Freud and the Wolf Man

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Note to readers: this is a silly story and is not intended to represent any actual historical events.

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One day as Sigmund Freud was psychoanalysing the person he was later to write up as ‘the Wolf Man,’ he noticed something odd about his patient’s ears.

Freud blinked and turned his gaze to the peaceful Viennese street beyond the window, as if to anchor himself better in reality. Somewhere a cat miaowed. Then he returned his gaze to the back of the Wolf Man’s head. His patient was still lying on the couch facing away from the analyst, as Dr Freud always arranged it. The light from the window shone through the Wolf Man’s ears, and yes, there definitely was a tuft of orange hair growing out of them. Not from the ear canals, as in the case of many men who neglect the details of their personal appearance, but from the very tops of the auricles. The ears were a bit pointy, too.

Freud wondered that he had never noticed this before.

“Perhaps I never saw it because I wasn’t expecting it to be the case,” he mused silently to himself. Meanwhile the wolf man continued to talk to the ceiling. The doctor’s pen still hovered over his notepad, but it hardly mattered if his notes ceased for a while since patients tend to be repetitive, especially the Wolf Man. Like wolves really. A limited range of preoccupations. Fantasies about eating people, mostly without cooking them first.

“But if I didn’t notice it before, why would I suddenly notice it now?” Freud continued to think, his brow furrowed. He liked to analyse everything. After all, the whole science of psychoanalysis started from the great doctor’s own self-analysis, from which by apostolic succession all subsequent analysts take their authority.

“Perhaps it is because once my mother… .” But he couldn’t think of anything his mother had done that could implicate her in his not noticing the Wolf Man’s ears before but noticing them now. Come to think of it he didn’t remember the Wolf Man’s sideburns previously extending onto his cheeks with the luxuriance they now exhibited.

“ you see I am no better at all…” the Wolf Man continued in a monotone rather like a growl, “and I have these urges to go into the forest and hunt innocent creatures and then gobble them up whole…”

The doctor felt there was something even defiant about his patient. Perhaps he didn’t want to get better at all. Perhaps all this was a waste of time. But on the other hand he was a good payer.

Suddenly Freud remembered with a start that his next patient would already be waiting as she was always early. She would be sitting primly in the waiting room holding the little basket she always carried and wearing her little red cap. What was in the basket under that little gingham check cloth, he wondered?

He coughed. “Your session time is up,” he said quietly. “Perhaps you would like to exit by the window? You can hop over onto the neighbour’s fence from the window-ledge.”

“Why would I want to do that?” enquired the Wolf Man.

“Why would you want to do that? Ach! It is interesting that you always try to extend your session time by one last question! We can talk about it next time.”

 With that the Wolf Man jumped off the couch and onto the window-ledge on all fours, pausing briefly to give the doctor a backward glance with his fierce wolfish eyes, and then jumped out of sight. The sound of a cat suddenly not miaowing could be heard.

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