J. Gardner, Grendel. New York, 1985. p.37.

"Grendel's memories don't begin with the arrival of humans, in fact, Grendel specifically describes his life before he encountered humans. Playing games in the underworld of his birth, and, in time, discovering the world above (leading, ultimately, to his encounter with humans).

I lived those years as do all young things, in a spell. Like a puppy nipping, playfully growling preparing for battle with wolves.

"The discovery of humans hasn't created him - it has broken the 'spell' of his youth. It is the existence of humans - other thinking beings - that leads him to wonder about the meaning of existence; that leads him through solipsism and idealism to (with a little help from the dragon) an ardent nihilism. Of course, these ideas began to tickle his brain when he wondered at his fellow creatures, all but his mother completely indifferent to his existence." T. Johnson, literary@list.cren.net, 7 Nov 95. http://www.panix.com/~iayork/Literary/Grendel/grendel2.html