The Northumbrian Eskimo Dog described in the pages of the New-York Reader is the perfect avatar of the feral. Its hungers are capricious, even lascivious; it possesses a cunning born not of some reawakened wildness, but of its intimate, evolutionarily-battened connection to humankind. Whether or not the tale is true, its rudiments make sense: the taste for kidney fat it likely learned from its Inuit masters, who feed their dogs the innards of seals, walruses, and other quarry; the capacity to bewitch fellow dogs with a submissive display is but the perfectly-tuned response of an animal brought up in a pack. And yet this complex of adaptive qualities also set the dog at odds with the world; its very existence threatened the order of wild and settled alike. There is a willingness to make a home in bewilderment, which Dr. Johnson defined as being “lost in pathless places… confound(ed) for want of a plain road.” There is a condition that arises at the edges, along the hedgerows and fences, in the wastes between towns. It is the condition of the trickster, the habit of Mercury, god of roads. Call it the Feral Muse.