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‘His Father Had Sold Him’
The Story of a Spanish Slave Boy Sold in 1948


How to be human: the man who was raised by wolves

Abandoned as a child, Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja survived alone in the wild for 15 years. But living with people proved to be even more difficult.

By Matthew Bremner

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/28/how-to-be-human-the-man-who-was-raised-by-wolves

Is our greatest problem just the shit we do? Hanging out with people too much?

-Riley

Thank you, Riley for linking this profound article.

Still alive today, Marcos remains the object of fascination to the race of apes who forsook him. The media buzz is all about the romance of being raised by wolves, something that happens less rarely in reality than in fiction. But the fact remains, that Marcos was not raised by wolves, but sold to a sheep rancher by his father at age 6 or 7. The old man assigned to train him taught him how to trap rabbits for food and make fire, then abandoned him in the remote mountains.

Marcos would hide from his owner when he came around and formed something of an alliance with wolves, who let him share their dens. He would struggle with making fire all his wild years and saw boars as his enemies. Eventually able to kill deer, Marcos, as a teen, was found with long hair, clothed in deer skins by local police who abducted him.

From that point on Marcos’ life has been a mix of well-meaning people trying to help him and others exploiting him. He finally, in his old age, is accepted as childlike personality rather than a Jungle Book protagonist to be milked as an oddity or redeemed from his innocence.

The true significance of Marcos story is that he and many children were sold and ruthlessly exploited in the 1940s and 1950s, as Franco’s impoverished Spain reverted in many ways to the age old tradition of child exploitation, fueled by the willingness of parents to sell their children. Nowhere in the story does a single voice link Marcos’ experience to the foundational slave institutions out of which grew all nations of the early modern period. The reader may wish to consider that for 200 years, slave children, many sold by parents, siblings and guardians were set the task of clearing the greatest temperate forest on earth, most perishing from labor, injury, disease and malnutrition. Is it any wonder that those who survived so often fled west into the teeth of a wilderness, to fight or become Indians, rather than remain in the system which betrayed them?

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Sam J.September 2, 2018 10:57 AM UTC

how-to-be-human-the-man-who-was-raised-by-wolves

That was a great story.

"...The true significance of Marcos story is that he and many children were sold and ruthlessly exploited in the 1940s and 1950s, as Franco’s impoverished Spain reverted in many ways to the age old tradition of child exploitation, fueled by the willingness of parents to sell their children..."

This is terrible but...I'm reading Gates of Fire [about the Spartans] and while reading this I thought is it better that the child is dashed on the rocks, left for exposure,[ like the Greeks used to do] or to be leave the child tend sheep????? I'm not saying I know the answer. I would suppose that tending sheep would be better but the pain of not being wanted had to be very bad. It's difficult to say.