The Beast of Primarette is not really a top drawer Premier League monster, so the first port of call will have to be the French version of Wikipedia. Here is my own translation:
“The “Beast of Primarette” was a man eating animal responsible for a series of attacks on humans in the vicinity of the village of Primarette in the south east of France. The first attack took place in the spring of 1747. Between then and the end of the winter in 1752, seven victims were identified in the parish registers.”
In 1747, François Malarin, the village priest of Primarette, reported the very violent death of a little boy in his parish :
“In the year 1747 and on the 23rd of May, the Tuesday of Whitsuntide, during the service of Vespers, a carnivorous wolf (loup carnassier) seized the child of François Malarin from the door of their house in the presence of his mother. She was unable to snatch the child back from the animal’s teeth. Several people returning from Vespers heard the story of this misfortune and ran into the woods, following the trail of blood left behind by the child. They found some of his limbs scattered on the ground including the head, the arms, an upper leg and a foot. These body parts were all buried in the presence of Michel and Gabriel Perrochat, father and son, Antoine Jeury, Jean Bassat, Claude Berthier and several other people who had rushed to see this sad sight. The child, aged around seven years and one month old, was the legitimate son of François Malarin from Espagnoux and Fleurice Petit. Whereof I have signed, not the witnesses, who do not know how to write.
Favre the Priest.
An “x” is appended by Michel Malarin as a supplementary act.”
A sketch is in existence:
This beast, most un-wolf-like in its behaviour, was later to claim several more victims, and the priest reported later that year the level of emotion aroused by these incidents. In the Parish Register of 1747 he wrote therefore:
“There have been this year a large crop of acorns, and carnivorous wolves have eaten three children in Primarette. It is believed that they were most probably lynxes and the common people believe that they are werewolves. Until the priests give the peasants permission to carry out hunts armed with pairs of spectacles, nothing will be able to cure their stupid credulity.”
Below is the original parish register entry, in French, of the paragraph translated above. See if you can pick out any words, such as “loups”, “carnassiers”, “loups garous” or any other words. I can’t imagine any reader would be expecting to manage to read French written by long dead Favre the Priest in 1747. Nor indeed, would he be expecting anybody to still be reading his words in 2015:
Here is a werewolf, a “loup garou” filmed by a trailcam in Wisconsin:
The last victim within the bounds of the parish of Primarette was found in 1752, but nobody was ever able to identify the animal responsible for all these attacks.
Here is a very large wolf. It will calm you down after the werewolf. This animal was filmed by a trailcam in northern Scotland:
May 23rd 1747 Michel Malarin, 7 years of age
June 1st 1747 Joseph Fournier, 13 years of age
October 24th 1747 Mathieu Roux, 5 years of age
October 11th 1748 Benoite Pichon, 2 years of age
January 23rd 1749 Marie Peiron, 6 years of age
May 14th 1751 Jeanne Fervonat, years of age
February 19th 1752 Marianne Boindrieux, 3 years of age
Another French website suggests that mention of the huge number of acorns, and the presence of man eating wolves may be connected in the minds of the locals at Primarette. Perhaps they had some kind of superstition about this.
It is unfortunate that no description of the beast seems to have survived, although I would continue to argue that if the locals in this area thought that all the deaths in the area were caused by lynxes or werewolves, then that in itself lends credence to the idea that it was no ordinary wolf, an animal with which they would have been only too familiar. Favre the Priest tried hard to give people in the distant future some idea, adding little sketches to the side of his manuscript:
Here is a pair of wolf’s heads:
I have enlarged some of the sketches. Again, you may be able to read some of Favre the Priest’s words:
Here is a second head, with the name “Marianne Boindrieux”:
See if you can see the signature of Favre the Priest (“curé”):
This cryptid did not behave like an ordinary wolf. A wolf does not attack people at their front door. I’m not sure either, that a wolf would run off, dismembering its victim, and scattering body parts around, almost in sheer glee. And why did the same individual wolf remain in this area from May 23rd 1747 to February 19th 1752? Or was it a number of individuals from a local population, all with the same deviant behaviour? Members of a different species, in fact? “Like a wolf, but not a wolf.”
In so many cases like this, the original French text calls the animals “loups carnassiers”. “Carnassiers” means “carnivorous” or “predatory”. Why do they keep appending this epithet to the word “loup”?
And how on earth can this continuing series of creatures continue to be explained away either by the nefarious activities of Jean Chastel and his sons, or the accidental interbreeding of wolf and dog? It has become a truism nowadays to say that “wolves don’t interbreed with dogs. They eat them.”
And what happened to the Beast of Primarette after 1752? Did it take early retirement?