The Girl in the Window

If you like Jani’s story from the previous post, then you’ll like this story about a feral child, Danielle Crockett:

The Girl in the Window by Lane DeGregory (St. Petersburg Times, 31 July 2008)

What is a feral child? From Wikipedia, “a feral 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.”

The original feral children refer to children who were abandoned by their parents or were kidnapped by wolves and left in a jungle. They grew up with packs of animals without any human contact, and thus assumed animal-like (feral) behaviour and characteristics. However many such stories were fake (think Tarzan or Mowgli). Danielle, however, is real. Her mother did not abandon her to live with animals in the jungle, but much worse. From the article:

She lay on a torn, moldy mattress on the floor. She was curled on her side, long legs tucked into her emaciated chest. Her ribs and collarbone jutted out; one skinny arm was slung over her face; her black hair was matted, crawling with lice. Insect bites, rashes and sores pocked her skin. Though she looked old enough to be in school, she was naked — except for a swollen diaper.

“The pile of dirty diapers in that room must have been 4 feet high,” the detective said. “The glass in the window had been broken, and that child was just lying there, surrounded by her own excrement and bugs.”

When he bent to lift her, she yelped like a lamb. “It felt like I was picking up a baby,” Holste said. “I put her over my shoulder, and that diaper started leaking down my leg.”

Read the whole article.


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