An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in Their Dens

by Major-General Sir W. H. Sleeman

It has pretty much become accepted over the years that Rudyard Kipling was influenced in his creation of the Jungle Book stories by a short work, An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in their Dens. Most biographers and scholars have drawn numerous parallels between the two works, something Dan Neyer has also pointed out in his introduction to our presentation of The Complete Mowgli Stories. Yet, while the work is accepted as an influence, it seems that few have actually read the document and the way that Sleeman's account came to public knowledge is an interesting story in itself. Of greatest fascination however (and a question to which there does not appear to be any ready answer) is how Kipling may have come across this article in the first place.

The earliest reference to the characters and situations that are recounted in An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in their Dens seems to stem from 1851. In the August issue of The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Sir Roderick I. Murchison contributed a letter, the contents of which appear to have been presented simply for their (possible) scientific value, rather than in response to any earlier article or correspondence. Murchison, a renowned Scottish geologist, spent much of his career studying the geologic structures of western Europe, England and Wales and eventually became a founder of the Royal Geographic Society. He was a respected scientist and an article or letter written by him, even concerning a subject outside of his field, would have elicited a great deal of interest.
The text of the letter:

On Wolves Suckling Children.
By the Honourable F. Egerton.
Communicated by Sir Roderick I. Murchison.
To the Editors of the Annals of Natural History.
16 Belgrave Square, July 19, 1851.

Gentlemen,—The annexed extract from the journal of the Hon. Capt. Francis Egerton, R.N., who recently travelled in India with Lord Grosvenor, was sent to me by his father, the Earl of Ellesmere, with this remark:—"It is odd that the same tale, like that of Sinbad the sailor, should extend to the Highlands. I got a story identical in all its particulars of the wolf time of Sutherland from the old forester of the Reay; in which district Gaelic tradition avers that wolves so abounded, that it was usual to bury in the Island of Handa to avoid desecration of the graves."

On referring the case to Professor Owen at the late Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Ipswich, the following was his reply:—

"I have read with much interest the wolf story, and do not see very great improbability in it; but it could not be accepted at the Zoological Section because the facts are related at second-hand, the rule being that an observation must be communicated by the observer."

Under these circumstances, I think it right to give publicity to the little narrative of Capt. Egerton, which, although possibly printed in India, has not to my knowledge, nor to that of Professor Owen, been made known in England.

If this story be substantiated, may we not, after all the scepticism of the day, go back to the belief of our childhood, that Romulus and Remus were really suckled by a wolf?

Your very obedient servant,
Roderick I. Murchison.
The Wolf Story.
February 14, 1851.

Colonel Sleeman told me one of the strangest stories I ever heard relative to some children, natives of this country (Oude), carried away and brought up by wolves. He is acquainted with five instances of this, in two of which he has both seen the children and knows the circumstances connected with their recapture from the animals. It seems that wolves are very numerous about Caunpore and Lucknow, and that children are constantly being carried off by them. Most of these have of course served as dinners for their captors, but some have been brought up and educated after their own fashion by them. Some time ago, two of the king of Oude's sowars (mounted gens d'armes), riding along the banks of the Goomptje, saw three animals come down to drink. Two were evidently young wolves, but the third was as evidently some other animal. The sowars rushed in upon them and captured the three, and to their great surprise found that one was a small naked boy. He was on all-fours like his companions, had callosities on his knees and elbows, evidently caused by the attitude used in moving about, and bit and scratched violently in resisting the capture. The boy was brought up in Luck now, where he lived some time, and may for aught I know be living still. He was quite unable to articulate words, but had a dog-like intellect, quick at understanding signs and so on. Another enfant trouvé under the same circumstances lived with two English people for some time. He learnt at last to pronounce the name of a lady who was kind to him and for whom he showed some affection, but his intellect was always clouded, and more like the instinct of a dog than the mind of a human being. There was another more wonderful but hardly so well authenticated story of a boy who never could get rid of a strong wolfish smell, and who was seen not long after his capture to be visited by three wolves which came evidently with hostile intentions, but which after closely examining him, he seeming not the least alarmed, played with him, and some nights afterwards brought their relations, making the number of visitors amount to five; the number of cubs the litter he had been taken from was composed of. I think Col. Sleeman believed this story to be perfectly true, though he could not vouch for it. There is no account of any grown-up person having been found among the wolves. Probably after a certain time they may have got into a set of less scrupulous wolves, not acquainted with the family; the result is obvious.

