The Tail of the Wolf and the Shepherd

The Tail of the Wolf and the Shepherd
By Paul Calhoun

Something from the list. Done in fairy tale style because it fits.

Sorcerous wolves attempt to seduce a wealthy shepherd turned land owner from his flocks but matters turn against them when he kills their leader and takes his magic hame. Things turn against HIM when his wife finds out.

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom, a wolf pack and a wealthy landowner who had once been a shepherd and now owned flocks and flocks of sheep. In time, his wealth and influence got the attention of other wealthy and influential men and they said, "Why don't you hold a party to show us how wealthy you are?" In truth, they only wished to meet one another at someone else's house and enjoy free food and drink for they hadn't stayed wealthy by giving parties willy-nilly with their own money. The rich shepherd did not know this for he had worked all his life to become rich and did not understand the ways of those who had once been his social betters.

The tale of his great flocks and the coming ball went far and wide and many even of the great lords wrote to say they would come to see this man who had worked so hard (and to have a night out on the house). The tale came to the sharply pointed ears of some who would partake of the shepherd's flocks, but not inside from his silver plates (he had bought them as soon as he realized that he could not avoid giving the party) but outside in the fields, taking what sheep they could. His plenty had attracted wolves, and not just any. These were the cunning and deviously intelligent wolves that were responsible for many a poor farmer finding all his stock gone after a night. They were never seen, but all the local landowners knew of them for they had become a blight upon the fortunes of the high and the low. Large where they, five feet from hindquarter to shoulder, and gifted some with sorcery which they used to further their predations. Yet they were mortal afeared of being discovered for their powers could not stand against cold iron and though they might bring down even a mounted knight with their great weight and sharp teeth, none wished to be the first to try.

These wolves knew that there would be many at the ball and none could know all who went, and so the chiefest and craftiest wolf worked long in sorcery with the strongest of their magicians to fabricate a skin, a human-hame which had the semblance of the fairest female that had ever been seen in mortal lands. Tall was she, for her wearer would be nigh on six feet from hind foot to tip of ear, and fair of skin for that was what was deemed pretty in those lands. Not slim, for the wolf was wide of chest, but with a ripeness in her figure that complimented her size. Long of lash, heavy of lid and red of lip was her face and her hair was as honey in sunlight. The chief of wolves wrought this hame to hang upon his frame and give him its appearance as far as could be made and he stole many rich garments to hang upon her.

The other wolves looked upon the hame and said to their leader, "But what of your muzzle and your tail? What of your claws which cannot be completely sheathed and your ears which would be cruelly crushed under that unnatural mane?"

To which the chief wolf said to them, "Behold!" He drew her garments from a box in which they had been folded, "For this is no ordinary ball I go to. Here the humans will wear other guise as well to enact their stories and their lore." And the gown he showed them was all of red satin and velvet with a tight fitting bodice, and the cloak was of red silk and its broach a ruby. "I shall be their Red Hood, but a Hood that had not the luck of the one in their story. This tale shall tell of what would have been should such a dame met one of our kindred and so the farmers will laugh and marvel. Watch!" He took the hame and stretched its mouth so that he could slither into it. Even as he did so, rents were made by his claws and his black and gray fur poked through many holes in the arms and legs. He stretched the hame further and over his head, using his claws to tear away at the crown until his ears stuck through. The hame's mouth stretched around the base of his muzzle b
ut the eyes disguised his own and seemed to blink and move with his. The wolf-girl said, "Attend!" And the muzzle only twitched as if a hidden mouth inside spoke in the throaty contralto of a woman with her own mouth covered by a false wolf's muzzle. She reached behind and drew the chief wolf's tail so that it swayed and wagged between the rounded cheeks of her feminine fundament.

