A few months ago there was a story here in Morocco about a boy, whose poor mother couldn't afford to keep him, so, when he was three years old, she gave him to a family friend. The friend, a woman, worked as a legal clerk for the government. Instead of care for the toddler, she left him on the roof of her house and locked the door. He was left there with four dogs and thirty cats.
Three years later, a neighbour saw something on the woman's roof. Some sort of creature, ambling around with ragged, torn out hair, a mangled and scratched face and part of his nose bitten off from the cats and dogs. The neighbour thought the creature was some sort of ghoul or demon and, terrified, she called the police. The police came and the true story came out - the "adoptive mother" was arrested and the boy was taken to the hospital. He had survived for three years fighting over food scraps with cats and dogs. At the hospital, the first thing this unfortunate boy asked for was, "bicyclette blanche." It was the last good memory he had before going to live with this strange new lady, and one of the only comprehensible things he could say.
If you want to slog through the French, you can read the more detailed story here
The woman was going through the court last I heard, and the boy was being adopted.
This story made me think of the Austrian girl who was kidnapped eight years ago and held captive in a man's basement. She's gone live on the air today in a television interview. I'm keeping my ears open for more news on this poor child. He was at the military hospital about two minutes drive from where we live. After reading the article for the first time, I asked myself, how could someone be so evil? The fact that he survived is a miracle.
One more thing - The first thing he recieved from the hospital staff was... a white bicycle.