In Defense of the Wolf Girl of Texas

Brief History: Okay, 90s children - name that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark title. A woman named Mollie Dent gave birth in the scrubs of Texas and soon died (as did her husband, because what’s a good urban legend without an orphan). As a neighbor went to help the already doomed family ,he discovered the baby had vanished. As this was 1835, he assumed the baby had been eaten by wolves and went back to his life. Ten years go by and, you guessed, a pack of wolves have been spotted with a naked girl running among them. Locals decide to cry catching “Mollie’s girl” for her own good, but this goes creepily awry. The feral girl was locked in a ranch room where she began to howl. The wolf pack attacks the corral of the ranch and Mollie’s girl escapes with them. The last time she was spotted alive she would have been seventeen. Still, stories of human-wolf hybrids roaming the river valley began to surface. In the twentieth century people claimed to see her ghost running on all fours and hear the eerie howls of a girl.

Analysis: There’ s little evidence to support if this story is true or based on truth as there was no newspaper established in this area of Texas yet. Still, I find it interesting that it has more details than the normal local folktale. The parents have backstories, dad being a former fur trapper who killed his partner and mom being the Georgian peach who fell for him. There are specific years of each major event: Lobo Girl is born in May 1835 in Del Rio, 1845 when the locals attempted to capture her at risk of their own safety, and 1852 when she’s last seen alive with a pair of wolf cubs. Still, human-wolf hybrids. . . gross. Also the idea of capturing her and not being prepared to handle her biting, scratching, or howling seems strange to me. I feel like if you are going to go after a feral kid, be prepared. All those thoughts aside, feral children is not unheard of. There have been well-documented and even recent cases of children raised by dogs, wolves, monkeys, and even sheep. Is anyone else singing the Lambert the Sheepish Lion song now?

Blame It on the Victorians: The 1850s up through the early 1900s loved tales of feral children. Everyone knows about Mowgli and Tarzan and those were bestselling books. Therefore, why wouldn’t a story of a girl being raised by wolves in the prairies of Texas not stick around for another century and a half? This probably had something to do with the restricting rules of the time versus the freedoms living like an animal. Or maybe people just liked telling stories of kids covered in hair. Who knows?

Last Thoughts: Children of the 90s, are you envisioning that drawing where the Lobo girl looks like her hair is more of a tangled shrub and she’s she staring out at you with one tired eye? Of course you are. You. Are. Welcome.