Wild Child


Jack has been summoned to the nearby mines due to "trouble," and Hannah decides to tag along, writing up her thoughts and experiences so far in her journal. The lands near the City in the Sea continue to astound her, and the technology and techniques she has seen will be of much use when she returns to Wassoon, though she cannot help but feel like a stranger no one wants to associate with in this part of the world.


They bear witness to a flock of ground-bound avians chasing off a crawler about to munch their eggs; Hannah is curious to know how that fits into Jack's beliefs, who explains that although the crawler has the right to eat what it wants, it does not belong in these lands and thus the right of the avians to protect their young is stronger. They have no time to gawk, as a herd of wahonchuck are seen stampeding towards them!

Unfortunately, they can't make good with an escape plan as the Cadillac stalls right at the edge of a cliff. However, Hannah notices something peculiar in the herd...


A child!


Just when it looks like they're about to be Cadillac pancakes, the child emits a high-pitched screech, apparently signalling the herd to avoid their car, and they all leap safely across to the other side of the cliff.. Jack tells Hannah to pay no attention to the child, but she honks the horn, grabbing his attention, though he falls off his chuck and sprains his ankle. Hannah expresses concern, though Jack tells her she shouldn't get involved. It's a wild child.

They arrive at the mines and are greeted by Mustapha, who explains the situation - a jumbuck has been stealing from the food supplies in the mines, but judging from the blood it's left behind someone has injured it. They can't leave a wounded animal out there in the wilderness, but injured beasts are the most difficult to approach. Hannah remains concerned about the child and leaves without notice, taking Mustapha's jeep with her.


She makes her way to a precarious cliffside where the wild child is seen on a lower ledge, although a zeke is hovering ominously overhead. Using a conveniently-placed vine to grapple her way down, Hannah tries to persuade the child she means well by using the vine as a whip to scare the beast away.


The child is still anxious and accidentally stumbles over the edge, though Hannah grabs him in the nick of time. Hobb, however, watches with unease.

Jack, meanwhile, has his Cadillac loaded up with crates of oranges in an attempt to find the slither... and it's a big one!


He aims to lure it away from the minds so he can patch it up, and his idea of reversing and throwing oranges at it goes pretty smoothly until he wedges himself into a crevice. However, this gives him the idea of getting the jumbuck wedged in something, and after some goading ("your momma dresses you funny!") the big lug gets itself stuck between two trees.


Without warning, Hobb meanders into the scene and saves Tenrec the trouble of applying bandages to the creature's leg, healing its wound instantly with a wave of his hand. In return, he asks Jack to find Hannah and return the wild child to the Grith.

Elsewhere, Hammer is trying to track down the jumbuck he wounded earlier, but instead spies something of interest in the ocean...

Hannah and the wild child are taking a boat back to the City in the Sea while the Wassoon ambassador tries to open up to the boy, showing him a trinket she had when she was a child and hoping to tend to his injury. Such pleasantries are promptly spoiled by the arrival of a huge thresher nearly totalling their boat!

Just when it looks like they're done for, the wild child stands up to the beast and emits the same high-pitched screech it made to the wahonchuck. This apparently acts as a proposition for the thresher to go bug somebody else, and it swims away. Hammer observes the whole thing and is amazed by the kid's beast-controlling power, and reckons he would be a big help in scoring big time on his poaching trips.


Hannah takes the child to her apartment and is happy to notice that he has warmed up to her, trusting her a lot more even though they're still strangers to each other. Jack has been waiting in the apartment for her, the sneaky devil, and tries to tell Hannah that the child belongs to the Grith, though she's shocked at the idea - the child is human, he doesn't belong with them! Jack claims the Grith will explain everything, so Hannah reluctantly tags along, leaving the child to rest on the couch.


Hammer, Vice and Wrench bust their way into the apartment once the two of them leave and begin searching for the kid, though the brothers are initially unsure what good a kid would be to them. The wild child slinks away and escapes by sliding down a pole from the balcony, and his notable acrobatics are what impresses them at first - then Hammer tells them the kid can control slithers! Knowing he'll want to escape back to the wilderness, they make their way to the only exit to the City in the Sea - the docks.


Hannah and Jack arrive in the jungle to meet up with Hobb, who uses a psychic link to explain the boy's history to Hannah. They do not know how he entered the jungle, but the Grith located him and protected him from ferocious creatures; they searched for his family but had no luck, and with nowhere else to go, raised the boy as one of their own.


Hobb explains that the boy is more Grith than human, and although Hannah believes the boy can't survive in the wild, the Grith claims the boy cannot live in the city. Jack tries to emphasise that although the boy is human, it has been raised in the Grith's way of life and thus cannot blend comfortably with human society. Hobb suddenly looks weary - the boy is in danger!


The wild child has made his way to the docks and scrambled aboard a ship, where the aroma of fresh fruit lures him in to one of the chambers. Naturally, it's a trap by Hammer to take the boy for himself! Jack and Hannah return to the docks in time only to see them leave.


Returning to Hammer's camp, they dump the wild child in a pit and shove a large slither in after him, the poachers taking bets on which one will claim victory. The child, frightened and confused, backs himself into a corner and gives the impression that he's down for...


... until he rests his hands upon its snout and emits his screech, prompting the slither to fall asleep. Amazed and satisfied with the boy's potential, the poachers head to bed, allowing Jack and Hannah to sneak their ways inside. However, the boy refuses to be rescued unless he can take the slither with him!


In an attempt to push the slither up the slope, it wails in pain, alerting the poachers that something is up! The slither is eventually escorted out of the pit safely, but Hammer and his brothers are now in hot pursuit! However, Jack passes a group of fuel barrels, and he has a box of matchsticks handy...


So after an explosive distraction, the three of them and the slither bundle into the Cadillac and vamoose. Hammer isn't going to let the wild child get away so easily, so he hops into a humongously oversized truck and the chase starts anew!


Jack takes every bumpy path he can find to keep the poacher off his trail, though it doesn't help when he's armed with a grenade launcher. If he can't get Hammer off his tail through speed, he can certainly do so through manoeuvring - finding a cliff, he drives dangerously close to it and pulls a pinpoint accurate 90 degree turn, something which Hammer tries to mimic in his hugeass truck...


And fails at spectacularly.


Having returned to the jungle, Jack encourages the wild child to return to the Grith; Hannah is still reluctant, but Jack reminds her that this child is being taught the ways of the Machinatio Vitae, and until he fully understands his role and his powers, he cannot return to the city. Hannah accepts that as the sad truth, and before the child returns to the wilderness with its slithers in tow, she gives him the trinket to remember her by.


Hannah concludes her journal report - she finally feels that the City in the Sea is not so different from her home of Wassoon; she doesn't deny that they do things in different ways, and she is anxious to return home someday, but home isn't where you were born and raised. Home is the place where the people you care about are.

Marv Wolfman was the man behind this episode. He's best known for his work on comic books such as Blade and Tomb of Dracula, though he's done a fair amount of notable cartoon work as well. He also has an adorable puppy dog.


Jumbucks are referred to as "sanbucks" or something similar in this episode. I've just going by the names provided in the Cadillacs & Dinosaurs roleplaying guidebook, so I wouldn't be surprised if the cartoon changed a few of the terms.


How did a huge jumbuck get inside the mines? I could almost accept it just sticking its neck in, but how would it bleed over everything if only its leg is wounded?

And on that subject, man, Mustapha gets shafted. He gets barely three minutes of screen time and has his car stolen.