An Original Medieval Legend (Green Children of Woolpit)
The English village of Woolpit, took its name from the wolf pits dug from the earth, to protect villagers from wolves which were known to attack men. It was in one of these pits, that the green children were found. This is the original medieval legend, of the green children of Woolpit.
A wolf pit was dug six feet deep. Raw bait was thrown into the pit, which was then covered with branches. Each morning, peasants would first visit the wolf pits, ready to dispatch those animals which had been caught. In the year 1189, the villagers of Woolpit found one of these traps with a large hole in its camouflage cover. The trap had been sprung, on a parcel of land belonging to Richard De Caine. Inside the pit, they discovered two children, a brother and sister. The color of their skin was green. About their necks the boy wore a silver collar, and the girl bore a silver necklace. Their clothing was odd-looking, too, and they spoke to eachother, in an unknown language.
The children most likely came from a foreign settlement only a few miles to the north, the neighboring village of Fornham Saint Martin. Fornham Saint Martin was settled by immigrants from Flanders, who after enduring floods for many years, had fled their ancestral farmlands. The immigrants wore clothing that looked outrageous to the English. They spoke the Flemish language, and they all worked as Fullers. This was the worst job of the Middle Ages, in which woven wool was treated with nasty smelling fluids, to prepare it for being used as cloth.
Because the country of Flanders is the next-door neighbor of France, the Flemish immigrants may have brought with them the loup-garou. The nature of the loup-garou can be repressed only by silver, and the Flemish were known to use the metal for that purpose. Like all amalgams of silver, contact with the skin will turn the dermis green, and may God help those who remove this barrier, between humanity and lycanthropy.
Punishments in Medieval times were very harsh, for any peasant that attempted to steal from a landowner. No villager dared to touch the silver jewelry. Instead they were brought directly to the stately manor of Richard De Caine. As a man doing business in Suffolk County, this landowner surely would have recognized the Flemish tongue. He could have made inquiries in nearby Fornham Saint Martin, as to who might have lost their children. Instead, he did confiscate the silver necklace and collar. The childrens' skin would soon lose its emerald hue.
The green children, were said at first to have refused all food, except for broad beans. Because they were peasants, they were never offered meat, which was the only meal they now craved. However the proteins and amino acids in broad beans, very closely approximate that profile found in fresh meat, which must have appealed to noses, many times more sensitive than that of a normal human.
What became of the boy is not known. The young girl was retained as a servant in De Caine's household. She eventually learned the English language, and was given the name Agnes. As a woman, she is said to been an exceptional beauty. She may have endured unwanted advances from men of higher social standing, whom she would be in no position to refuse... men who later may have been assailed by some ferocious animal, under the light of the full moon. It be would assumed that these victims, had fallen prey to a wolf attack.
Agnes escaped her servitude by way of marriage. She chose a traveling merchant, a seller of dyed woolen cloth. His name was Richard Barre, and he visited the manor regularly on his rounds.
One day Agnes eloped with Richard Barre, moving forty miles away, to the village of King's Lynn It is written that she lived until old age in that village. Today some of the local residents are said to be her descendants. But if you ask them who, they will not say.
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