It started back in the old days, when everyone knew about them.
Wolves that lived in the woodlands of Europe for most of the month, who take on the form of men and women when the full moon rises. They go to the little church on the outskirts of town, where a sister brings them clothes with a smile and a shake of her head. They thank her, and hike together to the nearest small town. They show up in a little German tavern, bearing freshly killed rabbits and medicinal herbs to trade tavern keepers for a drink and a room for the night.
They arrive in groups of six or seven, with wild hair and clothes that smell of earth. Their teeth seem a bit too long and sharp. But they joke around and push one another, watching their own children as they play with those from the village. They seem jovial, carefree, and get to know the old farmers and tavern workers and harried mothers chasing their little ones.
They are treated with kindness, although everyone seems to know who they are. No need to say it though. They bring fresh food and good laughs. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, they gather together and sing, hauntingly beautiful, echoing music that drifts up to the moon.
And they don’t forget these acts of kindness.
Bandits try to attack a small farm, attempting to break in and take what little gold the family had. They still tell stories of how the shadows seems to shift, and then there were gleaming eyes and fangs, and the promise of worse to come if they returned.
A tavern maid tells of how she was being followed by drunk men, a few miles from her little cottage. A trio of she-wolves slipped out of the shadows and walked beside her soundlessly, not leaving her side until the men backed off and she was safe inside her home.
A young child with a broken leg, lost in the woods, never stops babbling about his wolf story. A large gray male, an alpha perhaps, grabbed him by the back of his shirt, and carried him to his mother’s doorstep.
When the werewolves go to the taverns and hear these stories, they simply laugh. What wild imaginations these people must have. But they let the stories spread. It is good to let everyone know that the pack has grown. This village is defended.