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Shape Shifting Loner

black-pantherI’ve never really been into the whole werewolf thing. Several authors do excellent work in their stories, but I know a little too much, maybe about the social structure of the wolf pack to want to join their numbers.

Life is fine if you’re an Alpha. Pretty much the same way that any period in history is great – if you’re rich. But if you’re not, if you haunt the lower strata of the social construct, life isn’t much fun. This is all my way of saying I’m not very good at the social contract stuff.

Thus, my creature of choice is  the black jaguar. If I can’t have ALL the critters of the sea, earth and sky at my shape shifting beck and call, I want to be a melanistic jaguar.

These big cats are loners. They’re silent when they move. They’re invisible, and they’re deadly hunters. They’re afraid of nothing. And just look at that cat. Why wouldn’t I want to be something gorgeous and almost supernaturally graceful? Gods know grace isn’t something I’ve got going on in spades in *this* body. I’d be all about the novelty.

The jaguar range is amid the forests of South American and Central America. When the United States was a younger country (but not by much) jaguars ranged into the southern US. My mother remembers jaguars calling in the forests outside her Arkansas home when she and her sisters were kids. She says they sounded like women screaming. And every time the girls heard that sound while they were out on the sleeping porch, they raced as one back into the inside of the house.

It’s probably small of me to want to inspire that kind of awe and terror. The only other shape shifting thought I had was even more terrifying.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASmilodon populator. These animals ranged from 450lbs to nearly 900lbs. While Smilodon species are a part of the felidae family, they are only very distantly related to modern cats – they occupied a separate branch on the family tree, but they, too, seemed to have been excellent predators. For all that they’ve gone extinct…

Do you suppose my interest in being something huge and powerful reflects some weird Napoleonic complex?

On one hand it would be fascinating to be so unique a creature – million year old throwback the modern world isn’t equipped to handle. On the other hand, I’d be the only one of my kind and that would be sad. And lonely.

Can you imagine the kind of hunting territory a critter this size would require? And as a matter of curiosity, is there anyone out there who aspires to shape shift into something tiny so she could spy??

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