode the countryside, visiting here and there, until night began to fall, and he headed home to his safe castle.
He was quite exhausted, so after a quick bite to eat, he fell into bed, and sleep overcame him as his wife snored close by.
At midnight, he woke with a start, realising that in his shock and haste the morning before he had left the werewolf’s paw/hand in his audience-chamber. He crept out of bed, out into the cold stone hall, and along to the grand room, with his grand chair and the kneeling cushion at its foot, for supplicants to be comfortable. As he walked closer to the chair, he could discern a faint glow, and the bloodied kerchief was opened. The hand had turned again into a wolf’s paw.
Full of fear he sprinted back to find an empty bed, the wedding ring, and tears on his wife’s pillow.
Sir Bob never saw Lady Madge again.
The moral of this story is: if you love your love, (were) warts ‘n all, show them you love all of them, or they might disappear!
More Werewolf Shenanigans by Liz Packett
With a look of disgust on his face, the nobleman asked his wife, "What happened to your hand?" With a confused look on her face, the wife said, "I don't know. I just woke up this morning and it was gone."
Without wasting another moment, the nobleman called for the finest surgeon in the kingdom to reattach his wife's hand.
The surgeon put the nobleman's wife under anaesthetic and sewed the hand back into place. But as he did so a strange thing began to happen. The nobleman's wife started to grow hair, then more hair, then even more hair, until her whole body was covered. There was no denying it now. The nobleman's wife was a werewolf!
So horrified was the nobleman that he ordered the surgeon to pump up the levels of anaesthetic until his wife/werewolf was dead.
After a hasty but tasteful funeral, the nobleman went on a holiday to the neighbouring kingdom. Here, he a wealthy and attractive young woman with no werewolf tendencies. They were promptly married and the nobleman couldn't be happier. However, there were a few things about his new wife that did seem a little strange. Like the fact that she didn't like the sun, had a fondness for bats and tended to shrivel up when garlic was served in her pasta...
The Hand That Feeds You by Rebecca Reggars
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a nobleman who lived in a big castle. Beyond the castle were the deep dark woods and the villagers used to say that a werewolf lived in the woods. The nobleman, displeased with the thought of a ware wolf living so near to the castle, sent a hunter into the deep dark woods to kill the werewolf. The hunter bravely entered the deep dark woods and stumbled across the ware wolf. They fought. The werewolf, trying to defend itself, was strong but the hunter prevailed and cut off the poor werewolf’s paw. The unjustly injured werewolf limped away favouring his injured leg now devoid of its paw. The hunter hadn’t done his job – he hadn’t killed the werewolf, but he knew that the werewolf didn’t deserve to be killed. It was causing no pains to anyone … it was just trying to exist. The hunter decided to deceive the nobleman and to take the werewolf’s paw in a pouch to the castle to prove that he had “killed” the “wicked beast”.
Back at the castle, the nobleman opened the pouch presented to him by the hunter with a triumphant smirk. But when he looked inside the pouch, the smirk was replaced by a look of pure horror. There was no paw inside the pouch. There was a hand. A feminine hand with a beautiful ring on its ring finger. The nobleman recognised the ring immediately as the engagement ring he had given to his wife. Praising the hunter for having done a “good job” the nobleman walked down the stairs to the kitchen holding on to the railing to keep him steady for his heart was pounding and his head was spinning. Could she, his beautiful wife, be a filthy beast? In the kitchen his wife stood by the fire nursing her arm with a steady stream of tears cascading down her peach-coloured cheeks.
He approached her slowly, gingerly. “My love?” he began in a tremor, barely able to hear his voice over the sound of his own heart thumping so rapidly and forcefully that he feared it would escape from his chest. “What has happened to your … hand?” he managed to ask. His wife looked up at him. The tears had stopped streaming down her face but had stained her peach-coloured cheeks a crimson red. He stepped back. There was something in her eyes that frightened him. Sensing his fear, she looked away and moved from the fire to the kitchen bench where she began to chop carrots. He couldn’t help but notice that she only used one hand and that the other, seemingly injured, hand that she had been previously nursing was hidden behind her back. Anger now replacing his fear the nobleman asked again: “What happened to your hand?”. She said nothing but smiled wryly. “I asked you a question!” screamed the nobleman as he walked over to her and again repeated “what happened to your hand?”. The woman stopped chopping carrots and looked into his eyes. “What hand?” she asked innocently. Fed up, the nobleman grabbed the arm that was concealed behind her and screamed when he saw that there was nothing but a bloody stump where her beautiful, fragile wrist should have been. “What hand?” repeated the wife then in a deafeningly loud, high pitched voice screamed: “I HAVE NO HAND!”. The nobleman stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. Regaining her composure the woman said: “Your hunter failed” she then picked up the knife she had been using to chop carrots with and slit his throat. She then washed the blood from the knife, and took it upstairs with her where she opened the safe, took the jewels and money and some of her favorite personal effects, placed them neatly in a suitcase, and left the castle, explaining to one of the (female) servants on the way out that a burglar had come into the castle, killed her husband, cut off one of her hands and forced her to open the safe from which he stole all of their money and jewels. The servant smiled knowingly and said: “I rather thought he would have taken you with him as a hostage” to which the woman replied: “He did”. The servant winked, and waited a good two hours before calling the authorities.
It is said that the “burglar” killed the woman as soon as they were clear of the village and that her ghost reappeared exactly one year later and cut off one of the hunter’s hands. This of course can not be proven though, for who would believe such a story?
The moral of this story: don’t cut off the hand that feeds you.
Label Your Wolfbane Clearly
In the mountains of Auvergne, a story dating back to 1588 was told of a royal female werewolf. In the story the nobleman was gazing out of his window and upon seeing a hunter he knew asked the hunter to check with details of the hunt.
While in the forest, the hunter stumbled upon a wolf. In the ensuing struggle, he severed one of the wolf's paws and placed it in his pouch. Upon returning to the chateau with his gruesome prize, he opened the pouch to show the nobleman evidence of his encounter. What they discovered was not a paw at all, in fact, the pouch contained what looked to be a feminine hand bearing an elegant gold ring.
The nobleman recognised the ring and sent the hunter away. The nobleman then went looking for his wife. When he came upon her in the kitchen, he found her nursing a wounded arm. He removed the bandage only to find that her hand had been cut off. Upon questioning his wife she finally admitted to being the wolf the hunter had encountered in the forest.
"How did this happen?" the nobleman asked his wife.
"Well", his wife answered "I was making some soup last Tuesday and the cook mislabelled the herbs. I was trying to add parsley and instead I added Wolfbane. Now I am a Werewolf."
The Nobleman got scared and he ran away screaming like a little girl. It was only when he passed the window and saw the full moon that he felt himself change.
Fear filled him for he had eaten the soup too.
Just then the Hunter came around the corner, saw the Nobleman and threw a silver dagger into him.
The moral of this story is to always label your wolfbane clearly.