The story of Lohengrin as we know it is based on two principal motives common enough in folklore: the metamorphosis of human beings into swans, and the curious wife whose question brings disaster.
Lohengrin's guide (the swan) was originally the little brother who, in one version of "the Seven Swans," was compelled through the destruction of his golden chain to remain in swan form and attached himself to the fortunes of one of his brothers.
Regnard, the French dramatist, found in Lapland (1681) that witches could turn men into cats, and could themselves assume the forms of swans, crows, falcons and geese.
Vegetation is scanty, but bears, foxes and other Arctic animals, geese, swans, &c., provide means of livelihood for a few Samoyed hunters.
The known fauna comprise boars, bears, deer, swans, geese, pheasants and quail.