Thursday, July 20, 2006

presently a beast

I always wonder if there is a point at which a feral human raised by wolves looks down at his wolf boy hands and notices a set of thumbs or has the sudden realization that he is the only one who can move so easily on his hind legs and then thinks to himself that perhaps his talents are being wasted in some way. The same thing goes for a dog girl. I also wonder if a monkey raised by dogs or wolves would have the same realization of not meeting its potential, but one never comes across such stories.
I suppose we are an impressionable species. If running around on all fours and eating raw meat seems the things to do, then that is what we'll do, at least until we find out that there is beer to drink and football to watch. If a baby is born into an Amish family and knows nothing more than beards and zipperless clothing, then they will proudly wear their beards and saunter about in zipperless clothing oblivious to the fact that they could be watching episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" on any given channel at any given time.
I hope you like buttermilk.
Anyway, the interesting thing about feral children is the way the primal part of the brain takes over. I thought about that when my fattened spaniel was young and in the midst of seemingly fruitless housetraining. I would first yell at him in short sentences like "That's my shoe, you little bastard" or "Why did you eat that first edition paperback of Catcher in The Rye when there was a tasty copy of The Scarlet Letter sitting on the same bookshelf?" or "Stop humping daddy's Beanie Baby collection". This quickly gave way to sort words like "no" or "bastard" or "neuter". After that came a series of short and stabbing sounds to convey anger. Then I digressed to barking at him and would even growl when he appeared to be contemplating shenanigans.
I find myself doing that around children now. I don't quite go so far as to bark at them, but they seem to understand some of the same primal sounds that thwarted the dog for a while. Actually, I think there was some barking and growling involved when I was a teacher, but many of those kids had yet to make the same realization of thumbs and bipedal movement that evades wolf boys and dog girls for so long.
I've found that the other time those primal sounds come in handy is while drinking beer and watching football.

8 Comments:

Blogger Short and Fat said...

Having been reared by a wolf and a cougar, I was taught to respect interspecies differences, I never felt myself "better" than my fellow adoptive cubs which included an opossum, an armadillo, and a Jack Russel terrier.

I find however, when I go back to the den on holidays I am considered uppity for wearing clothes and the use of eating utensils. My adoptive mother refuses to use the gas grill I gave her years ago.

Dad won't say it, 'cuz he doesn't have a larynx, but I think he's secretly proud that I can trade currency for goods and services. I think he would do so himself if he had pockets and a job.

Insightful post, Rex.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like cheese

9:00 AM  
Anonymous shauna said...

My kid growls, and it concerns me a bit. She especially likes to growl at puppets. And clowns. And this one bolster pillow on our bed.

11:51 AM  
Blogger squirrels_on_snark said...

Do you think those cattle she tends to ever get a little nervous around her? Keep looking over their shoulder, "Moo? Moo? Pick Bossy over there. She'd be much more tender than me."

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... doggy style....

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I find it interesting that half the time I visit here, I notice that we have shared the same thread of a thought. Gillian Welch from time to time. Now a Salinger reference? What in the hell is going on here Rex? I would say "Excellent minds etc. etc", but I'm a three rungs south of qualifying as a Wal Mart greeter.

Oh, and Emerson thinks he is a dinosaur. Still.

Best,
Ryan

12:51 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

We perhaps share a wavelength or have some sort of partially obscured window into one another's minds, Ryan. If so, I apologize for last Wednesday around 11:00 am.

Also, I hope for your sake that dinosaurs do not like the taste of books.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

"If so, I apologize for last Wednesday around 11:00 am." Yeah...umm I was going to ask about that. You know, it's not like you couldn't have known that was going to stain. And, what was with the mascara and oil paints?

As for dinosaurs and books...they are particularly fond of Harry Crews and Bukowski. I've hidden most of my Richard Brautigans. Taking my lead from the bookstores in Augusta, I put "Trout Fishing in America" in my Sports & Recreation section. Safe for now.

Best,
Ryan

11:21 PM  

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