Archive for March 8th, 2014

March 8, 2014

Feral Child

romulus and remus

jungle book

A feral child (also, colloquially, wild child) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and crucially, of human language. Some feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents); in some cases this child abandonment was due to the parents’ rejection of a child’s severe intellectual or physical impairment. Feral children may have experienced severe child abuse or trauma before being abandoned or running away.

Feral children are sometimes the subjects of folklore and legends, typically portrayed as having been brought up by animals. Myths and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves, apes, and bears. Famous examples include Ibn Tufail’s Hayy, Ibn al-Nafis’ Kamil, Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, and the legends of Atalanta, Enkidu and Romulus and Remus.

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