In two towns near Collin, Germany, there resided the torturous Devil. He had strong inclinations towards inhumane acts and happily supported those whose souls were filled with destruction and maliciousness. There also lived a well-known Stubbe Peeter, who from a young age of 12 knew he possessed wicked inclinations. By the age of 20, he gave himself to the Devil as his own destructive soul forgot the God and Savior that brought him into the world. In exchange, the Devil granted him any wish his tyrannous heart could possible wish for.
Nonetheless, the wish of living without dread and danger of life created the girdle, a finishing touch to his wardrobe that would shape shift him into a werewolf, a true wicked sorcerer. But without the girdle, Stubbe Peeter continued to be the well-known kind soul. The people who he would later kill had no idea what was coming for them.
His thirst for revenge, blood, and execution inclined immediately. Anyone who looked at him with lust or he had lust for, were captured and murdered. The entire country feared this swift and wicked wolf. He would go to the extent of murdering pregnant mothers, babies in the wombs, young children, and lambs. But he must do so quickly in order to eat their beating hearts out at once to satisfy his thirst and hunger.
With his desire for lust, it was no surprise that he had a daughter, Stubbe Beell, whom he later commits incest. Then with no surprise again, Stubbe Beell is impregnated and that child will later be committing incest with Stubbe Beell.
There were no women or children that Stubbe Beell did not have lust for, therefore the Devil sent him Katherine Trompin, a she-Devil. Very much like the Devil, she was deceiving. With the face of a lovely women and heavenly attributes, Stubbe Peeter had a son with her. This son was his pride in joy as he eased his heart’s lust, but even so, Stubbe Peeter’s malicious soul surpassed his love for his son, resulting him with tempations to murder the child. But with the strong will of God and the Christian faith that was in the innocent families’ soul, God did not allow Stubbe Peeter to hurt the child.
For 25 years, Stubbe Peeter would shape shift and murder without anyone knowing. But, even so, this sorcerer knew his time had come to an end. With hunters after him, Stubbe Peeter confessed to his sins and returned the girdle to the Devil, who knew the destruction that his powers have caused and let Stubbe Peeter endure the consequences that his soul produced.
In the end, Stubbe Peeter, as well as his daughter and Katherine Trompin, were condemned and burned to death.
After that day, the town decided to place a pole with a werewolf head surrounded by pieces of wood representing the people he murdered to ensure that Stubbe Peeter’s sins would never be forgotten and other cruel creatures of the Devil would not come haunting the town.
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Connection to Other Slavic Folktales Edit
Just like in the Werewolf’s Daughter, both folktales end with the execution or death for the shape-shifters and a happy ending for the rest of the town. It is through a flaw of the shapeshifter, the ones in danger are able to survive.
To read more about these connections check out the [http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/werewolf.html#bartsch185 werewolf library].
Connection to Doctor Faust Edit
The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter shares important themes and other similarities with the Germanic legend of [https://www.gutenberg.org/files/779/779-h/779-h.htm Doctor Faust]. In the Faustian legends, Doctor Faust is approached by a devil and offered a deal: he could have as much fame, wealth, and knowledge as he pleased for twenty-four years, but then give up his soul to the devil. He accepts this deal and lives an extremely successful yet hedonistic life. At the end of his twenty-four years, the devil comes to claim his soul, and Faust dies a violent death.
Both stories share the aspect of the main character making deals with a devil. This is a huge thematic element in both stories. Despite the humanist principles introduced by the Renaissance, Europe still holds tight to its Christian institutions in this time period. To collaborate with the devil is a sin that trumps all other sins; it flies in the face of God. The authors both vehemently condemn the actions of both Peeter and Faust, and their transgressions eventually result in their unpleasant demise. Both authors show a very similar view on the nature of damnation.
Of course, there are a few important differences as well. Faust is a selfish man, and he uses the devil’s powers to gain wealth, fame, and knowledge. He is often described as an overly ambitious intellectual, to a fault. Stubbe Peeter, however, is a more despicably evil character than Faust. Peeter uses his powers for more carnal and evil purposes. He simply asks for the ability to murder and rape as he pleases. Because of his cruel purpose, the devil grants his wish with no caveats. Peeter becomes an instrument of chaos and sin for the devil.
[Montague, Summers. “The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter.” The Werewolf. By George Bores. New York: E.P. Button and Company, 1932. 235-59. Print.]
[Sabine Baring-Gould. “The Werewolf’s Daughter.” The Book of Werewolves: Being an Account of a Terrible Superstition. London: Smith, Elder, and Company, 1865. 124-138. Print.]