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Children are like toys: stories of strange and frightening adoptions


Source: Culturology

Without a doubt, a person who decided to take on the education of a child of someone else's blood and raised him with all possible love is worthy of respect. But some cases of raising other people's children cause bewilderment and even rage, writes Culturology.

Photo: Shutterstock

Thomas Day's two brides

In eighteenth century Britain there was a great idealist named Thomas Day. Contrary to ideas about how gentlemen should look, he rejected powder and wigs and exalted naturalness (he washed his hair, for example, only in natural reservoirs).

While studying at Oxford - and, apparently, having learned a lot there - Day considered it unnecessary to attend and take exams, so he eventually flew out of university without a degree. Thomas consistently spoke out against slavery, for softening social mores, helping the poor and preaching harmony with nature. However, one of the stories with his participation can not be called either humane or progressive.

In his twenties, Day realized that he would never find a suitable bride for himself: he needed a person who was far from the ideals of raising the young ladies of his time. Not too shy, not afraid to speak directly, not cutesy - but well-read, capable of deep thoughts, and, of course, progressive. Day decided to raise such a bride himself and took two girls, eleven and twelve years old, under his wing. Naturally, he was not going to marry both. Rather, he wanted the bride-to-be - no matter which girl she became - to have the company of a peer who would not lead her astray with the usual pretense of girls of that time.

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At that time it was not difficult to take an orphan as a pupil. The trustees were worried about only two aspects of the treatment of the child: the first - not to defile or rape, the second - to teach the craft, which in the future can feed the girl, and take care of the dowry. Day also promised that he would either marry one of the two girls, or find her a worthy husband, and set about raising superbrides.

The girls' names were Anna and Dorkas. Thomas renamed them in the antique spirit - Sabrina and Lucretius. So that no one could confuse the girls by talking, Day took them to France - they did not know French. Thomas taught girls, basically, three things - literacy, contempt for the attitudes of society and fortitude. The methods he resorted to to achieve the latter quality would shock modern people.

So, during one of the "exercises" the girls miraculously did not drown. Lucretia, it seems, quickly shattered her nerves and Day, with contempt for her tearfulness, gave her as an apprentice to a London milliner. The girl was lucky: she later successfully married the owner of the manufactory, also thanks to the dowry given to her by Thomas - and the manners that Lucrezia adopted from the milliner's wealthy clients.

Sabrina was tortured for quite some time. She constantly disappointed her teacher. She squealed in pain when molten wax was dripped onto her hand, then she dodged when a pistol was fired into her skirt (fortunately, Day was smart enough to shoot blanks anyway). At the age of fourteen, for reasons of decency, Thomas handed her over to a boarding school, where he constantly visited to read her a sermon or two. Naturally, this did not lead to the wedding. Sabrina chose another man - Day's friend and namesake, Thomas Bicknell. And Day married much, much later, after several unsuccessful attempts at courting grown-up brides. And, by the way, he wrote a children's book, which has long become a classic of English children's literature.

Introduction to civilization

The famous explorer-polar explorer Roald Amundsen, on one of his travels, heard the sad story of the Chukchi named Kagot. He was widowed, could not take care of his little daughter because of employment and was forced to give her to relatives. But the relatives were now starving, and Kagot was very afraid for his daughter. Kagot was working with Amundsen at that moment and asked for a week off to pick up the child. He brought a girl wrapped in an open skin. When the child was swaddled, the spectacle, according to Amundsen, opened up a terrible one.

The approximately five-year-old girl looked like a living skeleton. Her hair was matted, her head was infested with parasites, her skin was covered with ulcers. The polar explorers immediately launched a rescue operation. The girl was bathed and the wounds were treated with tar, her hair was cut and the remains were thoroughly cleaned of parasites. They immediately gave her some food and began to make clothes - except for the skin in which the father brought the baby, she had nothing. Her name was, by the way, Ainana, but Roald gave her a new name - Kakonita.

On the subject: Children grew up: how to survive an empty nest syndrome

As a result, Amundsen begged to give the little girl to him for upbringing. And then, in the same way, he persuaded the Australian, whom he met along the way, to give him a daughter from a Chukchi woman, a girl of nine years old, promising to give her a good education. In his memoirs, he writes that he took the older girl so that the youngest had a girlfriend. Until now, biographies say that Amundsen adopted them, but it's not that simple.

For some time the traveler traveled everywhere with the girls, showed them New York and willingly posed with the pupils for photographs. But a few years later, unexpectedly for everyone, Amundsen sent the girls back to the shore of the Bering Strait, to Soviet Chukotka. And the father of one of them, Australian Carpendale - both. It is not known why Ainan-Kakonit was not handed over to her father - maybe it remained difficult to find him or the girl was already too used to the European way of life - but in the end she had to raise the Carpendale family.

A few years later, a family with girls on kayaks crossed the Bering Strait to escape from the USSR to the USA. Everything was fine with them and their descendants, but it is still unclear why their "adoptive father" suddenly decided to just leave and send them to the harsh land from which they had long lost the habit.

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