We go to the dogs, cry crocodile tears, are poor as church mice or wolves in sheep’s clothing, and move at a snail’s pace. As the richness of our verbal bestiary suggests, for centuries literature and art have faced the creative challenge of imagining and describing the mysterious relationship between human beings and animals, the special state between proximity and distance, familiarity and strangeness, striking similarity and absolute difference in which they exist. Our idea of the character of animals has changed from epoch to epoch.
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