"Now understand the plan," she said to them. "But first, I must have raiment." And the wolves garbed her in the scarlet gown with its tight bodice and flowing skirt and in the crimson cloak with its ruby broach. And upon her feet were placed boots whose heels disguised the tiptoed gait of the chief wolf. She flexed her fingers and said, "I must keep a close watch for should my claws extend, no disguise will keep them from knowing what I truly am." They asked if she should wear gloves and she said, "Nay, for I am already hindered in what I may hold. Such would make it impossible to escape should such be necessary. Now, to our plot." And the wolf-girl told them of her idea to go to the wealthy shepherd's fields the night of the ball and take aught that they could carry. "And should one or another go to the window, I shall go to them and say 'Madam, couldst thou tell me where the washroom is?' or 'I would dance with thee, milord.' And so keep them from observing the movements of my pack." She smiled and her wolf-semblance bared its teeth, "Perhaps I might even gain the confidence of the shepherd and thus keep all watch away for many an hour."

And so the wolves took places in the shadows to wait until the ball was underway and the wolf-girl - now cursing her long skirt as she stumbled towards the great house - entered the ball. Cunning the chief wolf was, but also awkward in the semblance of a human female and uncomfortable as the hame kept his claws in and pushed his sheathed wolfhood into his belly for those parts would have been too easily recognized as real. So the wolf-girl was soon drinking and laughing merrily, careful always to keep her wolf muzzle from moving too much. She was adored both for the fairness of what was thought to be her human aspect as well as the apparently masterful craft of her costume. Many a guest marveled at how the wolf-girl's tail moved so naturally and her ears seemed to twitch when someone told a good joke.

For herself, the Red Hood was busy for many guests looked out towards the fields where the wolf chief's fellows lay hid or were already prowling. Many was the time she had to make some excuse to get a dame or lord away, though the lords were far easier as they were all ready to dance with the lovely 'creature.' The wolf chief was hard put to keep his lips from curling as they came close to his teeth in their examination of 'her' muzzle and the wolf-girl stifled her yelps when they touched her tail. If her deportment seemed more feral than some, they took it as an adorable imitation of the real thing and tweaked those marvelously mobile 'fake' ears all the more when she seemed to jump at their being touched. Soon, though, the shepherd was making for his window after every dance and the wolf-girl knew she had to do something more to keep his attention. "What troubles you?" She would ask.

"My flocks, milady." He would say. "I must look to their safety for there are many who would take them."

"Surely you have men for that now," the wolf-girl would say and the chieftain would swallow his revulsion and press close. "Do you not find dancing with me diverting?"

"I surely, do, milady." He said.

"And perhaps more?" The wolf-girl looked at him and though her lips could not part invitingly, it was plain what she meant.

"I am married, madam."

"Would your wife begrudge such a dalliance with a wealthy acquaintance for just one night?"

The chief wolf did not know that he had hit on a hard point. The shepherd's wife was the one who preferred all these fine things and was the main reason the ball had been thrown in the first place. She was always telling him to get closer to their new peers and the shepherd had a wicked thought. Perhaps she meant that literally. He smiled at the wolf-girl and for the first time in his life the chief wolf knew what it looked like to face a predator. The shepherd caressed the wolf-girl's hair and pet her tail. "Perhaps not."

They repaired to the shepherd's bedroom, which was empty, and loosened the bodice of the Red Hood costume. When it fell to the floor, he found that his maiden seemed naked in some ways but not others. "Could you not remove the rest of your attire?" He said, rubbing the wolf-girl's muzzle.

The chief wolf was ready for that, and put a dancing mischief in the fair woman's eyes. "Nay," the wolf-girl said. "Would it not be more arousing to make love to one with some semblance of your greatest nuisance? Would it not be kinky to kiss a wolf?" And so the wolf-girl took back the predatorship and jumped upon the man, who was borne down under the strange mixture of lovely lady and ravenous wolf. The wolf-girl's fur rubbed him and he found himself aroused as he saw that there was a thin patch directly between her breasts which had not been visible when she wore her gown. He found her pliant but spirited and their bed sport did not go unheard below. Kissing the muzzle rather than her true lips was disconcerting, but he found other places to put his mouth and the girl seemed to truly enjoy it and if his hands tired of feeling fur, there were expanses of soft skin as well.

All this would have gone well for wolf and somewhat worse for shepherd had the clouds not moved aside just as the man was arching his back, showing a multitude of figures in the fields that did not belong there. "What is this?" He said. "Wolves! And at my flocks!" Quick as a flash, he'd turned round, for he'd heard a growling from his bed that did not sound like a lady wanting her bedmate back. Truly this was so, and the shepherd caught up a poker from the fire as the now open jaws of his sporting partner came towards him. The chief wolf had forgotten that once this man had defended flocks from such as himself personally and the surprise did him in.

