Notes on Lost Child, Vulnerabilities, and Pets
There has been some speculation on the possibility that a Lost Child who, spending eons beyond the pale, may metamorphose into a Madman. While typically, the Lost Child’s ability to navigate the dominion beyond the pale remains unrivaled by Hero, Clown, and Scapegoat, we should not assume that the Lost Child is at any time safe beyond the pale. Quite to the contrary, the Lost Child is so adept at walking around landmines and invisibility that she wanders the beyond without hazard because she is uniquely equipped to do so.
In a sense, by remaining beyond the pale, the Lost Child often achieves the role of Hero in her own mind, and indeed functions as one. Like any Hero, she possesses a proverbial Achilles Heel. The Lost Child’s sensitivity to animals and perpetual search for a long ago velveteen rabbit creates a temporary cataract of sorts, one that can sometimes blocks her peripheral vision. While the gentle Lost Child is not one to disturb sneaks of weasels or other dangerous animals, she does bond with chipmunks, prairie dogs, and marmots.
When the Lost Child adopts an animal as a pet, the animal’s well-being fuses with the Lost Child’s own weak inclination towards self preservation; any ill befalling the Lost Child’s companion will send her spiraling into madness. If the animal is harmed, the Lost Child’s pain will destroy her invisibility, making her an easy target for the known dangers.
Those who are mad beyond the pale appear irretrievably beyond.
The watchful quivering rabbits, too timid to approach her, will continue to cluster around the Lost Child. It is there presence that alerts travelers to the possibility that a seemingly random Madman may indeed be a former Lost Child who is unable to cope without his or her pet.
The fact that the Lost Child will behave in exactly the same way if she loses a pet within the pale is further proof that to her, the region beyond the pale appeals to her because she is less likely to be harmed.
Anyone who wishes to help a Lost Child must consider the pet’s needs equal to or as is often the case, greater than the needs of the Lost Child.
See also: fylgja, catatonia, madman.