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Useful weblinks: Hot and Cold Air

  • Satyrs are mythical creatures. They appear in lots of stories from the ancient world, especially in ones that include the cult of the god Dionysus.
  • This beautifully illustrated limerick version of the fable is from the book Baby’s Own Aesop (Walter Crane, illustrator). 
  • Milo Winter (1886-1956) illustrated many of Aesop’s fables. In this illustration, his satyr looks very playful (instead of angry and telling the man to get out!). 
  • Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) also illustrated several of Aesop’s fables. He created two illustrations for this story: blowing hot air and cold air. 
  • Minus speech, this animation brings the fable to life. To get the point across, the air the man blows changes colour depending on whether it is ‘hot’ or ‘cold’.
  • In actual fact, the breath is pretty much the same temperature but it feels warm when it is blown onto something colder than it (his cold hands) and it feels cool when it is blown onto something warmer than it (the hot food).
  • Often when we blow air it feels colder than when we breathe it out (get students to try blowing and then breathing on their hands). This site explains why but Aesop probably didn’t realise this so for the ancients it must have been a mystery as to why humans could breathe both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ air!
  • Ask students what they think the moral of this story is (after all, in most people’s opinion the man wasn’t really doing anything worth getting kicked out for!).
  • Many people have interpreted the message of this fable as ‘don’t be two-faced’ or ‘the man who talks for both sides is not to be trusted by either’.