Col. Sleeman has, I think, published an account of one of these wolf-boys, but I forget where.

The next surfacing of the Indian wolf story was a 15 page pamphlet published in 1852 by Jenkin Thomas, Printer of Plymouth, England. Its title: An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in their Dens. Like the Egerton account it concerns children in India who had been raised by wolves and contains some expanded content beyond that offered by Egerton. Equally intriguing was the authorship of the pamphlet; credited rather anonymously to "An Indian Official." Research has been unable to discern exactly how many copies of the pamphlet were printed, but it seems to have created quite a stir, due both to its subject matter and the anonymity of its author. Many attempted to discern the identity of the author, as evidenced by this excerpt from a longer article entitled "Wolf Children" published in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal for July 17, 1852 (found at Scotland's Internet

"The scene of these extraordinary narratives has hitherto been confined to Europe; but we have now to draw attention to the wild children of India. It happens, fortunately, that in this case the character of the testimony is unimpeachable; for although brought forward in a brief, rough pamphlet, published in a provincial town, and merely said to be 'by an Indian Official,' we recognise both in the manner and matter the pen of Colonel Sleeman, the British Resident at the court of Lucknow,..."

The Colonel Sleeman identified in the article was well known throughout the British Empire of 1852. Born in Cornwall in 1788, he entered the military service at the age of 21 and was immediately shipped to India. He rose to nearly heroic status between 1830 and 1839 when he was instrumental in the eradication of the secret society of Thuggee (the Thuggees were professional assassins who worshiped the goddess Kali, regularly infiltrated groups of travelers and caravans, murdered the members of the groups with nooses or scarves, then collected all the valuables and hid the bodies.). Sleeman wrote numerous pamphlets and articles about the problems of the native peoples of India and also authored a popular book that was published in 1844, Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official (which would account for the unknown author of the above newspaper excerpt claiming recognition of Sleeman's writing style). Sleeman was eventually promoted to Major-General, but his health began to deteriorate severely in later life. In 1856 he attempted to return to England but, just six days after being named a Knight Commander of the Bath (K.C.B.), died while sailing home and was buried at sea. Overall, he was known as a compassionate figure during the British occupation of India.

By the late 1800s, it seems that copies of Sleeman's pamphlet had all but disappeared. Interest in feral children, however, appears to have been a bit of an obsession in Britain and, in 1888, The Zoologist: A Monthly Journal of Natural History reprinted the entire pamphlet under the shortened title of "Wolves Nurturing Children in Their Dens." The reprinting also included a letter written to the journal, that supported Sleeman's description of one of the children.

Of course, you are probably asking yourself at this point, how do we know that Sleeman actually authored the original pamphlet published in 1852? Fortunately, some sources that corroborate Sleeman's authorship:

While we can pretty much confirm Sleeman as the author of An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in their Dens, it still remains a mystery exactly how Kipling happened to come across it. The original pamphlet was published some 13 years before his birth and, the reprinting in The Zoologist occurred while he was in India. We invite you, however, to read it for yourself and see whether it may, or may not, have influenced the creation of Mowgli.

And, just as an addendum, it is suggested that only 3 copies of the original pamphlet still exist, one of which is listed as being part of the collection of the Library and Archives section of The National History Museum of London, England (referred to as "Kensington Museum" in the Zoologist reprinting), but whether it is the inscribed copy mentioned below is not mentioned in the online catalog entry.

(Editor's note: This reproduction of An Account of Wolves Nurturing Children in their Dens used as a source the version of the article from the March, 1888 issue of The Zoologist: A Monthly Journal of Natural History as found in the collected edition of Vol. III, hence the shortened title seen below. In addition, we have included a letter that appeared in the June, 1888 issue of The Zoologist in the "Notes and Queries" (correspondence from readers) section found in the same collected edition. Spelling, in all reproduced materials, has been retained as per the originals.
One change from The Zoologist version, is that the footnotes have been placed in the text where they are referenced, rather than at the end of the article. While we have been able to ascertain that the footnotes did appear in the original printing of the pamphlet, the first footnote contains an anomaly of sorts. In the original pamphlet there are no dates in any of the footnotes, yet a date of Aug. 1874 is inserted parenthetically in the first footnote of The Zoologist reprinting without explanation or notice that it has been added. The puzzle over the date further deepens when the Google Books scan of the collected edition is consulted. In the scan, which is from the collection of the University of California Santa Cruz Library, it can be seen that someone has struck out the 1874 date and pencilled "1854" in the margin. While neither the 1874 printed date, nor the 1854 pencilled date, could be correct considering the pamphlet was originally published in 1852, we have decided to leave the 1874 date as it originally appeared in The Zoologist.
Thanks must also be extended to Anita Lawson Weaver, Library Assistant in the Rare Books Department of The Huntington Library for her fact checking against The Huntington's copy of the original Sleeman pamphlet.
Bob Gay
November, 2012
Introduction © 2012 by Bob Gay


