A Family of Foundlings

foundlings2

Prescos 1949 Greg, Mark & Christine in Sandbox 2

tylersleepIn 1994 I went for a second reading at the Berkeley Psychic Institute. I wanted to see if they owned a picture of how my beloved sister drowned – because I did not. I heard nothing but lies. Then there is that drawing that Vicki did after she left the room. She came back with it after five minutes, and told me Drew had done this after she bid her to get in touch with her feelings. This drawing takes this Artistic Family Legacy – straight to hell! It goes with the collosal flashlight in closet lie. Vicki, with the help of her brother Mark, abandoned me the day before our sister’s funeral. My surviving siblings would turn my newfound daughter against me when she came into my life. They were duplicating what they did to Christine when they took Garth’s side – and isolated Christine.

I told my daughter and her mother to stay away from my family, and not contribute to the Tom Snyder’s biography. Patrice suggested that two biogrpahies of Christine would not hurt because she like to read two books on the same subject. After Heather disappeared from my life for two years so she could form a secret bond with Vicki ‘The Liar’, I forgave her. I asked her if she had read Snyder’s book she and her family fought me so hard to be in.

“No!”

In 1984 three psychics said I died by these beutiful rocks by the sea, and I had two children. All I wanted to do was own a moving picture of how Christine died by the sea while climbing on beautiful rocks. Instead, I get this.

“We were almost there when an ambulance passed us going the other way. We both realized it was carrying Christine. My mind flashed back over the last few months and years, and all the anguish FOR Nina and Drew and me, even for Christine. I was crying, and I turned to Nina – this is what I am ashamed of- and said, “We’re free! And Drew is saved!”

This is Garth Benton flushing the toilet, not with tears, but with glee. He owns tears of joy. He is laughing out loud. He is getting in touch with his true feelings.

Yesterday I wrote a draft about my daughter. I wanted to title it ‘I Hate My Daughter’. Since 2000, Heather Hanson has be the Anti-Muse. In her and her mother’s need to be in the limelight, I have been bound in chains. Now that I have accepted I will never see my grandson again – I am free! My daughter flushed me down the toilet with the help of her new lover, Bill Cornwell who is a Tea Party Crazy like his father. Bill and Heather told me I was a “parasite” on society because I receive SSI due to the PTSD I suffer from. Bill’s mother is disabled, and she too is a “parasite”. Heather allowed this drunken piece of shit to bring his political agenda to our family reunion, and work out on me!

* * *

When I saw that the letter I held was sent by Rena, my Muse, I sobbed for about three minutes. In 1997 I founded Royal Rosamond Press, a newspaper for the arts. I title my family “A Family of Foundlings” because my grandfather was an orphan and was shuffled around between his kindred. Royal Rosamond was abandoned. For a week I have another letter ready to send Rena. It explains that all child abused is summed up in this word……..ABANDONMENT!

When I found Rena on the beach in 1970, I found an Abandoned Child, a kindred spirit. This is why I cried when I lost her – and found her again! Rena is my Spiritual Sister who could have born my child. This is to say Foundling Children can have sex, but, only in a special way.

From here on ‘Capturing Beauty’ is going into a dark realm to tell a dark tale that no one may emerge from. I must prepare my reader. I average 160 readers of this blog a day. My reader can ground themselves by seeing this adventure as a the script for my reality show ‘Redneck Art Gallery’, a dark Teutonic Fairytale, a modern version of ‘Thrones’ or, God’s rehashing of His once favorite prophet Moses, who was bumped to the side of the road by the coming of Jesus. Moses was a Foundling.

At that psychic reading I was seen as a master of waterworks in Egypt. I am building canals all over the place. I am making water go where I want it to go. The great rulers – are amazed!

When I was about three, the age I am in the photo above, I loved to get up early and go up and down the street in my pajamas turning on everyone’s water faucet – and leave them running! To see me building up the sand around the tub, is what the psychics saw. People who have watched me paint seascapes were beholding the Water Master. That the boy above became a Biblical Scholar, is the real story and focus here. Rena is my Mary Magdalene. My Foundling grandfather’s wife was, Mary Magdalene Rosamond. She had four beautiful daughters, as did Rena’s mother, or father. Rena is right out of Grimm. She was the most beautiful maiden in all the land, and, now she returns as an older woman who owns true humility. She has lost the beauty, but, she is ‘The Keeper of the Lost Poetry’. How she became that, is the crux of this very magical story! Moses did wonders with his magic wand.

