Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for the Winged Wolf

(You have all been witing for this all month haven't you.)

All right, so here it is: yes we have a Winged Wolf. Most Hungarians don't even know this, it is not one of our most popular folktales, in fact, it took me a long time to dig it up after someone mentioned it in a book but never referenced it (remember kids, citations citations frakkin citations). Finally I found it in a folktale collection from the western part of Hungary, so there. We have at least one recorded sighting of a winged wolf!

What you should know about the winged wolf: it can fly (du-uh!), its hide is bulletproof except for a spot under its left wing, and it can breathe fire.
Yes, you read that right.

In the folktale, the wolf first shows up as a threat. There is a triple fork in the road where someone out of sheer humanity set up some signs: To the left, if you go this way you will live but your horse will die. To the right, if you go this way you will die, but your horse will live (whoever would choose that?). In the middle, if you go this way, the winged wolf will kill you.

Guess which road people are choosing. That's right. Makes for a better story.

The catch? The winged wolf is actually quite a smart creature, human speech and all. Once defeated, it becomes the hero's new mount and carries him for the rest of the adventure; it even gives some Dr. House-like grumpy misogynistic advice every once in a while.
Because, who would not want to ride a fire-breathing winged wolf into battle?

That is how we roll in Hungary.

(Go ahead, Google "winged wolf", see what happens.)


  1. Dear Czenge,
    Haven't met you in person but I like you more and more.We were told about the winged wolf and we were told that for Holnemvolt you were to choose between the dragon and the wolf.I would like to hear the story of the winged, fire-breathing wolf (great improvement compared to the grey wolf). If not for anything else,just for the Dr.House's comments :-)

  2. Interesting creature and would love to see it in a story.

  3. That's pretty cool. Sounds like a dragon.

  4. A fuzzy dragon :) I am currently searching for mor stories about it.

  5. Wow, that's interesting, i'm googling now :)

  6. There's some amazing illustrations of it too.

  7. Oh! I love this. Am currently writing a novel, :"A Kapitany"and needed a scary Hungarian folktale to fit. Better than the Owl with a copper penis! LOL!

    Jane Kohut-Bartels