[A recent enquiry for information on this subject has led to a fruitless search in a great number of books for some trustworthy account of what has been hinted at and believed in by many people since the days of Romulus and Remus, but concerning which there appears to be very little reliable evidence on record. The best account we have been able to find is contained in a pamphlet printed at Plymouth in 1852, with the following title: "An Account of Wolves nurturing Children in their Dens.' By an Indian Official. Plymouth: Jenkin Thomas, Printer, 9, Cornwall Street, 1852." A copy of this pamphlet, long out of print, and now very scarce, is in the Zoological Library of the Natural History Museum at South Kensington, and on the wrapper of this, in the handwriting of the late Colonel Hamilton Smith, is the following important memorandum :— "This account, I am informed by friends, is written by Colonel Sleeman of the Indian Army, the well-known officer who had charge of the Thugg enquiries, and who resided long in the forests of India." This endorsement adds value to the account which deserves to be rescued from oblivion, and which is accordingly here reprinted to ensure a more permanent record of the facts narrated than is afforded by the precarious existence of a pamphlet now so difficult to procure. — Ed.]

Wolves are numerous in the neighbourhood of Sultanpoor, and, indeed, all along the banks of the Goomtree river, among the ravines that intersect them; and a great many children are carried off by them from towns, villages and camps. It is exceedingly difficult to catch them, and hardly any of the Hindoo population, save those of the very lowest class, who live a vagrant life and bivouac in the jungles, or in the suburbs of towns and villages, will attempt to catch or kill them. All other Hindoos have a superstitious dread of destroying or even injuring them; and a village community, within the boundary of whose lands a drop of wolf's blood has fallen, believes itself doomed to destruction. The class of little vagrant communities, above-mentioned, who have no superstitious dread of destroying any living thing, eat jackalls and all kinds of reptiles, and catch all kinds of animals, either to feed upon them themselves, or to sell them to those who wish to keep or hunt them.

But it is remarkable that they very seldom catch Wolves, though they know all their dens, and could easily dig them out as they dig out other animals. This is supposed to arise from the profit which they make by the gold and silver bracelets, necklaces, and other ornaments, which are worn by the children, whom the Wolves carry to their dens and devour, and are left at the entrance of these dens. A party of these men lately brought to our camp alive a very large Hyæna, which was let loose, and hunted down by European officers and the clerks of my office. One of the officers asked them whether this were not the reason why they did not bring Wolves to the camp, to be hunted down in the same way, since officers would give more for brutes that ate children than for such as fed only on dogs or carrion. They dared not deny, though they were afraid or ashamed to acknowledge that it was; I have myself no doubt that this is the reason, and that they do make a good deal in this way, from the children's ornaments, which they find at the entrance of the Wolves' dens. In every part of India a great number of children are every day murdered for the sake of their ornaments, and the fearful examples that come daily to the knowledge of parents, and the injunctions of the civil authorities, are unavailing against this desire to see their young children dressed out in gold and silver ornaments.

There is now (Feb. 1850) at Sultanpoor, a boy who was found alive in a Wolf's den, near Chandour, ten miles from Sultanpoor, about two years and a half ago. A trooper, sent by the native governor of the district to Chandour, to demand payment of some revenue, was passing along the bank of the river, near Chandour, about noon, when he saw a large female Wolf leave her den, followed by three whelps and a little boy. The boy went on all fours, and seemed to be on the best possible terms with the old dam and the three whelps, and the mother seemed to guard all four with equal care: they all went down to the river and drank, without perceiving the trooper, who sat upon his horse watching them; as soon as they were about to turn back, the trooper pushed on to cut off and secure the boy; but he ran as fast as the whelps could, and kept up with the old one. The ground was uneven, and the trooper's horse could not overtake them. They all entered the den, and the trooper assembled some people from Chandour with pickaxes, and dug into the den. When they had dug in about six or eight feet, the old Wolf bolted with her three whelps and the boy. The trooper mounted and pursued, followed by the fleetest young men of the party; and, as the ground over which they had to fly was more even, he headed them, and turned the whelps and boy back upon the men on foot, who secured the boy, and let the old dam and her three cubs go on their way.

