Why not to shoot wolves
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Why one didn’t want to shoot wolves

“It was Christmas morning and people were on their way to church. Per Anders and his wife was going in their sleigh.

Per Anders was a small farmer with only a small farm. Even though it was difficult to make ends meet, he was always gay and full of pranks. As they were approaching the church they saw a wolf sitting by the road, howling miserably. When Per Anders came up beside it he held the horse and said: “Don’t sit here whining on Christmas morning, if you’re hungry you can go back to my place and have the sow, as long as you shut up.” His wife was scared out of her senses, but Per Anders just laughed and said that she was being silly. But the wolf became silent and ran along.

There was misery on the farm when Per Anders got back. The maid, that had stayed at home, was crying and weeping because a big wolf had come and taken the sow. That was a big loss, Per Anders thought, and his wife made a big fuss about it. But that didn’t help. In the evening, by the fire, Per Anders was not thinking happy thoughts. As he was sitting there, he heard a sleigh coming up to the house and a fine gentleman in a big fur coat entered through the door. He greeted: “God bless this house”, and then he asked if Per Anders had lost his pig. “Alas”, Per Anders replied, “I didn’t know better than to promise a hungry wolf that he could have my sow. How was I to know that he was going to take me at my word”. “Well my dear Per Anders, I did take you at your word, because that wolf was me. Years ago I quarrelled with a man who went around begging and stealing. I drove him away from my farm and he threatened to destroy me – to turn me into a hungry wolf, destined to run around in the woods and never become human again until somebody gave me something voluntarily. And he really did turn me into a wolf. You were the one who finally gave me something. Now I have come to pay you well for what you gave me”. He took out a big bundle of bills and gave to Per Anders, who had never seen that much money before and thought it was way to much for that sow. But the gentleman said that he was in great debt to Per Anders. And he left.

How Per Anders got to be a “storbonde”[1] the neighbours couldn’t figure out because they never heard the story about the wolf. That story was only told within the family.”

[1] ”Storbonde”, a farmer with large holdings, well-to-do farmer