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The Wolf of Gubbio


The genuine man that has a heart that's pure,

the soul of a poet, inspiring tongue,

very small and gentle brother Francisco,

he's with a real harsh and fierce animal,

fearful beast of pillage, of blood and of theft

with jaws of a demon, with sinister eyes;

the mean wolf of Gubbio, the terrible wolf,

enraged, devastated all of the surroundings,

cruelly it laid waste to all of the flocks;

it devoured the sheep, it devoured the shepherds,

and its death and damages are so innumerable.


The Hard Fangs


Strong hunters armed with weapons of iron

were wiped out or mangled.

The hard fangs accounted for the toughest of dogs,

as if they were young goats or very small lambs


The Meeting


Francisco went out;

to look for the wolf

trying to find its den

close to its cave he found the huge wild beast

who upon seeing him ferociously threw itself against him.

Francisco, with his gentle voice,

and lifting up his left hand,

he said to the furious wolf:

"Peace, my brother wolf!"




The animal gazed upon the man wearing humble clothes;

it dropped its defenses,

it closed its aggressive open jaws,

and it said: "Very well, Oh brother Francisco!"


The Claim


"How?" - exclaimed the saint.

"Is it inherent for you to live off of fear and death?

the blood that spills out of your hellish snout,

the grief and the fright that you spread all around,

the cries of the people, the screaming, the pain

of so many creatures of our common Lord,

aren't they enough to stop your infernal wrath?

Do you come from hell?

has Lucifer or Satan perchance infused in you,

their eternal grudge"


The Nature of the Beast


And the huge wolf said humbly;

"The winter is hard, and the hunger's horrible!

In the bleak cold forest there was naught to eat;

so I looked for the flocks, and sometimes I ate

the shepherd with the sheep.

talk about blood?

I saw more than one hunter riding upon his horse,

holding a goshawk on his fist; or chasing after the wild boar,

the bear or the deer;

I saw more than one of them stain himself with their blood,

injure or torture,

from the muted wailings to the unheard screams,

of so many creatures of our common lord,

it wasn't out of hunger, that they would got to hunt."


The Pact


Francisco responded:

"There is bad blood in all human beings.

when we're born we come in sin. It's sad.

Whereas the simple soul of the beast is pure.

you will have enough to eat as of today

but you must leave in peace

the flocks and the people of this country.

And may God mellow your wildlife state of being!"

"Very well, Oh brother Francisco I will."

"Now before the Lord that binds and unbinds all things,

as a bond of good faith extend your paw to me."

The wolf extended its paw to the brother of the faith

who in turn stretched out his own right hand.


Towards the Village


They went to the village.

All the People stared

and could not believe what their eyes perceived.

behind the religious man walked the savage wolf,

and with its head bowed down it peacefully followed

like a submissive house dog, or Mary's little lamb.


This is the Deal


Francisco called the people who gathered in the plaza

and there he did preach. and he said:

"Here with me behold this friendly quarry,

The brother wolf is coming home with me;

It swore not to be any longer our enemy,

and will not repeat its bloody attacks.

you in return, will feed and take care

of the poor beast of our Lord."

"May it be so!"

replied all the people assembled in the plaza.

and afterward, as a sign of contentment,

the wolf wagged its tail and nodded its head,

and entered in the convent with Brother Francisco.


Life Together


For some time the wolf remained peacefully

in the sacred sanctum.

Its large ears would hear the psalms

and its clear eyes would moisten with emotions.

it learned many tricks and played many games

when it went to the kitchen with the novice brothers.

and when Francisco would say his daily prayers,

the wolf would lick his poor and shabby sandals.

it would go out in the streets,

it would roam the countryside,

it would descend into the valley,

it would enter the houses,

and they would give it something to eat.

they looked upon it like a mellow greyhound.


The Emancipation


One day Francisco went away.

And the gentle wolf

the tame and good wolf,

the righteous wolf,

soon it disappeared, returned to the mountains,

its howling and lawlessness started all anew,

the fright and alarm were felt once again,

all amongst the neighbors and amongst the shepherds;

the environment was overcome with terror,

courage and weapons were of little use

since the fierce wild beast

did not give rest to its fury, at all,

as if it had the fury inspired by Moloch or Satan himself.


Cry of the People


When the divine Saint returned to the village,

Everybody told him their complaints and outcries,

and with a thousand grievances they gave testimony

of how much they'd suffered and how much they had lost

because of the infamous wolf of the devil.


The Confrontation


Brother Francisco became quite severe.

he went to the mountain

to look for the false butcher wolf.

and next to its cave he found the miscreant.

“In the name of the father of the whole universe,

I beseech you," he said, "Oh damned perverse wolf!,

Oh tell me: Why have you gone back to what's evil?

Answer me. I'm listening."



The Motives of the Wolf


As if with inner turmoil the animal spoke,

with its mouth a-foaming and death in its eyes:

"Oh Brother Francisco, don't you come too close now...

I was in peace, while I was in the convent;

I'd roam through the village,

when they'd give me something to eat I was happy

and gratefully ate it.

But soon I noticed that in all of the houses

There was greed, cruelty, there was hate, rage and envy

and embers were burning in all of their faces

of deceitful lust infamy and falsehood.

Brothers against brothers made war on each other,

the weak ones would lose, and the bad ones would win,

the men and the women were just like dogs in heat,

and one fine day they all beat me with sticks.

They saw me so humbled,

since I'd lick their hands and their feet.

I was following your sacred laws:

all of God's creatures were my brothers and sisters,

[ the following two lines are in flux ]

all men(were)my brothers,(my brothers)the oxen,

(my sisters)the stars and,(brothers)the worms.

In spite of my kindness they beat and cast me out.

and I felt their laughter just like boiling water,

The savage beast revived from (deep) within my bowels,

suddenly I felt myself an evil wolf again;

yet always much better than those wicked people.

and so once again I began my struggle,

to defend myself and to feed myself,

just as does the bear just as does the wild boar,

Who must hunt and kill in order to survive.

Leave me in the countryside, leave me in the wild,

Let me exist in my total freedom;

go back to your convent, Oh Brother Francisco,

Remain on your path with your saintlyness."




The Saint Francisco didn't reply anything.

he just gazed at the wolf with a profound look,

and he left with tears in his eyes and so full of sorrow

And spoke to the Eternal God in his heart.

The wind of the forest carried his prayer,

which was: "Our father, who art in heaven...."

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