They took the boy to the village, but had to tie him, for he was very restive, and struggled hard to rush into every hole or den they came near. They tried to make him speak, but could get nothing from him but an angry growl or snarl. He was kept for several days at the village, and a large crowd assembled every day to see him. When a grown-up person came near him he became alarmed, and tried to steal away; but when a child came near him, he rushed at it with a fierce snarl, like that of a dog, and tried to bite it. When any cooked meat was put near him he rejected it in disgust; but when any raw meat was offered, he seized it with avidity, put it on the ground under his hands, like a dog, and ate it with evident pleasure. He would not let any one come near while he was eating, but he made no objection to a dog's coming, and sharing his food with him. The trooper remained with him four or five days, and then returned to the Governor, leaving the boy in charge to the Rajah of Hasunpoor. He related all that he had seen, and the boy was soon after sent to the European officer, commanding the First Regiment of Oude Local Infantry, at Sultanpoor, Captain Nicholetts, by order of the Rajah of Hasunpoor, who was at Chaudour, and saw the boy when the trooper first brought him to the village. This account is taken from the Rajah's own report of what had taken place. Captain Nicholetts made him over to the charge of his servants, who take great care of him, but can never get him to speak a word. He is very inoffensive except when teased (Captain Nicholetts says), and will then growl surlily at the person who teases him. He has come to eat anything that is thrown to him, but always prefers raw flesh, which he devours most greedily. He will drink a whole pitcher of butter-milk when put before him, without seeming to draw breath. He can never be induced to keep on any kind of clothing, even in the coldest weather. A quilt, stuffed with cotton, was given to him, when it became very cold this season, but he tore it to pieces, and ate a portion of it, cotton and all, with his bread every day. He is very fond of bones, particularly uncooked ones, which he masticates apparently with as much ease as meat. He has eaten half a lamb at a time without any apparent effort, and is very fond of taking up earth and small stones and eating them. His features are coarse and his countenance repulsive, and he is very filthy in his habits. He continues to be fond of dogs and jackalls, and all other four-footed animals that come near him; and always allows them to feed with him if he happens to be eating when they approach. (Open Footnote 1 || Close Footnote 1)

(1) Captain Nicholetts, in letters dated the 14th and 19th of September, 1850, tells me that the boy died in the latter end of August, and that he was never known to laugh or smile. He understood little of what was said to him, and seemed to take no notice of what was going on around him. He formed no attachment for any one, nor did he seem to care for any one. He never played with any of the children around him, or seemed anxious to do so. When not hungry, he used to sit petting or stroking a pariah, or vagrant dog, which he used to permit to feed out of the same dish with him. A short time before his death, Captain Nicholetts shot this dog, as he used to eat the greater part of the food given to the boy, who seemed, in consequence, to be getting thin. The boy did not seem to care, in the least, for the death of the dog. The parents recognised the boy when he was first found, Captain Nicholetts believes, but when they found him so stupid and insensible they left him to subsist upon charity. They have now left Hasunpoor, and the age of the boy, when carried off, cannot be ascertained; but he was, to all appearance, about nine or ten years of age when found (in Aug. 1874), and he lived about three years afterwards. He used signs when he wanted anything, and very few of them except when hungry, and he then pointed to his mouth. When his food was placed at some distance from him, he would run to it on all fours, like any four-footed animal, but at other times he would walk upright occasionally. He shunned human beings of all kinds, and would never willingly remain near one. To cold, heat, and rain he appeared to be indifferent, and he seemed to care for nothing but eating. He was very quiet, and required no kind of restraint after ho was brought to Captain Nicholetts. He had lived with Captain Nicholetts' servants about two years, and was never heard to speak till within a few minutes of his death, when he put his hands to his head and said, "it ached," and asked for water. He drank it and died.

