The White Wolf is a scary story for kids about a man who hunts wolves. It is based on a folktale in The Telltale Lilac Bush by Ruth Ann Musick called “The White Wolf”. A version of this tale appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz.
In the mountains of West Virginia, there is a little place called French Creek. Many years ago, a man by the name of Bill Williams lived there. He was tall and slim and worked as a butcher.
At the time, West Virginia had a problem. The timber wolves in the area had gotten out of hand. They were killing cattle and sheep and the farmers couldn’t stop them. The state of West Virginia put a bounty on wolves. They said they would pay hunters 10 dollars for every wolf pelt they turned in.
Bill Williams thought that was pretty good money, so he gave up his job as a butcher and turned his attention to hunting wolves. As it turned out, he was very good at it. Every year, he managed to killed over 500 wolves. At a bounty of 10 dollars per pelt, that came to over 5000 dollars, which was a huge amount of money in those days.
After five years of this, Bill had killed so many wolves that there were barely any left in the area. They were almost becoming extinct and the few that were left were smart enough to stay hidden. So Bill decided to retire. He said the wolves had made him rich, so he swore that he would never harm one again. Every day, he just sat in the local store, chewing tobacco, whittling on a piece of wood and telling tall tales about his hunting expeditions to anyone who would listen.
Everything went well for a few years. Then one day a farmer burst into the store. He said that a white wolf had killed two of his sheep. He claimed he managed to get a shot at the wolf and hit it three times, but the bullets didn’t have any effect on it. Soon, other farmers began spotting the white wolf all over the countryside, killing their livestock. They shot at it, but no matter how many times they hit the wolf, nothing seemed to stop it. The people begged Bill to do something about it, but he refused.
The white wolf went on killing and it seemed that nothing was safe. The bloody half-eaten corpses of cows and sheep littered the countryside. Then, one night, the wolf came into Bill’s yard and killed his pet cow. Bill was so angry that he forgot about his promise to never harm another wolf. He swore he would get revenge and, the next morning, he went out and bought a young lamb to use as bait. He took it out into the hills and tied it to a tree. Then he backed off about fifty yards and hid behind another tree. With his shotgun in his lap, he sat there and lay in wait.
After a few days, when Bill didn’t return, the people in town went looking for him. Finally, they came across the young lamb. It was still tied to the tree and seemed to be unharmed. Then, they spotted Bill. He was slumped against the other tree, but he was dead. His throat had been torn open. There were no signs of a struggle, his gun hadn’t been fired and there were no tracks in the soil around him.
As for the white wolf, it was never seen again, but some people say that when the moon is full, you can still hear it howling.