Argentina’s President Christina Fernéndez de Kirchner has a pretty solid plan for keeping her country safe from werewolves: She’s going to adopt them.
There’s apparently an obscure bit of Argentinian folklore that states the seventh son born to a family will turn into the feared el lobison on the first Friday after the boy’s 13th birthday. The myth predicts the child will transform into a creature at midnight during each full moon, eternally damned to ravage the countryside before returning to human form.
Other fun bits of el lobison trivia, per The Independent: They feed on excrement, unbaptized babies and the flesh of the recently dead; they’re unnaturally strong; and they can spread their curse by biting.
The fear of el lobison‘s curse was so strong in Argentina that families abandoned – or in some cases murdered – their seventh son in the 19th century, which is how the tradition of the sitting president adopting one of these children came to pass in 1907. It was formally decreed in 1973 by then-president Juan Domingo Perén, and extended to baby girls at that time. Those adopted gain the sitting president as their official godparent, a gold medal and a full educational scholarship.
This year, Kirchner adopted the first Jewish seventh son, Yair Tawil. The practice had extended only to Catholic children until 2009. Kirchner met with Yair and his parents, Shlomo and Nehama, on Dec. 23. She called the family “marvelous,” described Yair as “a total sweetie,” and bestowed the presidential nickname of “Queen Esther” on Nehama. (Shlomo and Nehama had sent in their request back in 1993.)
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