Chapter 3: Out of Eden Into Babylon
As the morning grew lighter we could better see our new friend,
"It's cute," Elaine said, "for something that smells so bad!"
And he was cute: soft and furry as a kitten, with a rather pretty
little boy face, which was entirely hairless and looked basically
human although fur-like hair grew everywhere else on his body. His
big sad eyes were an astounding emerald-green color, unlike his
mother's, but shared the same slightly asiatic almond shape. His nose
almost delicate, in contrast to a neck as solid and muscular as a weight-
lifter's instead of a child's.
In fact, he was muscular all over. Cute though he was, we could see
that he was quite strong for his size, which was just under 3 feet tall,
like a very muscular 6-8 year old human child. We were very careful
with him since we weren't certain whether we should handle him as a
human child or a bear cub, although he did not have especially pointed
teeth, nor sharp claws, only human-looking fingernails.
But he allowed us to touch him, ruffle his fur. Elaine deftly checked
and determined that he was male. We remained sitting to seem less
threatening, since he could run before we could stand up.
"Look, he knows we're talking about him."
"Better not talk about the smell, then," I gasped, breathing through
"Pretty bad, all right. Hope we can do something about that." Elaine
coughed, but kept smiling bravely at the child.
"Smells like shit and piss, Eskimos wash their hair in urine, maybe
sasquatches do that too," I suggested, "If so, we should be able
to wash it off."
"Why would Eskimos do that?" Elaine asked with a slightly disgusted
sneer. I could only shrug uncomprehendingly, but realized that maybe
I should find out some day.
"How old would you guess him to be?" I asked.
"Can't tell--he's definitely young for his size. He acts like a toddler,
maybe two years old."
"That's when kids start talking. I wonder if he can yet?"
"If sasquatches CAN talk," Elaine mentioned.
"His mother did, or at least it sounded like words to me. She also
called him d'adam-- And did you hear him when he called out? Didn't
it sound like 'mama' to you?"
"Ma ma ma," the baby sasquatch chanted.
"There! Now is that a human word or an animal's bleat?" I asked.
"Do you think it means what it sounds like it means?"
"Could be. Ma is one of those universal consonant-vowel
phonemes that babies can easily make, the same word in a lot of
human languages," I elucidated in my best schoolteacher fashion.
"Anyway, he's got vocal chords and a mouth that can, or could, form
words," Elaine deduced, "if he could learn them."
"Ma ma ma," he said again, insistently, almost crying. The baby voice
was very deep for one so young, deep as a man's but raspy, wheezy,
incongruous with the childish face.
Elaine looked sad for him. "Oh dear, he wants his mommy, poor thing."
She instinctively reached to touch him-- and he suddenly moved in to sit
on her lap, having evidently decided that Elaine was his "mamama" now.
"Oh my!" Elaine reacted, startled to have this rather large and heavy
baby suddenly sitting on her lap, pressing in to her. We still had no
idea if it was a dangerous wild beast or not. But she controlled her
urge to flinch.
So did I: it was a tense moment, balancing between concern for Elaine's
safety and not wanting to scare him away. I watched his face closely
for any aggressive expressions, but he just looked like a sad and
lonely little baby boy. He seemed docile enough.
He avoided my eyes, I think I was looking at him so intently that it
scared him. But he kept staring into Elaine's eyes--I really do think
he saw his mother's eyes there, because he seems to have accepted
Elaine as his mother from that moment on.
Clouds were sliding overhead, the wind becoming brisker. The
morning sun disappeared.
"I'm cold," Elaine complained, "We can't stay here forever anyway.
Let's go back to the house."
The little sasquatch was still sitting on Elaine's lap, clinging close
to her, making it difficult for her to get up. "Come on, baby, let me
up," she said, trying to pry him loose. But it struggled to maintain
a grip, crying "ma ma maa" again.
I carefully tried to help Elaine, moving slowly and carefully, not yet
certain that we did not perhaps have a dangerous animal cub on our
hands. The child did not flinch away from me, nor act aggressively,
only watching me with wide innocent eyes. I took his hands in my own
and gently pried him away from Elaine. He did not resist and Elaine
was able to stand up while I held his hand.
She packed up the bags we had brought and we started to leave the
meadow. "Come on. little guy," Elaine said, taking his other hand and
trying to lead him along with us, "d'adam, d'adam!"
But then he did resist, jerking back and pulling us both off balance
with his compact strength and refused to take a step. "Ma ma maa,"
he cried once again. It was clear what he meant: he had to wait
here for his mother.
After attempting to insist by word and deed that he come along, all to
no effect, we gave him the old "Well I'm going now, if you want to
come along fine, if not, goodbye" routine. That worked just fine. We
led him down the hill that way. We would walk out of sight and he
would cry his "mamamaa" and a few moments later catch up with us.
As we got closer to the house, however, he seemed to be smelling
things that made him more nervous and scared. He didn't want us to
go toward the smell and tried to stop us. It took nearly an hour to
get to the house. And then when he saw it we almost lost him, he
went back into the woods.
He finally came back to us, but we couldn't get him to go inside the
house with us. He was afraid of it.
