Pyrénée

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Pyrénée with the bear and her teddy bear.

Pyrénée is a 1998 French feral child graphic novel (bande dessinée) by Regis Loisel and Philippe Sternis, about a girl who is brought up in the mountains of the French Pyrenees by a bear.

Pyrénée is available in French as Pyrénée, in German as Pyrenea and in Dutch as Pyrenee. It has not been translated into English, though whether this has anything to do with the central character's nudity is uncertain.

Plot summary[edit]

When a huge earthquake devastates a town in the French Pyrenees, a bear escapes from a circus in the confusion and later finds a small girl whose mother has been killed in the quake. The bear rescues the girl (and her teddy bear) and raises her as his own cub like a female version of Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli, high in the inaccessible mountains, naming her “Pyrénée” after them (Perhaps not coincidentally, a pyrénée is also a type of fairy). Later on she also learns philosophy and wisdom from a blind old eagle, and eventually - like Mowgli - has to try to make her way back to human society.

Like Mowgli in Kipling's original story, Pyrénée is completely innocent of clothing. Her nudity does prove to be a serious disadvantage on one occasion when she is attacked by bees and ants, and she is reliant on the bear's warmth for survival in winter. When she temporarily leaves the bear one winter and lives with the eagle in a cave, the eagle teaches her how to wear a fur coat and boots that the cave's former human occupant has left behind. However, she only wears this clothing from necessity and not modesty, and discards it as soon as the weather turns warm again.

Inspirations[edit]

The French Pyrénées were home to two people that may have served as inspiration for the story. The Girl of Issaux,[1] lost in the snow at the age of 8 and captured at the age of 16 (circa 1719), and also La Folle des Pyrénées[2] (captured 1807 at the age of about 40) who was not feral but lived with the bears. The story also draws some parallels to another story of a wild child of French origin -Victor of Aveyron.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Girl of Issaux on feralchildren.com
  2. ^ La Folle des Pyrénées on feralchildren.com

External links[edit]