At Chupra, twenty miles east from Sultanpoor, lived a cultivator, with his wife and son, who was then three years of age. In March, 1843, the man went to cut his crop of wheat and pulse, and the woman took her basket, and went with him to glean, leading her son by the arm. The boy had lately recovered from a severe scald on the left knee, which he got in the cold weather, from tumbling into the fire, at which he had been warming himself, while his parents were at work. As the father was reaping, and the mother gleaning, the boy sat upon the grass. A Wolf rushed upon him suddenly from behind a bush, caught him up by the loins, and made off with him towards the ravines. The father was at a distance at the time, but the mother followed, screaming as loud as she could for assistance. The people of the village ran to her aid, but they soon lost sight of the Wolf and his prey.

She heard nothing more of her boy for six years, and had, in that interval, lost her husband. At the end of that time, two sipahees came, in the month of February, 1849, from the town of Singramow, which is ten miles from Chupra, on the bank of the Khobae rivulet. While they sat on the border of the jungle, which extended down to the stream, watching for hogs, which commonly came down to drink at that time in the morning, they saw there three Wolf cubs and a boy come out from the jungle, and go down together to the stream to drink. The sipahees watched them till they had drank, and were about to return, when they rushed towards them. All four ran towards a den in the ravines. The sipahees followed as fast as they could, but the three cubs had got in before the sipahees could come up with them, and the boy was half way in, when one of the sipahees caught him by the hind leg and drew him back. He seemed very angry and ferocious, bit at them, and seized in his teeth the barrel of one of the guns which they put forward to keep him off, and shook it. They, however, secured him, brought him home, and kept him for twenty days. They could, for that time, make him eat nothing but raw flesh, and they fed him upon hares and birds. They found it difficult to provide him with sufficient food, and took him to the bazaar, in the village of Koeleepoor, and there let him go, to be fed by the charitable people of the place, till he might be recognised and claimed by his parents. One market-day, a man from the village of Chupra happened to see him in the bazaar, and on his return mentioned the circumstance to his neighbours. The poor cultivator's widow, on hearing this, asked him to describe the boy more minutely; when she found that the boy had the mark of a scald on the left knee, and three marks of the teeth of an animal on each side of his loins. The widow told him that her boy, when taken off, had lately recovered from a scald on the left knee, and was seized by the loins when the Wolf took him off, and that the boy he had seen must be her lost child.

She went off forthwith to the Koolee Bazaar, and, in addition to the two marks above-described, discovered a third mark on his thigh, with which her child was born. She took him home to her village, where lie was recognised by all her neighbours. She kept him for two months, and all the sporting landowners in the neighbourhood sent her game for him to feed upon. He continued to dip his face in the water to drink, but he sucked in the water, and did not lap it up like a dog or wolf. His body continued to smell offensively. When the mother went to her work the boy always ran into the jungle, and she could never get him to speak. He followed his mother for what he could get to eat, but showed no particular affection for her, and she could never bring herself to feel much for him; and after two months, finding him of no use to her, and despairing of even making any thing of him, she left him to the common charity of the village. He soon after learnt to eat bread when it was given to him, and ate whatever else he could get during the day, but always went off to the jungle at night. He used to mutter something, but could never be got to articulate anything distinctly. The front of his knees and elbows had become hardened, from going on all-fours with the Wolves. If any clothes are put on him, he takes them off, and commonly tears them to pieces in doing so. He still prefers raw flesh to cooked, and feeds on carrion whenever lie can get it. The boys of the village are in the habit of amusing themselves by catching frogs and throwing them to him, and he catches and eats them. When a bullock dies and the skin is removed, he goes and eats of it like a village dog. The boy is still in the village, and this is the description given of him by the mother herself, who still lives at Chupra. She has never experienced any return of affection for him, nor has he shown any such feeling for her. Her story is confirmed by all her neighbours, and by the head landholders, cultivators, and shopkeepers of the village. (Open Footnote 2 || Close Footnote 2)

(2) In November, 1850, Captain Nicholetts, on leaving the cantonments of Sultanpoor, where he commanded, ordered this boy to be sent to me, with his mother, but he got alarmed on the way, and ran to a jungle. He will no doubt find his way back soon if he lives.

