Thanks to the sensitive souls at PETA, the days of lions, tigers and elephants being the main attractions at the circus became a thing of the past. To stay in business, circuses had to come up with aerial acts on par with Cirque du Soleil, magic shows equal to that of Penn and Teller, and food booths that didn’t remind people of urine disguised as lemonade.
The best travelling circus by far was The Merry Travelling Show. That’s because they had the boy that was raised by wolves. People paid big money to see that human freak show (PETA might have been able to get people to treat hippos with respect, but humans remained fair game). Admission to his tent alone was ten dollars for adults and five dollars for children, but worth every penny.
“I heard he howls at the moon,” one spectator said as he waited in line with his family.
“I heard he can tear a deer apart with just his teeth,” said another spectator.
“He better hope PETA doesn’t hear about that,” said the first man, and everybody laughed.
But when they stepped inside the tent and learned what life was really like for the boy who was raised by wolves, they were more horrified than a nun would have been had she accidentally walked into a strip club.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you will step this way I’ll introduce you to a boy who, up until three months ago never knew what civilization was,” shouted the ringmaster. “Until we found him, he had never watched a television show.”
“Not even Modern Family?” someone from the crowd asked.
“Not even Modern Family,” he answered, causing the crowd to gasp. “He had never owned a smartphone, or played a single video game either.”
The children in attendance all screamed when they heard the ringmaster say that last part, and then one of them asked the question on everyone’s mind.
“How did he end up being raised by wolves?”
“He wasn’t literally raised by wolves,” the ringmaster explained. “He was raised by a family with the last name of Wolfe, but the way they brought him up, it’s as though he had been raised in the wild.”
“How wild was it?” a voice cried out.
“They grew their own food, which they then prepared each night and ate together while sitting around an ancient artifact called the dining room table. This happened each night promptly at six. They went on nature walks together. They read books – in printed form. Craziest of all, they talked to one another…out loud…face to face…instead of via text.”
“How barbaric!” someone shouted.
“Thank God you saved him,” another voice rang out. “What will happen to him now?”
“In time we’ll teach him how to live in the modern world and forget about the old one. When he’s ready, we’ll give him his own tablet, too.”
“Can we see him now?”
“Yes, but don’t get too close. He likes to make direct eye contact. It’s like he’s trying to peer right into your soul and get to know the real you. It’s spooky I tell you. Spooky.”
With that, the crowd stepped up to the cage holding the boy who was raised by wolves. After two months in captivity, his eyes started to take on that glazed look so common in modern man. In a few more months time, he was conditioned enough to follow instead of lead, just as so many other humans before him have been. Shortly thereafter, he stopped having independent thoughts.
Out in the wild, the elephants ran free.