Came across this marvellous classification system for animals on Thinking Allowed Podcast recently. Supposedly it was taken from an ancient Chinese encyclopedia by Jorge Luis Borges.
Animals are divided into:
· those that belong to the Emperor;
· embalmed ones;
· those that are trained;
· suckling pigs;
· fabulous ones;
· stray dogs;
· those that are included in this classification;
· those that tremble as if they were mad;
· innumerable ones;
· those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush;
· those that have just broken a flower vase;
· those that resemble flies from a distance.
Of course, one thing you can be sure of with the Chinese - they all fall into the "things that can be eaten category" :)