Monday, March 03, 2008

Modern Day Mowgli

In somewhat odd timing, given the content of my last post here, the story of a Russian "bird-boy" has come to light:
Authorities say the neglected child was found living in a tiny two-room apartment surrounded by cages containing dozens of birds, bird feed and droppings. The so-called “bird-boy” does not understand any human language and communicates instead by chirping and flapping his arms, Russian newspaper Pravda has reported.

Social worker Galina Volskaya, who was involved is rescuing the child from his home in Kirovsky, Volgograd, said he was treated like another pet by his 31-year-old mother who never spoke to him. Miss Volskaya said: “When you start talking to him, he chirps.”

Russian authorities say the child was not physically harmed but is suffering from “Mowgli syndrome”, named after the Jungle Book character raised by wild animals, and cannot engage in any normal human communication.
Neil Gaiman blogs about it and wonders what the boy is saying. I wonder - do the birds understand?
-Kelly (with thanks to Mr. Neil)

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