The Rajah of Hasunpoor Bundooa mentions, as a fact within his own knowledge, besides the others, for the truth of which he vouches, that in the year 1843 a lad came to the town of Hasunpoor, who had evidently been brought up by Wolves. He seemed to be twelve years of age when he saw him; was very dark, and ate flesh, whether cooked or uncooked. He had short hair all over his body when he first came, but having, for a time, as the Rajah states, eaten salt with his food, like all other human beings, the hair, by degrees, disappeared. He could walk like other men on his legs, but could never be taught to speak. He would utter sounds like wild animals, and could be made to understand signs very well. He used to sit at a bunneea's shop in the Bazaar, but was at last recognised by his parents, and taken off. What became of him afterwards he knows not. The Rajah's statement regarding this lad is confirmed by all the people of this town, but none of them know what afterwards became of him.

About the year 1843, a shepherd of the village of Ghutkoree, twelve miles west from the cantonments of Sultanpoor, saw a boy trotting along upon all-fours by the side of a Wolf, one morning as he was out with his flock. With great difficulty he caught the boy, who ran very fast, and brought him home. He fed him for some time, and tried to make him speak, and associate with men or boys, but he failed. He continued to be alarmed at the sight of men, but was brought to Colonel Gray, who commanded the First Oude Local Infantry at Sultanpoor. He and Mrs. Gray, and all the officers in cantonments, saw him often, and kept him for several days. But he soon after ran off into the jungle while the shepherd was asleep. The shepherd afterwards went to reside in another village, and I could not ascertain whether he ever recovered the boy or not.

Zolfukar Khan, a respectable landholder of Bankeepoor, in the estate of Hasunpoor, ten miles east from the Sultanpoor cantonments, mentions that about eight or nine years ago a trooper came to the town with a lad of about nine or ten years of age, whom he had rescued from Wolves among the ravines on the road; that he knew not what to do with him, and left him to the common charity of the village; that he ate everything offered to him, including bread, but before taking it, he carefully smelt at it, and always preferred undressed meat to everything else; that he walked on his legs like other people when he saw him, though there were evident signs, on his knees and elbows, of his having gone very long on all-fours; and when asked to run on all-fours, he used to do so, and went so fast that no one could overtake him; how long he had been with the trooper, or how long it took him to learn to walk on his legs, he knows not. He could not talk or utter any very articulate sounds. He understood signs, and heard exceedingly well, and would assist the cultivators in turning trespassing cattle out of the fields when told by signs to do so. Boodhoo, a Brahmin cultivator of the village, took care of him, and he remained with him for three months, when he was claimed, and taken off by his father, a shepherd, who said that the boy was six years old when the Wolf took him off at night — some four years before. He did not like to leave Boodhoo. The Brahmin and the father were obliged to drag him away. What became of him afterwards he never heard. The lad had no hair upon his body, nor had he any dislike to wear clothes while he saw him. This statement was confirmed by the people of the village.

About seven years ago, a trooper belonging to the king, and in attendance upon Rajah Hurdut Sing, of Bondee, alias Bumnotee, on the left bank of the Ghagra river, in the Bahraetch district, was passing near a small stream which flows into that river, when he saw two Wolf cubs and a boy drinking in the stream. He had a man with him on foot, and they managed to seize the boy, who appeared to be ten years of age. He took him up on the pummel of his saddle, but he was so wild and fierce that he tore the trooper's clothes, and bit him severely in several places, though he had tied his hands together. He brought him to Bondee, where the Rajah had him tied up in his artillery gun-shed, and gave him raw flesh to eat; but he several times cut his ropes and ran off, and after three months the Rajah got tired of him and let him go. He was then taken by a Cashmeeree mimic or comedian (bhand), who fed and took care of him for six months; but at the end of that time he also got tired of him — for his habits were filthy -- and let him go, to wander about the Bondee Bazaar. He one day ran off with a joint of meat from a butcher's shop, and soon after upset some things in the shop of a bunneea, who let fly an arrow at him. The arrow penetrated the boy's thigh. At this time, Sanaollah, a Cashmeer merchant of Lucknow, was at Bondee, selling some shawl goods to the Rajah, on the occasion of his brother's marriage; he had many servants with him, and among them Janoo, a khidmutgar lad, and an old sipahee, named Ramzan Khan. Janoo took compassion upon the poor boy, extracted the arrow from his thigh, and had his wound dressed, and prepared a bed for him under the mango tree, where he himself lodged, but kept him tied to a tent-pin. He would at that time eat nothing but raw flesh. To wean him from this, Janoo, with the consent of his master, gave him rice and pulse to eat. He rejected them for several days, and ate nothing; but Janoo persevered, and by degrees made him eat the balls which he prepared for him; he was fourteen or fifteen days in bringing him to do this. The odour from his body was very offensive, and Janoo had him rubbed with mustard-seed, soaked in water, after the oil had been taken from it (khullee), in the hope of removing this smell. He continued this for some months, and fed him upon rice, pulse, and flour bread, but the odour did not leave him. He had hardened marks upon his knees and elbows, from having gone on all-fours. In about six weeks after he had been tied up under the tree, with a good deal of beating and rubbing of his joints with oil, he was made to stand and walk upon his legs like other human beings. He was never heard to utter more than one articulate sound, and that was "Aboodeea," the name of the little daughter of the Cashmeer mimic, who had treated him with kindness, and for whom he had shown some kind of attachment. In about four months he began to understand and obey signs. He was, by them, made to prepare the hookah, put lighted charcoal upon the tobacco, and bring it to Janoo, or present it to whomsoever he pointed out.

