An excerpt from "Just this Side of Byzantium" by Ray Bradbury:
I began to learn the nature of surprises, thankfully, when I was fairly young as a writer. Before that, like every beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies.
I think Bradbury wants to convey the idea that forcing an idea into existence will backfire, but I don't understand the figurative language in "folds up its paws, fixes its eyes on eternity." What connection does this have to the main idea?