May 28, 2012
Medieval Mondays: The Wolves of Paris
In the winter of 1450, however, the wolves got bold. It was a hard winter and food was scarce in the countryside. This led a pack of wolves to get closer to human habitation. Paris was the largest city in Western Europe at the time but that didn't stop the wolves. The city walls were poorly maintained and the wolves were able to slip through. They prowled the streets, descending on pedestrians.
The pack killed forty Parisians and the city went into a panic. The pack became the object of fear for everyone and the alpha male was even given a name--Courtaud, meaning "bobtail".
Eventually the Parisians banded together. The hunters became the hunted and the wolves were chased and corralled into the square in front of Notre Dame, where they were killed with spears and stones. No doubt Courtaud's distinctive tail was taken as a trophy.
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.