One night, while the boy was lying under the tree near Janoo, Janoo saw two Wolves come up stealthily and smell at the boy. They then touched him, and he got up; and instead of being frightened, the boy put his hands upon their heads, and they began to play with him. They capered around him, and he threw straw and leaves at them. Janoo tried to drive them off, but could not, and became much alarmed; and he called out to the sentry over the guns, Meer Akbur Allee, and told him that the Wolves were going to eat the boy. He replied, "come away, and leave him, or they will eat you also;" but when they saw them begin to play together his fears subsided, and he kept quiet. Gaining confidence by degrees, he drove them away; but after going a little distance they returned, and began to play again with the boy. At last he succeeded in driving them off altogether. The night after three Wolves came, and the boy and they played together. A few nights after four Wolves came, but at no time did more than four come; they came four or five times, and Janoo had no longer any fear of them; and he thinks that the first two that came must have been the two cubs with which the boy was first found, and that they were prevented from seizing him by recognising the smell; they licked his face with their tongues as he put his hands on their heads.

Soon after, his master, Sanaollah, returned to Lucknow, and threatened Janoo to turn him out of his service, unless he let go the boy; he persisted in taking the boy with him, and his master relented. He had a string tied to his arm, and led him along by it, and put a bundle of clothes on his head. As they passed a jungle, the boy would throw down the bundle, and try to run into the jungle; but on being beaten, he would put up his hands in supplication, take up the bundle, and go on; but he soon seemed to forget the beating, and did the same thing at almost every jungle they came through. By degrees he became quite docile. Janoo was one day, about three months after their return to Lucknow, sent away by his master for a day or two on some business, and before his return the boy had gone off, and he could never find him again. About two months after the boy had gone, a woman, of the weaver cast, came with a letter from a relation of the Rajah, Hurdut Sing, to Sanaollah, stating that she resided in the village of Chureyrokotra, on his estate, and had had the son, then about four years of age, taken from her, about five or six years before, by a Wolf; and from the description which she gave of him, he, the Rajah's relation, thought he must be the boy whom his servant Janoo took away with him. She said that her boy had two marks upon him, one on the chest of a boil, and one of something else on the forehead; and as these marks corresponded precisely with those found upon the boy, neither she nor they had any doubt that he was her long lost son. She remained for four months with the merchant Sanaollah, and Janoo, his khidmutgar, at Lucknow; but the boy could not be found, and she returned home, praying that information might be sent to her should he be discovered. Sanaollah, Janoo, and Ramzan Khan, are still at Lucknow, and, before me, have all three declared all the circumstances here stated to be strictly true. The boy was altogether about five months with Sanaollah and his servants from the time they got him; and he had been taken about four months and a half before. The Wolf must have had several litters of whelps during the last six or seven years that the boy was with her. Janoo further adds that he, after a month or two, ventured to try a waistband upon the boy, but he often tore it off in distress or anger. After he had become reconciled to this, in about two months he ventured to put upon him a vest and pair of trousers. He had great difficulty in making him keep them on, with threats and occasional beatings. He would disencumber himself of them whenever left alone, but put them on again in alarm when discovered; and, to the last, often injured or destroyed them, by rubbing them against trees or posts like a beast, when any part of his body itched. This habit he could never break him of. (Open Footnote 3 || Close Footnote 3)