"I know," Elaine said, "food!" She left me with the baby and
disappeared into the front door. The child cried his only word
again and again until she came out.
Since we were there only on weekends there was little food in the
house. We had no refrigerator because there was no electricity yet.
But Elaine came out with a fresh package of Oreo cookies, chocolate
with white filling. She gave one to the baby sasquatch.
He took the first cookie, smelled it, looked at it with wide wondering
eyes, then looked back at Elaine. She gave me one and took one
herself. She and I bit into ours in perfect unison. The cookies
crunched and were gobbled. We both rubbed our tummies, licked
our lips and said, "Mmmmm."
He looked at us, then at his cookie, finally put it into his mouth.
There was a crunch--and then you could see that the kid had achieved
Enlightenment: his first taste of chocolate.
Elaine and I looked at each other, both gave the thumbs up sign.
"We've got him now," we agreed.
And we had. Little Adam wanted another cookie and Elaine gave it
to him, backing into the house. Like a donkey after the carrot
that little beast followed her into the first house he had ever
entered (we assumed), his fear of it forgotten.
It was dark inside. The trees were quite thick around the house
and there was not much window area since it had been built so
long ago. I had been in the process of putting in some larger
windows, but those holes were boarded up with plywood and others
were covered with plastic.
We left the door open, for not to alarm the little guy, but also
for as much fresh air as possible. The house filled up with his
stink, by now our throats were burning with it.
"Do we really want him in here?" I had to ask, "the smell is
pretty hard to take in enclosed quarters."
"I agree, but let's show him that there's nothing to be afraid
We led him towards the kitchen. Once inside he stopped several
times, sniffing the air for danger or information, then moved
around the room with timid bravery, looking at things. In the
kitchen there were undoubtedly smells that interested him, but he
was intimidated by the darkness of the room and the restrictions
of wooden walls. He was shivering, with fear or excitement. But
in a few moments he approached Elaine and assumed a comfortable
"I'll bet you're hungry for some real food," Elaine said to him
as if he understood, "I wonder what you eat." She rummaged
through our meager supplies and found a bag of oatmeal. "I'll
bet you'd eat this."
We had a camp stove with bottled gas, Elaine filled a pot with
"You're not going to cook it, are you?" I asked, "I doubt that
he's ever had cooked food in his life."
"You're probably right." She poured some into her hand and
offered that to him. He sniffed at it, then held her hand and
licked the oatmeal from it, every last flake.
"Well, he likes it," Elaine said, "I'm going to cook some anyway,
for us at least--I'm starving!"
"I'll light a fire. Hope he doesn't freak out about that."
It was colder inside than out so a fire would be welcome. We
had an old cast iron wood stove in the kitchen with a stack of
firewood beside it. I put in some newspapers, kindling, larger
pieces, then took one of the wooden matches from the box and lit
Elaine had been mixing up some powdered milk for our breakfast
and the little sasquatch was watching her intently, but with the
scratch of the match and the smell of sulfur he spun around to
look at me, eyes wide in surprise. Or terror? I couldn't tell which,
but he froze in place, watching the little match flame.
Then I slowly lit the paper, it caught fire. He looked even more
amazed, sniffed the air and said something like "shaa haa!"
"Another word!" Elaine said excitedly, "He IS speaking a language!
"Yeah," I agreed, "but then anthropologists studying gorillas have
found them to have vocabularies of several dozen words and
chimpanzees can have over fifty, so don't expect too much."
"Forget EXPECT," Elaine said, "we don't know ANYTHING about
this creature. He could be as intelligent as we are--or even more,
look at the shape of his head. There's room for a big brain there."
He was watching the fire grow, as if hypnotized, more interested
in that than food now. He started to reach for it. I said "No"
and held his hand back, but he was fascinated and tried again in
a few seconds. I put the lid on the stove to keep him away from
it. He was very surprised when the fire just seemed to disappear.
"He's not afraid of fire," I noted.
"I wonder if he's ever seen it before?"
"He seems to have a word for it," I said, but of course I didn't know.
We ate outside on the porch, where the smell was less contained.
In a few minutes little Adam was presented his first bowl of warm
oatmeal with milk and raisins and brown sugar. He liked it.
Elaine tried to feed him with a spoon, first cooling it by blowing on
it, but he got so excited that he almost bit the spoon in half. So
she gave him the bowl and he scooped it empty with his fingers,
smearing his face, his fur and our porch with steaming mush and
milk. Then he looked at us with satisfaction and burped, then made
a funny wheezy laughing sound.
We had to laugh too. Aren't kids cute?
"We've got to do something about the smell. I can't take it anymore,"
I said. "His mother washed him in the creek, maybe we can too."
"Yeah, but we'll use soap."
"I was considering industrial lye," I admitted.
What we had was liquid dish washing detergent. It would have to
do. We took a plastic bucket and a scrub brush and led him over
to the creek beside the house. He didn't understand what we wanted
until Elaine took off her shoes and stood in the creek herself, as
his mother had done and called "d'adam" to him. Then he followed.
