"Toy is hand tool - not artwork." From: Walter Benjamin's Archive. Ms. 604
Using a tool is playful learning, creating skills.

"His tools are in any case not only proof of an incipient opposition to violence; the burial places left by Neanderthal man bear witness to this also"
Source: Erotism by Georges Bataille, page 43.

Bataille says that the birth of the taboo on death coincided with the beginnings of work. There is a strong link between burial rites and the usage of tools. The man in the Lower Palaeolithic area started with the burial of their dead and with the use of tools for work; all to create order into something they perceived as supernatural. With burial rites and working with tools they found a way to coop with their emerging taboo on death. Or as Bataille himself says it (Erotism: Death and Sensuality, page 45): "Man, identifying himself with work which reduced everything to order, thus cut himself off from violence (death) which tended in the opposite direction."

A small boy found a dead mouse in the gutter. This dead animal intrigues him; an invisible force pulls him towards it. He kneels down close to the animal and looks at it for a long time. He doesn't dare to touch it. He doesn't dare to stroke the decaying body with his young boyish hands. Next to him he finds a small stick. This stick becomes his tool. This tool provides him a safe distance between his orderly life and this disordered, dead mouse. His tool enables his attempt to understand death, by curiously poking the dead body of the mouse.

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