Feral Children

Obligatory link

There was a case of a feral child on this side of the world recently, the Cambodian jungle girl, found almost five years ago.

Any feral children stories always make me think of Truffaut’s movie about the “Wild Boy of Aveyron” found in 1800 in France.

One thing I find fascinating about these situations is that many of the children do not walk upright. I would think that that would be something people could do without being taught.

In the article about the Cambodian woman, there is a mention that she could use a spoon and that she may have been held in captivity rather than being truly feral. But she still preferred to crawl rather than walk upright.

In the case of Genie, she didn’t walk upright because she had spent most of her time strapped to a chair. Not sure what is going on with the others.

My God, it is so painful to read some of these stories.

None of them ever really come out of it. Early development is so core to the human experience. There is a NOVA doc on Genie that can be found on YouTube that is fascinating and heartbreaking.

…may i also recommend ‘The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser’ a brilliant and touching film by Werner Herzog?

A true story, of course, Kaspar Hauser was discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg in 1828, and subsequently became the subject of much rumour and speculation concerning his birth…

Genie’s story, I think, is particularly heartbreaking. For one thing, she was sent back for a time to the very mother who had allowed this treatment in the first place. For another, many of the people who probably sincerely wanted to help ended up making things worse.

Fascinating piece. Cynic that I am, I thought first of donating two neighborhood kids to be dropped in the wilderness and retrieved in a few years.

A recent hoax in Germany: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/15/world/europe/germany-forest-boy/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

I was just listening to this boy’s story on NPR yesterday. I had my suspicions.