Dreams on Tape & Feral Children

[Theme Music: The Beatles - Child of Nature (written and recorded by John while in India, later reworked and rerecorded as Jealous Guy)]

I was recently given the most amazing gift I could possibly imagine, a DVD of the 1942 live action version of the Jungle Book. I know I'm normally given to overstatement but this really really was my favorite movie of all time (that is, until I saw
Short Circuit and Explorers). Rewatching it for the first time since the 80s made me just a little bit delirious. Knowing what was going to happen next without remembering having seen it before made me feel as if someone had somehow recorded a childhood dream I had and played it back to me, dredging up memories so old I didn't know I had them (I had a similar experience eating the dirt flavored Bernie Bott Jelly Belly beans that immediately took me back to being four years old and sitting in the rotting leaves and dirt under my porch). This was the movie that both led me to decide that the Black Panther was my favorite animal of all time and perfectly illustrated how I saw myself when I was running around all day playing in the woods, a child of nature, friends with all the animals and deeply pessimistic about the human world. Of course at the time I thought it was performed by real Indians (not by what appears to be a bunch of Guidos in brown face) in overgrown lost cities deep in the heart of the Indian jungle (instead of a Los Angeles sound stage). Friends would invite me to watch the cartoon version and if I only had the vocabulary at the time I would have said "What the fuck is this shit? Why would anyone settle for singing cartoons when they could have real panthers, wolves, monkeys, bears, tigers and elephants with a little kid running around with them?" I was going to post a little YouTube clip of it but then discovered that it's entered the public domain so you can now watch the entire thing (check it out at the 14:10 mark to see a toddler strolling around a den full of wolves!):

Apparently most feral children have been raised by dogs or wolves (here's a list). One feels inclined to develop romantic ideas about the purity of kids raised without human contact but it reality it doesn't seem to work out that way:

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