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Remember the story about the founding of Rome?

No? Or, you never heard of it?

Here’s the ‘quickie’ version, or, as I would have preferred to have had this tale presented to us in Mrs. Steve’s Latin class what, 300 years or so ago now?

Per Roman mythology, the god Mars did an ‘Earth-landing’, so to speak, and engaged in a more-than-celestial-cha-cha-cha with the dishy priestess, Rhea Silvia, in her temple yet!

From that godly smooch-plus came two twin boys, Romulus and Remus.

Having found the two proofs of this not-so-cosmic-coupling, Rhea Silvia’s highly unamused husband took them out into the woods.

He went down by the river, put them in a trough that would float and pushed them off. Likely as not, he hoisted furious a one-digit bon voyage (actually, in all of Europe & most of the Rest of the World, one uses two fingers in a ‘V’ sign for that ‘salute’, but I digress).

As far as we could care, this fraternal flotsam would either drown or become a decent lunch for some wild beast; whichever was just dandy for him.

(Surprisingly, or to modern minds, more ancient cultures than anyone might think followed this practice of what I’ll label ‘infanticide-by-omission‘, including some of the Greeks.)

But, as Rhea Silvia’s hubby’s bad luck would have it, the trough-as-wee-boat soon beached itself.

Red Riding Hood-like, along comes a she-wolf, assuredly one of the charter members of SWWC (‘She Wolves Who Care’).

Wildly contrary to reality, instead of making the twins her plat d’jour, she took them in, looked after them and nursed them her own warm, wolfy milk.

Perhaps because of her SWWC membership, she was also entitled to the services of a local woodpecker, who provided periodic air-drop deliveries of other goodies for the twins.

Ironic, you say?

Indeed, but also, as the best of Roman legends go, there was even deeper meaning to all this.

Before ‘Mars’ was just a candy-maker or a planet but still a reliable if randy Roman god, both wolves and woodpeckers were considered sacred.

Under whose earthly protection did they fall?  Yep, you guessed it, the god Mars.

Nowadays, all around Rome, one encounters the ancient city’s most genuinely iconic history in a single statue: the city’s founding twins, Romulus and Remus, being suckled by a she-wolf. This example ranks as one of the best of the genre.

Romulus&RemusStatueRome

Before you scream too loudly that this is all just too outlandish a tale, as I have done many times, prepare to be astonished.

Dateline: the barren desert area around Arica, Chile.  See the red dot at the very top of this map?

ChileMapAricaAtTop

Two-year-old boy kept alive by pregnant dog who BREASTFED him after his ‘dead drunk’ mother left him severely neglected

Officials believe the boy – who was seen feeding from Reina (‘Queen’) at a mechanic’s workshop in a poor area of the port on Thursday – may have been saved from starvation by the dog’s breast milk.

Speaking to the Star of Arica, Police Captain Diego Gajardo said the toddler displayed clear signs of ‘abandonment’. He was seen by a passerby hungrily feeding from the pregnant canine, he said.

While the infant was in hospital, his mother showed up ‘dead drunk’, according to neighbors.

Gajardo told Associated Press the toddler was later released from hospital and temporarily placed in the care of local child welfare authorities. However, his mother has not been arrested.

This is because the boy did not have any physical injuries, said Gajardo – despite confirming that the child was malnourished.

ChileanBoyNearNakedFedby dog[Saved: This two-year-old boy (above) who has not been identified, was seen feeding from his neighbor’s dog, Reina, after his drunken mother allegedly left him without food or water in a mechanic’s workshop in Chile.][Photo purposefully blurred, for obvious reasons]

The captain did not mention the claims about lice and the skin infection.

ChileREINAtheDOGWhoFedTheBoy
[Expectant mother: Police were called to the scene and the naked infant was taken to Hospital Regional Dr. Juan Noé, 1,240 miles north of Santiago, where he was found to be malnourished. Above, Reina the dog]

The boy’s father later showed up at the hospital – although his role in the child’s plight is unclear. It is also unclear where either parent was when the youngster was spotted in the mechanic’s workshop.

ChilePanOnGroundStarving-two-year-old-boy-found-being-breastfed-by-dog[Dirty blankets: This shot is believed to show the interior of the workshop, where the child was apparently left]

Marcela Labraña, of Chile’s National Service For Minors, said he was extremely ’embarrassed’ about the child’s neglect in Arica, where thousands of people live in poverty in crowded slums.

‘This is a story that gives us a lot of embarrassment,’ he said, describing the situation as ‘inhumane’ and ‘reprehensible’. ‘We do not know for sure whether this (being fed by a dog) or not saved his life.’

The National Service for Minors has now filed a complaint for neglect in relation to the child.

A family court hearing is scheduled for September 22 to determine who will care for the boy.

Now, after such horror, it is my turn to ask the killer questions.

Do dogs really have feeling? Souls, even?

Most assuredly, I loudly vote “Yes!”

For this poor Chilean boy, as he looks at Reina, his ‘Queen’, he’s all-too-sadly learnt: If there hadn’t been you, where would I be, If there hadn’t been you here for me?

A man filled with doubt, down and out and so alone
A ship tossed and turned, lost and yearning for a home
A survivor barely surviving, not really sure of his next move
All of this, I would have been if there hadn’t been you
If there hadn’t been you where would I be
If there hadn’t been you here for me
I made it through times
I never would’ve made it through
If there hadn’t been you
A man filled with hope, who finally knows where he belongs
A heart filled with love, more than enough to keep it strong
A life that’s alive again, no longer afraid to face the truth
All of this, I would have missed if there hadn’t been you
If there hadn’t been you, where would I be
If there hadn’t been you here for me
I made it through times
I never would’ve made it through
If there hadn’t been you on my side
You in my life
All my dreams would still be dreams
If there hadn’t been you
All my dreams would still be dreams
If there hadn’t been you

Dare we even presume this wee lad will have any sweet dreams, at all?

We daren’t be too smug, as we all know such horrific stories can be told — and all too often– all too close to where most of us live.

For me, ‘a boy and his dog‘ will never conjure quite the same meaning or effect, ever again.

Maybe I’ll concoct a Pisco Sour and ruminate upon the insane State of the World, yet again.  Cheers!?

—###—

Hat-Tips:

The Daily Mail (Londonhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3223062/Two-year-old-boy-kept-alive-pregnant-dog-BREASTFED-dead-drunk-mother-left-severely-neglected.html#ixzz3mfXvIqSa Twitter: @MailOnline Facebook:

The very accomplished talent of Grammy Award Winner and Male Vocalist of the Year,
Mr. Billy DeanWebsitehttp://www.billydean.com/                                        Twitter: @billydean
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/countrysingerbillydean?_rdr=p

Mars, the candies company: http://www.mars.com/global/brands/chocolate.aspx
Twitter: @MarsGlobal
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mars

If you’ve never heard of or tried Pisco, whether Peruvian or Chilean, here are some brands to look for:
Peruvian Piscos
Don Cesar Pisco Puro
Macchu Pisco  (yes, the name is a blatant play on the super-high-altitude UNESCO World Heritage site  Macchu Picchu,  but who cares?)  http://www.macchupisco.com/
Barsol Pisco Acholado, http://www.barsolpisco.com/web/index.php/products-barsol-pisco/barsol-selecto-acholado

Chilean Piscos Although I personally tend to prefer the Peruvian version, these three brands from Chile are definitely worth seeking out.
Pisco Capel Reservado
Pisco ABA
Bauza Pisco Especial