Wolf Leaders and Werewolves

Bonjour From Brittany

In considering the real dangers to rural lives and livelihoods once posed by wolves it is not surprising that this animal occupied a unique place in the popular imagination of rural Brittany. For centuries, the wolf was the villain of countless folktales passed down through the generations and the beast’s victims of choice were seemingly always young lambs: innocent children watching-over their sheep and cattle or virtuous young girls travelling through the woods after nightfall.

Over time, the wolf had accumulated the diffuse fears of the rural folk to become the most terrifying of animals; a beast that dominated the land that man himself claimed dominion over. In yesteryears’ Brittany, most rural dwellers even feared to acknowledge a wolf (bleiz in Breton) by name, referring instead to Yann, Guillou or Ki Noz (the Night Dog); a term sometimes also used as a synonym for the Devil. The wolf was…

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