Feral Girl lived down the street from us in a shabby house with a severely alcoholic father, a mother who no one ever saw and many, many siblings. Although she was a year older than me and in a different grade, I would often encounter her at the train tracks on the way to and from school. She was one mean, angry kid. I was scared of her. One day she tried to hit me with this crappy old baby doll she was carrying. Instead of fighting, I decided to compliment her doll and I pretended to admire it. This tactic completely threw her. She was deeply suspicious of my reaction, but she didn't try to hit me with the doll again. A light bulb came on! Over our next few encounters, I made a point of being friendly to her, ignoring her rudeness and hostility, trying (in essence) to tame her with kindness. She remained deeply suspicious of me for quite a while, but eventually we did genuinely become friends. We often walked to and from school together. I quite liked her. I hope her life turned out better than it began.