The last time I saw my painting of Rena was in my brother’s garage. I had to abandon it. Vicki told me Mark has disappeared himself, but, may be reading this blog. If so, I want this painting back. I painted it at Peter Shapiro’s house who had watched me do these amazing seascapes when we lived in a Victorian house. A pretty young woman came over and she watched me move my magic wand over the surface of the canvas, and transform it.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt–over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs–and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”

Child abandonment in literature[edit]

Foundlings, who may be orphans, can combine many advantages to a plot: mysterious antecedents, leading to plots to discover them; high birth and lowly upbringing. Foundlings have appeared in literature in some of the oldest known tales.[7] The most common reasons for abandoning children in literature are oracles that the child will cause harm; the mother’s desire to conceal her illegitimate child, often after rape by a god; or spite on the part of people other than the parents, such as sisters and mothers-in-law in such fairy tales as The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. In some chivalric romances, such as Le Fresne and the Swan-Children, in the variant Beatrix, some children of a multiple birth are abandoned after the heroine has taunted another woman with a claim that such a birth is proof of adultery and then suffered such a birth of her own.[8] Poverty usually features as a cause only with the case of older children, who can survive on their own. Indeed, most such individuals are of royal or noble birth; their abandonment means they grow up in ignorance of their true social status.[9]

Abandonment[edit]

One of the earliest surviving examples of child abandonment in popular culture is that of Oedipus who is left to die as a baby in the hills by a herdsman ordered to kill the baby, but is found and grows up to unwittingly marry his biological mother.

In many tales, such as Snow White, the child is actually abandoned by a servant who had been given orders to put the child to death.

Children are often abandoned with birth tokens, which act as plot devices to ensure that the child can be identified. This theme is a main element in Angelo F. Coniglio’s historical fiction novella The Lady of the Wheel, in which the title refers to a “receiver of foundlings” who were placed in a device called a “foundling wheel”, in the wall of a church or hospital. [10]

In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, a recognition scene in the final act reveals by these that Perdita is a king’s daughter rather than a shepherdess, and so suitable for her prince lover.[11] Similarly, when the heroine of Le Fresne reveals the brocade and the ring she was abandoned with, her mother and sister recognize her; this makes her a suitable bride for the man whose mistress she had been.[12]

The children of Queen Blondine and of her sister, Princess Brunette, picked up by a Corsair after seven days at sea; illustration by Walter Crane to the fairy tale Princess Belle-Etoile
From Oedipus onward, Greek and Roman tales are filled with exposed children who escaped death to be reunited with their families—usually, as in Longus’s Daphnis and Chloe, more happily than in Oedipus’s case. Grown children, having been taken up by strangers, were usually recognized by tokens that had been left with the exposed baby: in Euripides’s Ion, Creüsa is about to kill Ion, believing him to be her husband’s illegitimate child, when a priestess reveals the birth-tokens that show that Ion is her own, abandoned infant.

This may reflect the widespread practice of child abandonment in their cultures. On the other hand, the motif is continued through literature where the practice is not widespread. William Shakespeare used the abandonment and discovery of Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, and Edmund Spenser reveals in the last Canto of Book 6 of The Faerie Queene that the character Pastorella, raised by shepherds, is in fact of noble birth. Henry Fielding, in one of the first novels, recounted The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Ruth Benedict, in studying the Zuni, found that the practice of child abandonment was unknown, but featured heavily in their folktales.[13]

Still, even cultures that do not practice it may reflect older customs; in medieval literature, such as Sir Degaré and Le Fresne, the child is abandoned immediately after birth, which may reflect pre-Christian practices, both Scandavian and Roman, that the newborn would not be raised without the father’s decision to do so.[14]

Upbringing[edit]

The strangers who take up the child are often shepherds or other herdsmen. This befell not only Oedipus, but also Cyrus II of Persia, Amphion and Zethus and several of the characters listed above. Romulus and Remus were suckled by a wolf in the wilderness, but afterward, again found by a shepherd. This ties this motif in with the genre of the pastoral. This can imply or outright state that the child benefits by this pure upbringing by unspoiled people, as opposed to the corruption that surrounded his birth family.

Often, the child is aided by animals before being found; Artemis sent a bear to nurse the abandoned Atalanta, and Paris was also nursed by a bear before being found.[15] In some cases, the child is depicted as being raised by animals; however, in actuality, feral children are incapable of speech.[16]

In adulthood[edit]

Moses is unusual in that he is taken up by a princess, who is of superior birth to his mother, but like the other foundlings listed above, he reaches adulthood and returns to his birth family. This is the usual pattern in such stories.

The opposite pattern, of a child remaining with its adoptive parents, is less common but occurs. In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Karna is never reconciled with his mother, and dies in battle with her legitimate son. In the Grimm fairy tale Foundling-Bird, Foundling Bird never learns of, let alone reunites with, his parents. George Eliot depicted the abandonment of the character Eppie in Silas Marner; despite learning her true father at the end of the book, she refuses to leave Silas Marner who raised her.

When the cause of the abandonment is a prophecy, the abandonment is usually instrumental in causing the prophecy to be fulfilled. Besides Oedipus, Greek legends also included Telephus, who was prophesied to kill his uncle; his ignorance of his parentage, stemming from his abandonment, caused his uncle to jeer at him and him to kill the uncle in anger.