The man stood with the wolf-girl at his feet and he hauled the dead carcass up and laid it on a chair. Throwing on his clothes, he ran out and began calling the alarm. This way and that his men ran and soon the wolves were chased off, though his flocks had been sorely decreased. The wealthy merchants and lords crowded around him and consoled him with words that were mostly empty. "But wait, where is the fair lady from before? Surely she was not also eaten by the wolves?" One said, looking about.

The shepherd opened his mouth to tell them of the treachery, but hearing all the cries of consternation, he paused. 'Ah,' he thought to himself, 'perhaps a way to make kind words into kind deeds.' "She is upstairs, milords, in a swoon. She saw the wolves coming herself and the excitement overcame her. I shall see if she is better." And he left his wife to speak to the wealthy men as he slipped back into the room in which he had left the wolf-girl. He had been many things as a young man and it was easy enough to separate fair form from foul. Soon he was arrayed in the woman-hame and then in the fair gown, boots and cloak. Tall, fair and ripe did the hame make the shepherd. Long of lash, heavy of lid and red of lip was her face and her hair was as honey in sunlight just as the wolf had been. Cutting off the wolf's tail, the Red Hood hung it from her bodice as well as weaving the ears into her hair. The Red Hood was greeted warmly below and her reason for removing the wolf muzzle kindly accepted. "But of course, milady," they said, "you could hardly have breathed well in that. You seem far fairer without it, might we say."

The Red Hood danced with many of the great lords, whispering salacious words into their ears when she could. She found that wearing the semblance of a young woman filled her with the same hot desire that viewing it on the wolf had done to the shepherd when he futtered her and it was no hardship to whisper and flutter her eyes at the lords. Nor was it more than a pleasantly energetic task to take them up to the shepherd's bed and let them have their way with her, though she had her way as much as they. For no lord would accuse such a lady of theft and none would miss a gold coin or two from their purse when they gather up their trousers to go to find their wives. The shepherd became accustomed to removing her gown and putting it back in swiftly, as well as the proper way a true lady relieves herself in the privy.

When the other guests had gone and the shepherd was relieving himself in a different way in his bed, his wife went to look for him, for she had not seen him since he had gone to fetch Red Hood. She had thought he was overseeing the lesser herds outside, but none had seen him. When the Red Hood heard her entering, she quickly hid the shepherd's manhood and so the wife entered her own bedroom to find the Red Hood lying naked but for the wolf ears upon her head and the tail which she had now hooked into the inside of the hame to seem more exotic. "Well met," the Red Hood said huskily to the shepherd's wife.

"What goes here?" The wife exclaimed. "Why do you lie with not a stitch upon you and in my husband's bed?"

"Why, I was waiting for my lovely wife," the girl said, all innocence. "And here she is. Come to bed, my dear." And she rose and took her wife by the hands, smiling now as the cat when he has eaten a prized bird but not yet been caught. And she laid the sputtering wife down upon the bed and with a twitch of her hips the shepherd's manhood was now free again and all the larger. "Do you know me now, my darling?" She asked, kissing the wide-eyed shepherd wife.

"I do! And you should be ashamed!" She said. "Dressing thyself as a harlot and luring me into bed with thee. Where is the true Hood and how dost thou come to be in her form?" And when the whole story been told she said, "Ho ho! Well, this is a fine complexion then. But it is not all fun, for I count what you have done adultery on both sides of the bed. Take this wolf carcass and skin it, then with that hame and its, go forth to find the brood from which this one sprang and destroy it. For though the gold you have spent thine evening so pleasantly to take has helped us in our plight and made our neighbors obliged for the evening of sport, but we are not safe until the wolves are gone. Now get out!" And she watched as the wolf was skinned but did not even allow her husband to don the gown, only turning him out with the wolf hame for warmth and the woman hame to protect their family from shame. So the shepherd set out, following the tracks of the wolves. They had been forced to depart in haste and had not hidden the direction they were going.

