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the Feral Wolf Twins Go To the Country
chapter 4: Meet the Twins

by Justice H. Baldenbrach   March 31, 2003
(as read to eli in a monotone voice by his robot babysitter)


The next day was Thursday, and the day after that was Friday, which found Franklin Allgemeine Zeitung Von Kanker waiting bright and early at the little country train-station for his brother and the Feral Wolf Twins to arrive from the city. Enid was there, too, and so was little Sigmundt, hobbling along on his good leg, as well as a throng of curious neighbors and barefoot, shiftless children who had got wind of Sir Leopold's visit. A news-paper reporter was there with his camera, along with the Mayor, the Judge, a brass band, and a committee of tiny widowed ladies carrying a banner that read: "Welcome Freaks."

"Here they come," wheezed little Sigmundt between hacking coughs, and, sure enough, there in the distance was the plume of smoke from the approaching train.

"Strike up the band," commanded the Mayor, and as the mighty black engine ground to halt before the cheering crowd, the clear dawn was filled by a rousing chorus of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust.

The first-class carriage door swung open, and a tall, gaunt figure shrouded in a heavy greatcoat stepped down through the billowing jets of steam.

"Sir Leopold! Sir Leopold!" shouted a dozen voices. "Show us the Feral Wolf Twins! Let us see the Missing Links!"

"Bah!" snarled Sir Leopold, deftly kicking a small girl seeking his autograph from his path. "Away, vermin! Away!" But the crowd surged about him, and Sir Leopold soon found himself so besieged by admirers that he could not pass.

"Oh, very well," he snapped. "If you must see them, here they are -- here are the Feral Wolf Twins!"

At this moment the railway carriage door swung open again. Flash-powder burst from the reporter's camera, grown men screamed in terror. Soon the station's platform was littered with the fallen bodies of the fainted and the hysterical.

"Great Scott!" cried the Mayor. "What on earth are those?"

The crowd gasped, for stepping down from the car were not two hideous beast-demons with dripping jaws, but a boy and a girl of about fifteen, each dressed in clean, neat clothes, and each perfectly ordinary.

"That's them," said Sir Leopold coolly. "Those are the Feral Wolf Twins, Dickie and Eleanor."

"But they're not hairy," said a small boy.

"They're not filthy," said a girl.

"They're not freaks," screamed a tiny widowed lady.

"Sir Leopold, what is the meaning of this?" fumed the Mayor. "Those are certainly not the notorious Feral Wolf Twins that we all saw in the papers!"

"Ah, but they are," replied Sir Leopold. "Mere days ago they were, in fact, still the ragged, bestial ape-children that you love so well! But, thanks to the marvelous new brain-drugs pioneered by my brilliant colleague, Doctor James Baxter, they have been utterly transformed into complete, rather bewitchingly attractive specimens of modern Homo sapiens. Yes! Incredible, is it not? No longer objects of pity and fascination, they are free to lead full, normal lives, just the same as you or I. True," he continued passionately, "their grasp of our customs and language is rudimentary at best, and I still cannot get them to eat with fork and spoon, but even so--my friends, you are rare witnesses to one of the greatest miracles of the modern age!" Dickie and Eleanor smiled and waived, their linen plus-fours shining in the morning sun.

The crowd shuffled its feet and muttered. "We don't want modern miracles," someone suddenly cried. "We want hairy freaks!"

"Hairy freaks! Hairy freaks! Yah!" shouted the crowd, which soon broke up to drift away in search of other diversions, leaving only the Von Kankers and crestfallen Dickie and Eleanor standing alone at the little country train station.


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