No, we will not be making the obvious joke

Mary
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Several blogs have been passing around the story of Oxana Malaya, who, as the saying goes, was literally raised by dogs:

Oxana is a feral child, one of only about 100 known in the world. The story goes that, when she was three, her indifferent, alcoholic parents left her outside one night and she crawled into a hovel where they kept dogs. ... A shameful five years later, a neighbour reported a child living with animals. When she was found, at the age of eight in 1991, Oxana could hardly speak and ran around on all fours barking, mimicking her carers.

What's most amazing to me is that "100 known in the world" bit. There's definitive information on all of them at feralchildren.com, which boasts over 2,000 papers, book extracts, and news articles -- even a quiz:

From Irish mythology: What animal was the only mother the warrior-poet Oisin ever knew?

The answer's after the jump, but the whole website is really worth exploring.

doe a deer.jpgOisin's mother had been transformed into a deer by an evil druid. For a brief period she was freed from the enchantment by Finn mac Cumhal, who made her his wife. However, shortly after becoming pregnant, the hapless Saba was once again captured by the druid and turned back into a deer. Her human son was born, and she raised him as best she could in cervine form until she was slain by the druid. Luckily for Oisin, his father Finn found him not long afterward. Finn raised the boy and taught him human speech, only then hearing the boy's story and discovering that he was his son.

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July 20, 2006 - 10:19am
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