Smerbeck, A. et al
During a joint press conference with representatives from the Department of Child and Family Services and the Parks and Recreation department, developmental psychologist Dr. Maia Chen was unable to conceal her obvious anticipation while confirming reports that a human boy, thought to be about three years of age, was found living in a wolf den.
“What happened to this child was tragic,” announced Dr. Chen, “no matter how fascinating it would be for a qualified professional to investigate how human development proceeds outside of the normally unavoidable taint of cultural influence.”
Describing the meager living arrangements provided to the boy – known to the public only as R. J. – by a wild wolf mother and her three cubs, head park ranger Leslie Warren praised the hiker who recognized and reported the sound of a baby babbling. Dr. Chen, who until this point in the press conference had been literally folding her lips into her mouth so as to secure them in place with her teeth, interrupted to add, “-by ‘babbling’ he means any indistinct language-like noises, not necessarily canonical consonant-vowel sequences.” She shivered before adding, “We may discover that consonants don’t emerge without adequate modeling!”
Department of Child and Family Services spokesperson Perry McMillan explained that R. J. is residing in an unnamed medical facility until he can be fully vaccinated, treated for exposure-related conditions, and given an exhaustive battery of neurocognitive tests by Dr. Chen, during which time Child and Family Services staff will coordinate with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an attempt to identify the boy.
During Mr. McMillan’s comments, Dr. Chen was observed skimming through her friends’ Facebook histories, apparently attempting to locate one or more age-matched controls. According to sources at the scene, she could be heard muttering, “Didn’t Cindy’s brother have a baby about three years ago?”
Dr. Chen’s intensity and enthusiasm appeared to dim toward the end of the press conference when Ranger Warren responded to a reporter’s question about future safety protocols. “We’re looking into obtaining GPS tracking bracelets that families can rent for the duration of their visit to the park,” he said.
Dr. Chen sighed audibly before confirming in a monotone, “Yes, we must prevent this from ever happening again.”