“An Account of a Wild Man”


In 1774, a wild man was discovered in the neighbourhood of Yuary. This man, who inhabited the rocks near a forest, was very tall, covered with hair like a bear, very nimble, and of a gay humour. He neither did, nor seemed to intend, harm to any body. He often visited the cottages, without ever attempting to carry off any thing. He had no knowledge of bread, milk, or cheese. His greatest amusement was to see the sheep running, and to scatter them; and he testified his pleasure at this sight by loud fits of laughter, but never attempted to hurt them. When the shepherds (as was frequently the case) let loose their dogs at him, he fled with the swiftness of an arrow, and never allowed the dogs to come too near him. One morning he came to the cottage of some workmen, and one of them endeavouring to catch him by the leg, he laughed heartily, and then made his escape. He seemed to be about thirty years of age. As the forest is very extensive, and had a communication with a vast wood that belongs to the Spanish territories, it is natural to suppose that this solitary, but cheerful creature, had been lost in his infancy, and subsisted on herbs.

— John Platts, Encyclopedia of Natural and Artificial Wonders and Curiosities, 1876