Why Wolves Howl at the Moon: Ella, Alma and Ernst a Love Story

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These paintings are illustrations for a re-visioned saga of ancient Sweden. It is the story of three friends. It is based on the people in my family: Ernst my Grandfather, Ella, my Grandmother, Alma my Great Aunt.
Raven tells the story goes like this…

Ella and Alma are soul friends. Ella can spin magic yarn, and Alma is the daughter of a wolf. Ernst is Alma’s younger brother and like Alma is the son of a wolf. The girls think he is a pest who wants to tag along and play with the girls.

As they grow up, Alma falls in love with a mortal, Mauritz. Alma marries him and moves to a farm.

Ella is heart-broken. But she realizes that Ernst has grown into a handsome young man who looks as much like Alma as a man can. She marries him.

Alma becomes pregnant. Mauritz is very happy. Alma is happy too but is also worried because she has never told Mauritz that she is the daughter of a wolf. Sure enough, she gives birth to wolf pups. Mauritz is furious and turns Alma and the pups out.

Ella has also become pregnant. Since Ernst is the son of a wolf, she too gives birth to a pair of wolf pups. She raises the pups, but her soul still misses Alma.

After wandering a long time Alma finds Ella and Ernst and their pups living in the mountain forests near the sea. So, the three friends are reunited.

The wandering has worn Alma out and broken her health. So, she becomes a wolf spirit and flies away to a home in the sky.

Ella misses Alma so much and is very unhappy. She spins a magical yarn and sails a boat out to the sea. There she lassos the moon and climbs up to the sky, becoming the woman in the moon. Once again, she is close to Alma.

Ernst raises his and Ella’s pups with Alma’s. Once a month he takes on his wolf form. He leads the pack of his pups and Alma’s. They go out when the moon is full, and the wolf spirit is in the sky, and sing of their love.

And ever since wolves have howled at the moon.