The Song of the Wolf (Finland)
(c)2002 Kevin Strauss

Long, long ago, a Wolf was walking down the road when she met her friend, Dog.

“Dog, where are you going today?” said Wolf.

“I’m going to a wedding. My master’s neighbor is getting married and there will be lots of food at the celebration,” said Dog.

“Really,” said Wolf, remembering her empty belly, “do you think I could come to the celebration as well?”

“Oh, I don’t know, Wolf. People don’t like Wolves very much,” said Dog, “but if you promise to act like a dog, I might be able to sneak you in. But you’ve got to act like a dog.”

“Oh, I can do that, especially for food. What do I have to do,” said Wolf.

“Well, you have to keep you head down and your tail down around humans. That show’s them that they’re in charge. You can only eat food dropped on the floor, and you can’t ever make any noise. People get mad if we make noise at parties,” said Dog.

“I can do all of those things,” said Wolf.

So the two of them set off for the farmhouse where the celebration was taking place.

Wolf could hear music and smell cooked meet from across the valley. She licked her chops. The two creatures slipped into the living room and ran under the banquet table. Wedding guests saw Dog and just assumed that Wolf was another dog. People began throwing table scraps, bits of meat and bones to Dog, and Dog shared them with Wolf.

After a while, Wolf started feeling full, but she was also thirsty. Then she noticed a guest setting his bowl of mead on the floor to go dancing. Wolf crept out from the table and drained the bowl. The mead made her lightheaded as she crept back under the table.

“You know, with all of this music and dancing, what this party really needs is some singing. And I am a very good singer,” said Wolf.

“Remember your promise, Wolf, you said you wouldn’t make any noise,” growled Dog.

“Don’t worry so much. No one will hear me. Besides, my songs will add to the music and dancing,” said Wolf.

And putting her head back she howled “Ahoooooo!”

The music stopped. The dancing stopped. The talking stopped. Some men pulled away the table to reveal Wolf and Dog. Wolf’s nose was still pointed in the air.

“It’s a wolf! Get it!” shouted a man.

Men grabbed sticks and began chasing wolf around the room clubbing her when they got a chance. Wolf ran under some chairs and under another table and then sprang through a window and out into the woods, chased by the wedding guests. Dog chose this moment to quietly slink out the door.

People say that this was the last time a wolf attended a wedding. To this day, because of the beating, the wolves of Finland are so stiff that they never look behind them and whenever they howl, they make sure that they are far from humans and their clubs.