"Oh god, is this water COLD!" she complained.
"Your nose will love you for this," I assured her, as I scooped up a
bucketful of water.
But when I tried to pour it on the little beast he jumped out of
the creek. It ended up that to get him to accept getting wet,
both Elaine and I had to stand naked in the creek and splash
ourselves first. Then suds ourselves with soap--if we did it,
then he'd do it. But he didn't seem to feel the cold, while we
were shivering, teeth chattering, turning blue.
We soaped up and rinsed him off on land, since we didn't want to
pollute the creek either with soap or sasquatch stink--there were
people farther downstream. And when we were done, after soaping
him down, scrubbing and rinsing twice, we were all squeaky
And the smell was gone! It had been hell, but oh, was worth it.
Being a Wednesday, I was supposed to have been on call for the
Bellevue School District, but it was already too late to ring in
and say I wasn't available. I could only hope nobody needed a
substitute teacher that day. This was a few years before everyone
had cell phones, but even if we had one there was no network signal
so far out of town way back then.
Elaine was supposed to work the evening shift at Boeings, but she
decided to call in and declare a "family emergency" that evening.
She was going to drive into Monroe to call Boeings and buy some
groceries, while I babysat our new kid. But little Adam started
to cry "Mamamaaa!" when she got into the car. Then really went into
panic when she started the motor.
"Wait!" I said to her, "He's afraid the car's going to grind you
up, or something. I'm not sure what he's going to do."
"Maybe we all should go to town." Elaine said.
"Make his cultural shock complete?"
"Get it over with, anyway."
"Might be a little too early for that," I figured, "but let's get
him used to the car at least."
Elaine got out of the car, motor still running, came to Adam and
took his hand. He calmed down immediately. Then I got into the
car, waved to them anddrove up to where the driveway passed
into the woods.
Elaine said that he seemed to take my disappearance pretty well,
but that he was also became very excited when I came driving back
to the house a few seconds later. I turned off the motor, got
out of the car, put my hand on it and said, "This is a car. Car!"
I repeated that tour a couple of times, returning intact every
time and he seemed to get the idea: the car was our friend. But
when I opened the door for him to get in, he backed away, not
able to trust that metal monster quite yet.
It ended up being me who had to drive to town to call in for Elaine,
he was still not about to risk losing another Mamamaa. I made a quick
trip of it, not wanting to leave Elaine alone with the baby sasquatch
too long. But I did take time to buy some more cookies.
We spent the whole day at the place, as we usually did on weekends,
working on the house. At first we were too excited about our new
guest to do anything but play with him, but eventually I found myself
putting in windows because it was cold.
The little sasquatch watched me work and I made a show of it, talking
to him, showing him the glass panel, knocking on it and letting it ring
for him. He was fascinated.
"Just how intelligent do you suppose he IS?" Elaine asked, watching
"Like you said, we don't know anything about him, but he sure does
seem pretty bright."
It rained outside and the wind blew, but I put in the last window,
downstairs at least, so that the wood stove could warm up the kitchen.
We had two butane lanterns for light. It suddenly became very cozy.
The child pressed his nose to the glass and watched the rain come
down from inside a warm shelter for surely the first time in his
life. Elaine served up some hot chocolate, holding the cup for
the little sasquatch to drink from, for he had no experience with
cups or warm drinks and we didn't want to repeat the mush episode.
But cozy as it was, our free day was running out. It was night
before we addressed the next problem.
"What are we going to do with him? We have to go back to Seattle
"We can't take him to Seattle," I said, "as if we could even get
him into the car. And then what? To our apartment? Leave him
alone there while we go to work?"
"If one of us stays with him..." she mumbled.
"Think about our apartment: all those windows. How could we
contain him? What could stop him from crashing out a window
pane, accidentally or deliberately? He could fall, escape, get
lost in the city, be seen and hunted. Not a workable idea."
"What else can we do? We can't just leave him here alone in the
woods, he's only a baby."
"A sasquatch baby," I reminded her, "a woods thing."
"Who's just lost his mother," she reminded me.
The child was hypnotized by the flame of the butane lantern as
we discussed its fate.
"Look, you have to work in the morning," Elaine said, "but I'm
not on until tomorrow afternoon. You could go and I'll stay..."
"No," I said, "I'm not leaving you alone with him until we know
more about him."
"You don't think he's dangerous?"
"No, not really. But he's as strong as you are, if he should panic..."
"But he LOVES me," she insisted, "I'm his new mamamaa."
Little baby Adam looked at Elaine and repeated that word softly.
He looked sleepy.
"There's another reason I don't want to leave you alone with him.
But I've been trying not to mention it."
"Well, you were doing a great job of not mentioning it, whatever
it was, up to now...so what is it?"
"Never mind, it's just a crazy idea." I tried to get out of
saying it, but of course it was too late. "Well," I went ahead
and mentioned, "now that we know that sasquatches DO indeed
exist...uh...what if they come looking for their kid?"
Elaine sat in silence for a moment, in an isolated log cabin on a
rainy night far out in the woods and nodded to herself. "You
were right about not mentioning it: I certainly didn't need to