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I couldn't help thinking of Siegmund and Wälse when I read this article this morning. It's from The Telegraph.

It's the twenty-first century version of the Volsung legend.

Detectives in Germany are trying to identify an Englishspeaking teenager who claims to have been living wild in a forest for the past five years.

The 17-year-old, who turned up at Berlin's city hall, said he had been walking for two weeks but had no idea who he was or where he was from.

He told officers that he and his father moved to the forest about five years ago following the death of his mother and had lived off the land since, sleeping in a tent and remote huts.

He said his father had also died recently and that he had buried him in a shallow grave before setting off to find help.

Detectives said the teenager, who gave his name as Ray, spoke a little German, but his first language appeared to be English. He was able to tell officers his name and his date of birth, but claimed not to remember either of his parents' names or anything of his life before he entered the forest.

Despite being dishevelled, he was described as being fit and healthy and showing no signs of malnourishment or abuse.

The German police have issued a Europe-wide appeal in the hope that someone comes forward to identify the boy. Klaus Schubert, a spokesman for the Berlin police department, said: "He can speak English very well, fluently in fact, but only speaks basic German.

"It might be possible that he comes from Britain because he's speaking English very fluently.

"We only know what he told us; that he is 17 years old, and he said that he lived in the forest, that he lived together with his father in the forest for the last five years, but he doesn't know where.

"He says his father died two weeks ago, and then he travelled alone, and suddenly he was in Berlin. We don't know how he reached the town hall, he cannot explain it. The staff at the town hall brought him to a youth welfare office, and they are now caring for him. He is healthy, there are no signs of abuse or that he has been the victim of violence."

Police psychologists are gently asking questions of the teenager in the hope of extracting more information that will offer a clue as to his origin.

Schubert said: "Perhaps he has trauma but we don't know why, so we have to be very careful with him and work day by day."

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