We received a Christmas card yesterday sporting a photo of a cute white puppy dressed as Santa. Our eldest expressed his dislike of it, but on very particular grounds: "I hate up dogs!"
He's four and since he's been able to talk he's had the strangest taxonomical system. Things - when feasible - are divided into the "ups" and the "downs". So shorts and t-shirts are ups, long trousers and long-sleeved shirts are downs.
His preference depends on the category. In clothing, he always favours ups. So shorts and t-shirts, even in winter if we allowed it. With animals he prefers downs (at the moment). Hence his dislike of the puppy (a West Highland terrier).
But in what way can dogs be divided into ups and downs? Rather than using the obvious metric - height - it's decided by which direction their ears point. So an up dog would be like the perky sheep dog or chihuahua (or Westie), whilst a down dog would have the drooping ears of a spaniel or labrador.
As I say, with dogs the ups are deprecated. This approach may be generally applicable in the animal kingdom. For instance, he also hates all cats, notorious as a uniformly up creature.
All fairly straightforward. But I hesitate to ask him why he hasn't applied his taxonomy to his fellow children. After all, boys are obviously down people and girls up people.