Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Very Strange Story

The Corsair is a Gemini with an Aquarius ascendant, which means, in a nutshell, that we're all over electronic media, we are like a giant media antennae, which is, quite frankly, true. An Aquarius Ascendant also suggests that The Corsair passionately likes strange tales -- paranormal tales -- and (air quotes) "unsolved mysteries," most Aquarian ascendants are the same way, the eerier the better.

When The Corsair was a kid he loved Leonard Nimoy's creepy "In Search Of," and tales of the bizarre, like Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural. Our dreams were filled with pirates (Corsairs), buried treasure of the coast of Malta and Sardinia, Egyptian archaeology and, of course, the dinosaur films they showed on the 4:30 Movie in the mid 70s. In college, The Corsair watched "Unsolved Mysteries" religiously.

So, while the story of the Russian Dog Boy doesn't have any of The Corsair's characteristic snark to speak of, it's pretty interesting (at least to me):

"In 1996, Ivan Mishukov left home. He was 4 years old. Ivan's mother could not cope with him or with her alcoholic boyfriend, so the little boy decided that life on the streets was better than the chaos of their apartment; and just as Moscow has its homeless, so it has its wild dogs, an inevitable consequence of the inability to create facilities for the city's many strays. Dogs are abandoned with mournful regularity, and quickly turn feral, rummaging through bins for scraps, running around the streets in packs in order to survive. Out on the streets, Ivan began to beg, but gave a portion of the food he cadged each time to one particular pack of dogs. The dogs grew to trust him; befriended him; and, finally, took him on as their pack leader.

"The relationship worked perfectly, far better than anything Ivan had known among his fellow humans. He begged for food, and shared it with his pack. In return, he slept with them in the long winter nights of deep darkness, when the temperatures plummeted. The heat of the animals kept him warm and alive, despite the snow, the ice, the bitter cold; and if anyone should try to molest him or thieve from him, the dogs were there on hand to attack them.

"The police came to know of Ivan's life, but could not wrest him from the streets. Three times he fled from them, or the dogs savagely defended their leader. Eventually the police managed to separate the dogs from Ivan by laying bait for them inside a restaurant kitchen. Deprived of his animal guards, the savagely snarling boy was quickly trapped.

"He had been living on the street for two years. Yet, as he had had four years within a human family, he could talk perfectly well. After a brief spell in the Reutov children's shelter, Ivan started school. He appears to be just like any other Moscow child. Yet it's said that at night he dreams of dogs."

From Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children By Michael Newton


Rachel said...

Very strange indeed.

¡Benjaminista! said...

A fine tale.