Dawn was breaking when the shepherd heard bells and clinking and all manner of noise coming up behind him. When he looked back, he saw a knight in armor that caught the sun's rays as it crested the hills and almost blinded him. So too did the snowy white horse. The shepherd, seeing his chance, did what any man clad in the form of a comely young woman with noble features would do. He waved, jumped up and down and arrayed his posture and hair - which continued to be as honey in the sunlight even this early in the morning - to present the image of an innocent young lady in distress. When the knight stopped - as any man of chivalry would, or indeed any man faced with a naked nymph in the road - he looked down at the Red Hood looking up with wide eyes full of need and desire. "Please, sir knight, wilt thou help a defenseless woman in her hour of need?"

"I would, madam, and gladly. What is your distress?" The knight was too well bred to remark upon her nakedness and he relied on his hammered steel codpiece to hide any physical note of it.

"I am on a quest, my lord." The shepherd-lass said. She realized that Red Hood didn't work when one has not a stitch on red or otherwise. She then spun him a tale similar in theme but different in detail from what had occurred. She was the daughter of a wicked merchant's wife who had sent her with naught but her skin and that of a wolf that had been killed as it prowled their lands to slay the rest of its pack. "I had not known how I would do this, but now I see that providence has sent a brave knight of the greatest chivalry to help me."

The knight had heard many stories and had a shrewd idea of his own. Unfortunate youths turned out by wicked hags to do an impossible quest tended to attract the luck. Any who helped them gained as they did and any who spurned often died a horrible death. "Why, good lady, I would be most honored to assist. Are these the tracks of the dreadful beasts?" He asked, waving at the tracks with his lance.

"Aye, that they are."

"Then come and sit behind me. My horse is strong and will bear us both to the lair of the fiends you seek. Then I shall do as you have requested. Payment? Nay." He said when the lass, who was still a mercantile shepherd and heart and unused to such things, asked. "Your company is far more than payment enough for this." The knight was tempted to ask the fair lady's hand, but often those who did so in stories came also to bad ends. No, he would get the best of both. Luck of the lady and her presence at the fire that without tempting fate, for the knight had but one bedroll.

The shepherd had grown used to the demands of men who met him in his female guise and the still unclad lady looked across the fire that night with an artlessness that was itself an art. "Oh, it is still so cold," she said to the knight and moved closer to him. "Look at how well polished you keep these buckles," she said, playing with them and loosening the straps on the knight's armor. "Oh how strong you are!" She exclaimed as the armor fell and placed her palm upon his chest. The knight knew the dance as well as his new lady and it was not long before he was in a similar state as she and one bedroll was plenty.

On the second day, they tracked through plains, hills, mountains, deserts, tundras and wore through eight sets of iron shoes on the horse. This was natural in a story and neither really noticed since the shepherd-girl's arms were around the knight. He had been amazed by her knowledge of male needs and her energy and the shepherd had been more than satisfied with the knight's strength and the enormous organ hidden within the confines of his steel codpiece. And he had though the beaten bulge in the metal was bravado!

It was on that day that they heard hoofbeats from ahead and the knight said to his lady, "Hark! It is my friend Sir Greenhilt. But he cannot see me so entwined with a lady fair of skin with hair like honey in the sunlight, ruby red lips and all unclad." So they stopped and the shepherd donned the wolf-hame and had his arms and legs bound, then strapped to the saddle. When Sir Greenhilt passed, the strong knight said by way of explanation, "I caught this cur a ways back and have agreed to hunt the rest of its pack." The shepherd-lass-wolf struggled and whined as he spoke so as to give further credence to his tale.

Sir Greenhilt thought this a worthy quest and forbore to ask why the wolf yet lived. It would have been impolite to ask such a noble comrade why he took such actions. He rode off, though he thought he saw the knight talking to the wolf as he left and laughing at something. Had he looked back for a little longer, he might have seen the wolf shake its head in a very human way.

