The Wild Girl: Migratory Legend
One evening in the month of September 1731, a girl nine or ten years old, preffed, as it would feem, by thirft, entered about the twilight into Songi, a village fituated four or five leagues fouth of Chalons in Champagne.
She had nothing on her feet: her hair wath a gourd leaf; and her face and hands as black as a Negroe’s. She was armed with a short baton, thicker at one end than the other, like a club. Thofe who firft observed her, took to their heels, crying out, “There is the devil.” And indeed her drefs and colour might very well fuggeft this idea to the country people. Happiest were they who could fooneft fecure their doors and windows;
but one of them, thinking, perhaps, that the devil was afraid of dogs, fet loofe upon her a bull dog with an iron collar. The little favage feeing him advancing in a fury, kept her ground without flinching, grafping her little club with both hands, and ftreching herfelf to one fide, in order to give greater fcope to the blow. Perceiving the dog within her reach, fhe difcharged fuch a terrible blow on his head as laid him dead at her feet. Elated with her victory, fhe jumped feveral times over the dead carcafe of the dog. Then fhe tried to open a door, which not being able to effect, fhe ran back to the country towards the river, and mounting a tree, fell quietly afleep.
The late Vifcount d’ Epinoy happened to be then at his country houfe in Songi; where, having heard the various accounts of the little savage that had appeared on his grounds, he gave orders to catch her.
An Account of a Savage Girl Caught Wild In The Woods of Champagne, 1768