From the Latin creatura, a creature is a newborn child or a few years old. The term can therefore be used as a synonym for child. For example: “Yesterday Ester came to visit me with her child, which is almost as tall as her”, “I am outraged when children have to pay for their parents’ mistakes”, “After the crash, the child was thrown by the windshield and hit the pavement. ”
The notion of child, by extension, is used as a description of a person who seems very young or who has properties or attitudes similar to those of a child : “Don’t worry, you’re just a child: you’ll get another job”, “I can’t stand that you behave like a creature every time you get angry”, “You shouldn’t get like that, you look like a creature”.
When speaking of a child as a synonym for a child, there is a certain nuance of tenderness implicit in the term, the undeniable consideration that it is a person who is growing up, who needs the protection of their elders, who is not evil and who she is unaware of the dangers that surround her. For all these reasons, the creatures are often easy prey for the most wicked adults.
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Faced with such horrific news as a case of child abuse, or a mother who threw her baby in a dumpster, it is normal for people to react by saying “But how could he do something like that to him? If she is just a creature ». Although not all people feel the desire to be parents, they all go through childhood and experience firsthand that vulnerability that characterizes any living being during their early life.
When thinking of a creature we feel a very particular empathy, because it forces us to travel through time, to awaken feelings and sensations that perhaps we thought we had forgotten, to put ourselves in the place of another living being and try to understand it. Unfortunately, many adults harm children in unthinkable ways and leave indelible marks that torment them throughout their lives; three very common examples are sexual abuse, psychological and physical aggression.
Creature is also used to name mythological beings that do not fall into the most common classifications, since they are not human beings or animals. Some mythological creatures, however, arose from the confused accounts of travelers in ancient times, which ended up misrepresenting the characteristics of real animals.
The dragon (similar to a large snake or lizard, capable of breathing fire through its mouth), the unicorn (horse with one horn), the minotaur (half man and half bull) and the Loch Ness monster (a species of plesiosaur that, for some reason, would not have become extinct) are some examples of very popular creatures in various cultures.
It should be noted that some creatures that were considered mythological ended up being part of the animals once they were discovered. That is the case with the okapi, which looks like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe. The inhabitants of the Congo used to narrate about its existence to the Europeans who believed that it was only mythology, until Harry Johnston, at the beginning of the 20th century, was able to obtain skins that proved the existence of the okapi.
Another creature that today is recognized as a real animal, although not with the physical characteristics and abilities of its many myths, is the dragon. Its full name is Komodo dragon (also known as monster or monitor lizard ), and it is a species of scaly sauropsid found on some islands in central Indonesia. No other lizard exceeds it in size, as it can reach three meters in length, and its average weight is around 70 kg.