"Mammals learn," he said, "mostly with other people, we learn how dangerous they are. But what we really learn is about places."
He offered me tea and I declined with thanks for his generosity and he continued.
"Every moment that's important, a mammal will remembr the place where it happened, and remember that it's a place where that kind of thing happens. If you're threatened in a place, you won't go there again. If something nice happens, you'll remember that it's a good place for treats. And you'll keep that map in your head, certain and unimpeachable. That's where we get haunted houses and lucky places and so on. It's not superstition; it's part of being a mammal. You don't go back to those places and you don't go to places that smell like that. It feels like magic, but it's just part of being a mammal."
"But, ah," said said awkwardly, "You're a reptoid."
He just arched a scaly crested eyebrow quizzically. Smug reptoid son of a gun.