Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja is a man from Spain who lived as a child in the middle of nature after the civil war , with wolves as his only companion. He summarizes his experiences as follows: “I have learned a lot from wolves, and little from humans.” No one would have thought that Marcos could live twelve years among the wolves, only to be found again as a strong 19-year-old man.
His father was too poor to care for him, so he sold him to a goat breeder. But the goat breeder died in the middle of the wilderness, leaving Marcos all alone when he was just seven years old. However, Marcos felt that he could not adapt to society and felt that the human world was too superficial. “People only care about the clothes you wear and whether you look good or not.”
He couldn’t understand why people complain so much when they have everything they need to survive and be happy. As he himself says, he was happier with the wolves, because he learned to hunt and therefore never went hungry.
Living among the wolves: Marcos, the feral child
When Marcos was alone in the wilderness, he never imagined a family would bring him in. But what happened was that his family became a pack of wolves who decided to adopt him.
He started feeding his leftovers to the boy, which led the older wolves to trust him and treat him like one of their own.
Contrary to what you might think, Marcos did not want to return to society. As a child, he was abused by his stepmother and neglected by his father. He experienced so much hatred, cruelty, hunger and poverty that he wanted nothing more to do with that world.
Anthropologist Gabriel Janer, who wrote his dissertation on the case, noted that Marcos didn’t make anything up. He tried to imagine a love that would satisfy his need for affection, which he did not get as a child.
And the wolves could give him that. Thanks to them Marcos felt loved and that made him happy. When he thinks back to the day the Spanish police found him and brought him back to society, he doesn’t know whether this was a good or a bad thing. From that moment on, the feral child began to live like a human, which, in his opinion, is more difficult than living among wolves.
The feral child begins to live in society
Returning to society means doing potentially unwanted things. This includes working to earn money, buying food, feeling the pain of envy and resentment, and being bullied by others. According to Marcos, he didn’t have to expect that from the wolves at all.
Because he had so little experience in society, people took advantage of his naivety. “I didn’t know what money was. I didn’t understand why you needed money to eat an apple,” he says.
People suffer from false needs, when most of us already have everything we need to live well. We are bombarded with deceptive advertisements, but we are the ones who empower them by passively accepting the messages others send us out of self-interest.
Lessons we can learn from the wisdom of a feral child
Marcos cannot understand why people complain so much in a world of so much abundance. We don’t have to hunt, we can buy our clothes ready-made, we have clean drinking water, and most of them have a roof over their heads. So what’s the problem?
Society tries to manipulate us to do what others want us to do: consume. They tell us when to wake up, how to dress, and what to do with our time.
That’s why we suffer. This de-naturalization of us as human beings fills us with fear.
None of us will know what it’s like to live among wolves like Marcos did. However, we would be much better off if we started freeing ourselves from these ridiculous needs.
We should walk lighter and become aware of the abundance around us. In this way we gain clarity and we can let go of unnecessary suffering.