(3) Rajah Hurdut Sewae, who is now in Lucknow on business, tells me (28th January, 1851) that the sowar brought the boy to Bondee, and there kept him for a short time as long as he remained; but as soon as he went off, the boy came to him, and he kept him for throe months; that he appeared to him to be twelve years of ago; that he ate raw meat as long as he remained with him, with evident pleasure whenever it was offered to him, but would not touch the bread and other dressed food put before him; that he went on all-fours, but would stand and go awkwardly on two legs when threatened, or made to do so; that he seemed to understand signs, but could not understand or utter a word; that he seldom attempted to bite any one, nor did he tear the clothes that he put upon him; that Sanaollah, the Cashmeeree merchant, used at that time to come to him often with shawls for sale, and must have taken the boy away with him, but he does not recollect having given the boy to him. He says that he never himself sent any letter to Sanaollah with the mother of the boy, but his brother, or some other relation of his, may have written one for her.

It is remarkable that I can discover no well-established instance of a man who had been nurtured in a Wolf's den having been found. There is, in Lucknow, an old man, who was found in the Oude Tarae when a lad, by the hut of an old hermit, who had died. He is supposed to have been taken from Wolves by this hermit. The trooper who found him brought him to the king some forty years ago, and he has been ever since supported by the king comfortably. He is still called the "wild man of the woods." He was one day sent to me at my request, and I talked with him; his features indicate him to be one of the Tharoo tribe, who are found only in that forest. He is very inoffensive, but speaks little, and that little imperfectly; and he is still impatient of intercourse with his fellow-men, particularly with such as are disposed to tease him with questions. I asked him whether he had any recollection of having been with Wolves ; he said, "the Wolf died long before the old hermit;" but he seemed to recollect nothing more, and there is no mark on his knees or elbows, to indicate that he ever went on all-fours. That he was found as a wild boy in the forest there can be no doubt; but I do not feel at all sure that he ever lived with Wolves. From what I have seen and heard, I should doubt that any boy who had been many years with Wolves, up to the age of eight or ten, could ever attain the average intellect of men. I have never heard of a man who had been spared and nurtured by Wolves, having been found; and as many boys have been recovered from Wolves, after they had been many years with them, we must conclude that, after a time, they either die from living exclusively on animal food, before they attain the age of manhood, or are destroyed by the Wolves themselves, or other beasts of prey in the jungles, from whom they are unable to escape, like the Wolves themselves, from want of the same speed. The Wolf or Wolves, by whom, they have been spared and nurtured, must die, or be destroyed in a few years; and other Wolves may kill and eat them. Tigers generally feed for two or three days upon the bullock they kill, and remain all the time, when not feeding, concealed in the vicinity; if they found such a boy feeding upon their prey, they would certainly kill him, and most likely eat him. If such a boy passed such a dead body, he would certainly feed upon it. Tigers often spring upon and kill dogs and wolves thus found feeding upon their prey. They could more easily kill boys, and would certainly be more disposed to eat them. If the dead body of such a boy were found any where in jungles, or on the plains, it would excite little interest, where dead bodies are so often found exposed, and so soon eaten by dogs, jackalls, vultures, &c, &c, and would scarcely ever lead to any particular inquiry.

Wolves nurturing Children. -- I have been much interested by your reprint, in the March number of 'The Zoologist,' of the late General Sir William Sleeman's pamphlet on "Wolves nurturing Children in their Dens." Having myself seen the lad first mentioned in the narrative, and as I think there are those still alive who could endorse what is therein stated about the boy, I take the liberty of addressing you, in the hope that this corroboration may still be procurable through your agency. When I saw this Wolf-nurtured lad I was myself a child, living with my father, the late Colonel Robert Traup, who then commanded the 2nd Oudh Local Infantry Regiment, at Sultanpur, Oudh, and, if my memory serves me aright, the boy was then in the charge of either Major A. P. Orr or Major Douglas Bunbury, both of the King of Oudh's service; I think in that of the former. Major A. P. Orr is still living in London (somewhere about Kensington or Norwood, I think), and Major Douglas Bunbury at Inverness, N.B. Messrs. King & Co., or some of the other India Agents, perhaps know the correct addresses. -- NORMAN E. TRAUP (Mulla-Kuttyoor Tea Estate, "Lockington," Kuttyoor, Kumaoi), N.W.P., India).
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