Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book as a collection of morality tales with a motivational bent, but the stories were all fiction. It’s unthinkable that someone could be raised in the jungle, like Kipling’s Mowgli, and grow up to have a productive adulthood, right?
Well, one woman claims that very thing happened to her, and she has penned a memoir recounting the events in her remarkable life.
“My story starts with my earliest memory,” said Marina Chapman on her literary agent’s blog. “I was four; squeezing pods until the peas popped in our allotment that bordered the village. A black hand suddenly clamped a damp white cloth over my nose and mouth; as I tried to scream the hand pushed harder and the sky turned black.”
Her book, The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys, tells the story of Chapman’s life, from that first memory, to her years in the jungle as a feral child, to finally making her way to the U.K. The book is scheduled to be published in the U.K. next year.
Chapman was kidnapped and tossed into the Colombian jungle. Instead of wolves, she claims to have been taken in and raised by capuchin monkeys for five years. Chapman claims she learned to climb trees, play, and communicate with the monkeys as she became a part of the family.
Eventually, Chapman was discovered by hunters and sold into sex slavery. After she escaped her captors, she claims she ran away to Cucuta, where she took up pickpocketing and eventually ran a gang of thieves.
Chapman’s story seems far-fetched, as if it might come straight from Karl Pilkingtion’s Monkey News. However, feral children are certainly not unheard of. The latest established case of a feral child was revealed just this past August when an Indian woman who, like Chapman, was lost at age 4 returned from the jungle after decades.