When Cellini was about five his father chanced to see a creature like a lizard playing in the middle of the fire. He realized what it was and, calling the boy to him, brought it to his attention.
This done, he gave him a great box on his ear. After which, he kissed him.
“My little boy,” he said, “I am not striking you for any wrong you have done, but to make you remember that there is a salamander, a thing which has never been seen before by anyone!”
Anatole France has a story much like the above. A few of the details vary. For instance, the salamander—it is a woman, a Nymph, “of a perfect beauty.” Nonetheless, the pattern of his story is the same.
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