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Why do the eyes of the wolf glow and his hair bristle?

The Story of the Wolf, God and the Devil.

WHEN God had finished the creation of the world, and had made all the good animals and beasts, the devil thought he would also make some creatures. He took some of the clay and made the wolf. When he had finished God came to see what he had done. When he saw the brute he asked the devil what it was.

               "Ho, thou wilt soon see what it is. Up, wolf, and go for him." But the wolf did not stir. There he lay where the devil had fashioned him. When the devil saw that the wolf did not move, that there was no life in him, he turned to God and said:

               "Just make him go."

               And God said, "Very well."

               But before he made him go, he chipped the wolf about, and moulded him and fashioned him a bit better than the devil had done. Out of these chippings came the snakes and the toads. When he had finished shaping him, God cried:

               "Up, wolf, and go for him."

               Up jumped the wolf and went for the devil, who got so frightened that he ran away as fast as his feet would carry him.

               When the devil saw that the wolf was running him close he pulled out three hairs from his body and threw them behind him on to the wolf. The wolf, who up to that time was hairless and smooth, was suddenly covered with thick bristles, which, in one way or another, were to prevent him from running so fast after the devil. It is for that reason that the wolf has such thick bristles, and his eyes glisten in the dark. They are the hair of the devil and the sparks which have got into him through the devil's hair. And since that time when he hears the wolves howling the devil takes to his heels, lest they catch him as God commanded them to do.


Polish, Lettish and other Slavonic variations of the legend concerning the creation of the wolf by the devil are given by Dähnhardt (l.c. pp. 147 ff.), yet none so full as the Rumanian version. According to one, the devil had made the wolf so as to have a creature of his own. But he endeavoured in vain to call his creature to life, for he would persistently say to it, "Arise, for I have made thee." Only, however, when he whispered into his ear, "Arise, God has made thee," did the wolf spring to his feet. Then he attacked the devil, who ran away and escaped with difficulty.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why do the eyes of the wolf glow and his hair bristle?
Tale Author/Editor: Gaser, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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