The werewolf


3 min

Ghost story from Blekinge, Sweden.

The man who was a werewolf didn't have it easy. At night he "ran tasse", as it was called. He turned into a ferocious wolf of a kind you never see in the wild. His skin, which was furry on the inside, was turned inside out to reveal the fur. His eyes turned yellow and glowing, and his arms and right leg turned into wolf limbs, while his left leg became a tail.

In this guise the werewolf ran about and killed all who came in his way, for his hunger for human flesh was great. It was not easy to be cured of the werewolf disease. There were only two ways. Someone has to recognize the werewolf and as a human and tell him "You are a werewolf!" Then he was cured. But if that never happened, the werewolf could cure himself in a terrible way - He must find a pregnant woman, tear out the fetus and devour its heart.

In Sillhövda parish in Blekinge lived Kalva-Lasse who had a small croft with a large meadow. Once, his neighbor helped Hildas Kalva-Lasse to hay in the meadow while she was still carrying her unborn daughter. They went on well into the evening because it was still summer, and no one really thought about how late it really was. Soon the full moon began to rise over the spruce tops and Kalva-Lasse suddenly became very nervous and staring. He ran to Hildas and said: "If any animal comes and attacks you, fight it with the twenty, but do not stab." Then he rushed into the forest and disappeared. Before long the full moon had reached its full height in the firmament, and spread its blue glow over the lowlands so that it was almost as bright as day.

Hildas had just started packing up her things, when she saw something come running out of the edge of the forest with a strange limping gait. As the shape came closer, she saw that it was a giant black wolf that was plunging towards her. She remembered in the same Kalva-Lasse's strange words and seized the twenty to defend herself. Immediately the beast was upon her and with its drooling jaws tore a large piece of her red skirt free. Hulda's mother rained down on the werewolf a flurry of hard blows from the hunting shaft, and finally the beast had to leave its prey and disappeared back into the forest.

The pregnant woman collapsed exhausted on the ground, grateful that her desperate ferocity in the heat of battle had matched that of the werewolf and that both she and her child were actually completely unharmed. Suddenly Kalva-Lasse appeared right next to her. His face was completely bruised and a red thread was hanging out of one corner of his mouth. Hulda's mother stood up and gave him a good ear file.

"Yeah, you're the werewolf!" she yelled. "Shame on you for trying to go after a pregnant woman to save yourself from your own misfortune. Two choices!"

"Well, I'm ashamed," mumbled Kalva-Lasse embarrassed. "But I couldn't bear what happened. But now that you've recognized me as a werewolf, I'm finally free of the curse, and I'm forever grateful to you for that." And so it was. Since that night Kalva-Lasse never ran paws again.

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