Dave English is remembered today almost exclusively for his whimsical, surrealistic drawings and cartoons, some of the best of which appeared in a series in Void a couple of years ago, where they were greeted by resounding cries of "Fabulous stuff!" and/or "I don't get it." In his active fanning days early in the 1950's, however, English was also known as a faneditor of interesting offbeat tastes (Fantasias) and as a writer of rather strange things, among them his Dimensions column "Lint from a Stfan's Belly Button" and the following short story from the first annish of Charles Well's Fiendetta ("The Fiendish"): a sensitive tale which probes delicately into the psyche of

 

the little boy who bit people


by dave english

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who bit people. He had bitten people right along from since he had teeth, but he found his victims mostly among his playmates. One day, however, his Rich Uncle came to visit.

"Gad, how this young man has grown," he said. He poked the boy in the guts with his thumb.

The boy took a chunk out of him.

Without a word the man walked out of the house, climbed into his sixteen cylinder huff and left in it.

Actually, all along he had intended to leave his money to that cat hospital, but the boy's parents didn't know that.

His father was exceedingly wroth. He whipped the child.

The little boy bit him.

"My God," said the father, "that I should see the day when a son of mine would bite me! Terrible and unnatural monster that you are, to bit your own father! Ah, Lord!"

The little boy felt guilty. He had read child psychology books, and wondered if he shouldn't bite his fingernails. But he didn't feel like it.

Instead he bit his mother.

He was sent to bed without any supper.

The next day, at school, he went mad and in one afternoon bit more children than he had ever bitten before in one day.

This attracted some attention.

A teacher went to visit his parents.

"Mr. and Mrs. Soandso," she said, "today at school your little boy bit twenty children. How about that?"

"Yes," said his mother, "he bites at home too."

"Ah."

"Fiendish and unnatural monster that he is, he has bitten his own father," said the father. "I have lived to see the day he should do this. Ah, Lord!"

Whereupon the little boy bit the teacher.

They took him to a psychiatrist.

"What seems to be the trouble, young man?" he asked.

"I think he has an Oedipus complex," said the teacher. "Or maybe he feels insecure. That'll do it sometimes."

"Is he nuts, doctor?" wanted to know the mother.

"He must be," said the father. "He is an awful and unnatural monster, and I am sorry that I have lived to find him so. Ah, Lord."

"Please," said the psychiatrist. "Please let me interview the boy alone, and then I will reach my conclusion.

The little boy bit the psychiatrist.

They left the two alone.

For two hours they waited without the office. Occasionally there was a shrill cry, and they guessed that the doctor had been bitten again.

"I think it must be an Oedipus complex," said the teacher.

"Do you mean he is nuts?" asked the mother.

"He is certainly unnatural," declared the father.

"I think he must be nuts," said the mother.

At length the door burst open. The little boy ran out and bit his mother, his father, and was kicked in the face by the teacher. But he bit her anyway.

"Did you find out why he bites people?" asked the father.

"Yes."

The teacher asked, "Was I correct?"

"No, no Oedipus complex. I'm sorry."

"Then what ... ?"

"Why, he simply likes to bite people," said the psychiatrist.


(data entered by Judy Bemis)

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