What the wolf was shaking its head about was the suggestion of having the wolf hame removed. "Nay," the shepherd said in the smoky voice of the lady and through the barely moving jaws of the wolf, "Keep me bound as an animal this day and ride on, for I find this playacting stimulating." So they went on, the knight pretending that his lady fair was indeed a captured wolf and when he 'accidentally' cut the bonds after first having a tup or two, the 'wolf' turned on him and futtered him in a frenzy that had made the second night seem but a quiet evening lying out under the stars. "Yes," the shepherd-wolf-lady growled, pawing at him and pressing her muzzle against his neck. "I loved you bound, but now the beast is unchained."

The wolf-hame fit the shepherd's female clad body but unevenly, so it was quite obvious to eyes that looked closely that there was a comely lass within. Sir Greenhilt may not have been paying attention, but when on the third day, they found the lair of the beasts, the wolf-girl knew she could not fool them as easily as the knight. "I must think of a good story," she thought. For she had retained the wolf skin overnight and even as they rode on for the shepherd had been cold and he found it more than stimulating to pretend to not only be the knight's lady fair, but also that lady hiding from his judgmental comrades in a wolf skin. "Wait!" She said to the knight as he dismounted. "Allow me to enter first." So she trotted in on unsteady feet - for never had the shepherd ever tried walking on all fours - and confronted the wolves.

"What is this?" They asked, crowding around. "Is it our leader returned?" They all sniffed at the wolf-girl, who shifted uncomfortably on her feet. "The smell is confused," they said. "Some of our esteemed pack master and some of humans."

"I escaped but not before the shepherd's wife put a curse on me," the wolf answered in the lady's voice, the muzzle not moving as the shepherd spoke in the voice of the lady. "A witch she was and she traded my form and that which I wore so now I am a human female in a wolf skin rather than the reverse."

The wolves drew back, baring their terrible teeth. "This is a great blow," they said. "Surely our magic can mend this though."

"Perhaps, but we need a human to die for the magic," the shepherd-girl-wolf disguised now as a wolf-girl turned to a girl-wolf said, thinking quickly. "There is one outside." And so she exited with the wolves, thinking that he would hang back. Should the knight win, the shepherd would shed the wolf skin and thank him as only a lady who had just been rescued from a horrible fate could and should the wolves win, she would pretend that the magic had failed and find some other way. The shepherd knew the wolves not, however, and the girl-wolf was not alone as she settled into the pack's rear.

"Our magic is also needful of another kind of sacrifice," a raspy voice said. A wolf with the white marks of a sorcerer breathed neck of the shepherd in the hame of a comely girl in the hame of a wolf pretending to be a wolf in a girl’s hame turned to a girl in a wolf’s hame. "And in your current guise, this can be done by you personally."

The girl-wolf knew not how wolves seduced each other, but she waggled her tail in the sorcerer's face and panted. "Mayhap we might. I am desperate to leave this form and take my own back." So the sorcerer mounted her even as the knight was first borne down, then rose again in outrage as he saw his lady fair being - as he thought - taken forcibly by a wolf. Valiantly he fought and because of his valor and the cowardice of the wolves who would not battle all at once but ever tried to foist the job on another, he was victorious. He hacked his way straight through and hewed the head off of the sorcerer wolf even as he mounted the lady again. Seeing her chance, she threw off the wolf-hame and embraced the knight in a semblance of fear and relief. "Thou hast rescued me yet again, sir knight, and dispatched these creatures. And look!" She pointed into their lair. "There is much treasure within that is rightfully yours."

"What of you?" The knight asked.

"Nay, my reward is at home. Take what you can." So the knight entered and the lady made off with his horse along with the wolf-hame and used it to exhort further speed from the poor animal until she was home.

So the wolves died, the knight lost his horse and the shepherd occasionally returned from the fields to find a honey blonde with ruby lips and all the trimmings waiting in his bed. Sometimes the wife would come back from market to find a horrible wolf ready to ravish her. Sometimes the roles would reverse. Sometimes the blonde girl would have wolf ears, a tail and claws (though usually when the wife was annoyed about something or the shepherd was feeling especially kinky). No one learned anything except the following:
Never leave strangers with your property no matter how they turn out in bed or how lucky they might be because ultimately they're the lucky ones.
Always read the fine print and beware of cheap imitations (though that's another story involving satan, a handbag and a new washing machine).

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