the Feral Wolf Twins Go To the Country
chapter 2: A Proposition
by Justice H. Baldenbrach February 28, 2003
(as read to eli in a monotone voice by his robot babysitter)
Sir Leopold scowled darkly. "I hope, dear boy, that you do not seek a contract to bring the twins to the Vaudeville stage," he growled, "for yours would not be the first I have refused."
Doctor Baxter waved his hand dismissively. "Nothing of the kind, nothing of the kind. You are, perhaps, familiar with my recent work in the field of Imbecilism?"
"Somewhat, yes," nodded his learned companion. "You have had some success treating those unfortunates whose minds and bodies have degenerated into a subhuman stupor?"
"Indeed," came the reply. "These distressed individuals, or 'idiots,' as we prefer to call them in medical terms, were utterly baffling to me, until I found that an overwhelming majority suffered from a condition in which a mysterious gland located somewhere in the brain, known as the 'thyroid'--that's Latin for 'slimy'--had ceased its normal function. In time, these perfectly intelligent, rather attractive patients gradually lost their hair, their posture, the control of their motor and bodily functions, and finally even the use of their mental faculties, before transforming into salivating, hunchbacked dwarves."
"A tragic affliction," commented Sir Leopold.
"And yet there is hope," continued Doctor Baxter. "For, following liberal applications of an artificial compound made from mildew and shellac, Man has learned to provide what nature had denied this unruly gland: a synthetic thyroid. Now, most imbeciles can be restored to a state approximating that of an intelligent pig."
"Astonishing!" cried the explorer. "But I do not see the application -- you cannot possibly say that these Feral Wolf Twins suffer from Imbecilism!"
"No, indeed," answered his friend. "But let us suppose that these creatures," and here he gestured to the beasts in the pit below, "differ from modern Man only in that their brains have not evolved to the pinnacle of our own perfection. This would explain their inability to perform certain tasks easily managed by a human child, such as eating with a knife and spoon."
"A reasonable proposition," admitted Sir Leopold.
"Now let us suppose that, like the synthetic thyroid compound, I were able to isolate that which is missing from their brains and provide an artificial substitute."
"Impossible!" cried the explorer.
"Impossible, you say? Perhaps so. And yet, has Science not accomplished feats more wonderful? How many skeptics cried 'Impossible' to the visionaries who first dreamed of the Wheel? Or of the Forked Stick? Or of the Leap-year? How many --"
"Indeed, indeed," agreed his chum. "Quite right, old sort. Certainly, were you able to perform this miracle, you would transform the art of Medicine as we know it, as well as the lives of these poor, witless wretches," and he regarded his charges tenderly as he thrust an iron rod at their flailing limbs.
"Fine," declared Doctor Baxter. "Give me one month to prepare my compound, and I wager that when it is ready there shall be such a change in the Feral Wolf Twins that even you, worldly man that you are, shall be astonished."
"Well, we shall see, Baxter, old man," mused Sir Leopold. "We shall see."
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