Monday, October 12, 2009
“Barefoot Burglar:” Feral Child
Thriving in the woods of the islands north of Seattle and eluding the police for over a year and a half in the trees, an eighteen year-old fugitive named Colton Harris-Moore (otherwise known as the “Barefoot Burglar”) is and has been on the loose, supposedly the culprit for robbing people’s homes, stealing boats, and even going as far as stealing small airplanes and crashing them. This teen is just one of the children who either have lived by themselves from a young age or shared company with animals in the vast outdoors. When Colton is referred to as a ‘Feral Child,’ feral is referring to the term ‘wild.’ There are over 4,000 situations of feral humans, even though only eight of these cases have proper documentation; but these situations are closely related to some myths and stories, such as Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli from The Jungle Book, or Remus and Romulus, founders of Rome, and suckled by a she-wolf. These humans cannot speak human languages as well or at all, based on the fact they have not had someone to teach them how. Some of the most famous feral children are Peter, Victor, Kaspar, Kamala and Amala. They were all found, but all had unfortunate ends; Peter was forgotten, Victor was found, but learnt little before death, Kaspar was murdered after being found in a pit, and the two girls Kamala and Amala both died, Amala a year after being found and Kamala eight years after that. The only question remaining is, how will Colton’s story play out?