When you were a child did anyone ever call you, a little monkey? If so it’s probably because they thought that you were behaving like a monkey. That is, your behavior was SIMIAN. We can describe people’s behavior and attributes by likening them to the perceived behavior and attributes of some animals. A simian child is one who is monkey like. Aren’t they all?
Do you have a REPTILIAN boss? He slides silently past your work station, studying your performance with cold beady eyes. And you conceal the article about holidays in Bali your have been reading, with VULPINE cunning (fox like).
A group of people — voters perhaps — may be accused of following a politician’s demagoguery in an OVINE manner. Ovine (sheep like) — passive, of low intellect and acquiescent. However, having kept sheep for a number of years, they are neither stupid nor acquiescent. I found them to have charming individual characters. At times quite affectionate if not always fragrant. The reputation for stupidity is ill founded. They are prey animals and as such seek safety in numbers. For them the group or flock, to use the correct collective noun, is of paramount importance. The needs of the individual are overridden by the needs of the flock. Sheep are not stupid or docile, but communists.
The gamine model glides with FELINE grace along the cat walk. Feline (cat like) — poised, graceful, calculating, clean and beautiful. But that’s not the whole story. Cats are also fiercely independent and unapologetically individualistic. Not for them the prioritizing of the group need over that of the individual. In fact there is no collective noun for cats (apart from pride when referring to lions). Perhaps cats are the capitalists of the animal kingdom.
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