Thursday, March 1, 2018

Romulus and Remus - The Dark Side of Foster Care

Dear Friends,

The Hard Taco song for March is called "Romans." In honor of this ode to the ancients, let us retell the story of how Rome was founded.

Once there was an ancient Latin she-wolf who really wanted children, but she was already seven years old; her mythological clock was ticking.

She went to the local adoption agency to discuss fostering a human boy. The agent was happy to introduce her to the orphans, all of whom had names ending in -us. 

This is Tiberius. He is the rightful heir to Tibur, and was abandoned on a mountaintop by the king's brother.

This is Titus, the rightful heir to Crustumerium. He was left to die in a forest clearing because there is a prophesy that he'll kill his father someday. 

Here we have Cyrus Atticus, the illegitimate son of Jupiter and a random woman who was sleeping when he came to her in the form of a golden rain that seeped in through the roof and went straight up her womb. Since the sleeping woman was to blame for temping the god, Juno turned her into a crippled newt, and abandoned the baby in a cave. 

This is Marcus Justus. He was abandoned by a river god and was about to be consumed by a valley siren when he was found by a wood sprite, who took pity on him and brought him to a ditch nymph. 

This is Gus. The seers haven't said anything about him, but I have a hunch he will marry his own mother on the eve of his 18th birthday. 

Finally, meet Romulus and Remus. Twin sons of Mars and a vestal virgin. Another classic non-consensual pairing. These little spitfires were abandoned in a wicker basket and set afloat in the river. 

The she-wolf felt a real connection to the twins, but she didn't think she could handle two crying infants. She was a single mom, and she wasn't exactly 3 years old anymore!

The agent sensed her hesitation. "I couldn't help but notice you have eight teats, which is more than enough for two manchilds to give suck. And more to the point, you wouldn't separate siblings, would you?"

She agreed that the brothers would have an easier time adjusting if they grew up together. She also admitted that she had a lot of teats she wasn't using.

And so she brought home the twins, and proceeded to suckle them with her eight great teats. They (the boys) grew quickly, and within a few years, they were shepherds, warriors, and respected leaders in the community.

One day, they decided to build a city together. The construction went very quickly. They erected buildings, columns and aqueducts in a matter of hours. By 10 pm, the city was really coming together, when the twins got into a disagreement about transportation accessibility, and everything came to a grinding halt. Romulus felt that all roads should lead to this new city, while Remus believed that it would be adequate if some roads led there. Things escalated, and after nearly an hour of arguing, Romulus impaled his brother with a spear. Due to fratricide-related construction delays, Rome was not built in a day. It took about a day and a half.

The lesson, I suppose, is that it's best to separate siblings when you adopt.

With warmest regards,