Older children[edit]

When older children are abandoned in fairy tales, while poverty may be cited as a cause, as in Hop o’ My Thumb, the most common effect is when poverty is combined with a stepmother’s malice, as in Hansel and Gretel (or sometimes, a mother’s malice). The stepmother’s wishes may be the sole cause, as in Father Frost. In these stories, the children seldom find adoptive parents, but malicious monsters, such as ogres and witches;[17] outwitting them, they find treasure enough to solve their poverty. The stepmother may die coincidentally, or be driven out by the father when he hears, so that the reunited family can live happily in her absence.

In a grimmer variation, the tale Babes in the Wood features a wicked uncle in the role of the wicked stepmother, who gives an order for the children to be killed. However, although the servants scruple to obey him, and the children are abandoned in the woods, the tale ends tragically: the children die, and their bodies are covered with leaves by robins.

In modern media[edit]

Foundlings still appear in modern literature. In G. B. Shaw’s stage-play ‘Major Barbara’, industrialist Andrew Undershaft (a foundling himself), intently searches for a foundling to assume the family business. Superman may be seen as a continuation of the foundling tradition, the lone survivor of an advanced civilization who is found and raised by Kansas farmers in a pastoral setting, and later discovers his alien origins and uses his powers for good.[18] Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid revolves about the Tramp’s efforts to raise an abandoned child. In the graphic novel Aqua Leung, the main protagonist is a prince who is whisked out of a castle under attack in a basket-like device and then found by a couple and raised on land so that his father’s enemies do not find him. He returns to the seas to fulfill the prophecy thought to be his father’s but that was actually his. Elora Danan, in the film Willow, and Lir, in the novel The Last Unicorn, both continue the tradition of foundlings abandoned because of prophecies, and who fulfill the prophecies because of their abandonment. In the last book of The Chronicles of Prydain, Dallben reveals to the hero Taran that he is a foundling; in a story set in the same world, “The Foundling”, Dallben himself proves to be also a foundling. The character Leela from Futurama was a foundling, given to the Ophanarium and a note in an alien language to make people believe that she was an alien, and not a mutant (who would have been forced to live in the sewers, with the other mutants). Several foundlings appear in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld : most notably Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (found as a toddler among the ruins of a caravan party attacked by bandits, surrounded by the bodies of the adults; Carrot was adopted and raised by the dwarfs who discovered him, and was surprised to learn at age 16 – and 6ft 6in tall – that he was not a dwarf; mounting evidence suggests that Carrot is the scion of the deposed Ankh-Morpork royal family, but he himself has suppressed this as much as possible, considering the role of police captain to be a preferable one in which to safeguard his city and keep order), also Tomjohn (rightful heir to the throne of Lancre, rescued from his father’s killer by loyal servants, entrusted to the local witches and given to travelling actors to raise; Tomjohn eventually returns to the kingdom, but does not wish to rule it, preferring to remain an actor) and Keith ( The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents – ironically, Malicia, obsessed with fairytales, is certain that this makes him likely to be a prince, but Keith explains that it is common in the city to abandon babies outside the Guilds where they are likely to receive care and training in a trade).

In many cartoons made prior to the 1980s (and some made during and afterward), it is not uncommon for wily characters (often a homeless individual) to disguise themselves as foundlings. This is most often accomplished by the character donning a diaper (and sometimes a gown and bonnet), writing a note (usually simply saying “Please take care of my baby!”) and lying in a bassinet or basket after knocking on the door or pressing the doorbell. This was parodied in the movie Little Man. In The Flintstones Bamm-Bamm was abandoned on the Rubble’s doorstep and eventually adopted by them.

It may come as a surprise to many students of the Bible that in the original Hebrew text the body of water the Israelites crossed when leaving Egypt is called yam suph, “Sea of Reeds,” not Red Sea (Ex 15:4, 22; Dt 11:4; Jos 2:10; 4:23; 24:6; Neh 9:9; Ps 106:7, 9, 33; 136:13, 15). Unfortunately, yam suph has been rendered “Red Sea” in nearly all of our translations, the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jewish Publication Society Hebrew Bible being notable exceptions.
The “Red Sea” phrase came into the account with the third century BC translation of the Old Testament into Greek. Called the Septuagint (abbreviated as LXX), its translators made yam suph (“Sea of Reeds”) into eruthrá thálassē (“Red Sea”). The Latin Vulgate followed their lead with mari Rubro (“Red Sea”) and most English versions continued that tradition.

Today, abandonment of a child is considered to be a serious crime in many jurisdictions because it can be considered malum in se (wrong in itself) due to the direct harm to the child, and because of welfare concerns (in that the child often becomes a ward of the state and in turn, a burden upon the public fisc). For example, in the U.S. state of Georgia, it is a misdemeanor to willfully and voluntarily abandon a child, and a felony to abandon one’s child and leave the state. In 1981, Georgia’s treatment of abandonment as a felony when the defendant leaves the state was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.[4]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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