The Wolf Leader by Alexandre Dumas
The Wolf Leader is set around 1780 in Dumas' native town of Villers-Cotterêts, and is supposedly based on a local folk-tale Dumas heard as a child.
The story concerns Thibault, a shoe-maker, who is beaten by the gamekeeper of the Lord of Vez for interfering with the lord's hunting. Afterwards he encounters a huge wolf, walking on its hind legs like a man, who offers him vengeance; Thibault may wish harm on any person in return for one of his own hairs for each wish. To seal the agreement, the two exchange rings. As a result of this bargain he also finds himself able to command the local wolves, and hence gradually gains the reputation of being a werewolf.
Thibault's first two wishes kill the gamekeeper and injure the Lord of Vez. The wishes turn two hairs on his head long and red, as do his subsequent ones, which, though equally successful, also backfire against him in unexpected ways, leaving him scorned and hated by others in his community.
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