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Were-wolves Of Detroit


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Long were the shores of Detroit vexed by the Snake God of Belle Isle and
his children, the witches, for the latter sold enchantments and were the
terror of good people. Jacques Morand, the coureur de bois, was in love
with Genevieve Parent, but she disliked him and wished only to serve the
church. Courting having proved of no avail, he resolved on force when she
had decided to enter a convent, and he went to one of the witches, who
served as devil's agent, to sell his soul. The witch accepted the slight
commodity and paid for it with a grant of power to change from a man's
form to that of a were-wolf, or loup garou, that he might the easier
bear away his victim. Incautiously, he followed her to Grosse Pointe,
where an image of the Virgin had been set up, and as Genevieve dropped at
the feet of the statue to implore aid, the wolf, as he leaped to her
side, was suddenly turned to stone.

Harder was the fate of another maiden, Archange Simonet, for she was
seized by a were-wolf at this place and hurried away while dancing at her
own wedding. The bridegroom devoted his life to the search for her, and
finally lost his reason, but he prosecuted the hunt so vengefully and
shrewdly that he always found assistance. One of the neighbors cut off
the wolf's tail with a silver bullet, the appendage being for many years
preserved by the Indians. The lover finally came upon the creature and
chased it to the shore, where its footprint is still seen in one of the
bowlders, but it leaped into the water and disappeared. In his crazy
fancy the lover declared that it had jumped down the throat of a catfish,
and that is why the French Canadians have a prejudice against catfish as
an article of diet.

The man-wolf dared as much for gain as for love. On the night that Jean
Chiquot got the Indians drunk and bore off their beaver-skins, the wood
witches, known as the white women, fell upon him and tore a part of his
treasure from him, while a were-wolf pounced so hard on his back that he
lost more. He drove the creatures to a little distance, but was glad to
be safe inside of the fort again, though the officers laughed at him and
called him a coward. When they went back over the route with him they
were astonished to find the grass scorched where the women had fled
before him, and little springs in the turf showed where they had been
swallowed up. Sulphur-water was bubbling from the spot where the wolf
dived into the earth when the trader's rosary fell out of his jacket.
Belle Fontaine, the spot was called, long afterward.

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Previous: The Snake God Of Belle Isle

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