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Savage Girls And Wild Boys A History Of Feral Children by Michael NewtonIn the years since the fall of communism as the social fabric of Russia fell apart street children became a common sight in Moscow and St Petersburg Like the homeless in London they were both ever present and subtly invisible - a backdrop to city life an irritating intrusion on the process of simply getting on with things But one of these Moscow street kids was different He was actually to find the visibility that had so long been denied to him In 1996 Ivan Mishukov left home He was four years old Ivans mother could not cope with him or with her alcoholic boyfriend so the little boy decided that life on the streets was better than the chaos of their apartment and just as Moscow has its homeless so it has its wild dogs an inevitable consequence of the inability to create facilities for the citys many strays Out on the streets Ivan began to beg but gave a portion of the food he cadged each time to one particular pack of dogs The dogs grew to trust him befriended him and finally took him on as their pack leader The relationship worked perfectly far better than anything Ivan had known among his fellow humans He begged for food and shared it with his pack In return he slept with them in the long winter nights of deep darkness when the temperatures plummeted The heat of the animals kept him warm and alive despite the snow the bitter cold and if anyone should try to molest him or thieve from him the dogs were there on hand to attack them The police came to know of Ivans life but could not wrest him from the streets Three times he escaped his would-be captors fleeing as the dogs savagely defended their leader Eventually the police managed to separate the pack from
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