Arthur Applebee asked a group of pre-school children to tell him the characters of a list of animals. They were more certain of the stereotypical personalities of animals they could only have met in stories, such as brave lions or sly foxes, than of the characters of dogs or cats, where experience of specific dogs and cats came in to complicate the picture. Story characteristics are prepared for reception, so to speak; they’re consistent, they don’t contradict themselves, and they’re dispensed at the pace that understanding demands.
The Child That Books Built, Frances Spufford
During the Middle Ages, foxes were a widely recognised symbol for the devil.
Header painting: Ebenezer Newman Downard – Winter Landscape with Fox and Hares