Times I’d Like to Be A ShapeShifter

June 3, 2008 at 6:00 am (Deborah Cooke)

You know that there are times when it’d be so great to be able to change shape and somehow make situations come out differently. Here are a few ideas of mine as to when might work out well:

1/ When I’m walking by the river and a heron takes flight, I’d like to try that out. I’d like to shapeshift into a great big bird – a heron or a swan – and fly along with him. I’d like to feel the wind in my feathers and see how the world looks from up there.

2/ Are you tormented by specific makes of car? For me, it’s silver Intrepids driven by people who, well, aren’t intrepid. (My DH insists that there’s an army of taupe Camry’s out there, just lurking for their chance to cut him off and drive slowly.) When that silver Intrepid cuts in for the third time, I’d love to be able to shift into a dragon – a dragon big enough to eat that car in one bite, chew it to nothing and spit out the ignition key.

3/ When something I’ve done is coming back to haunt me, (yikes!) I’d love to be able to shift into a little newt. I’d go hide under a rock in the garden until the tempest is passed.

4/ When people begin to have an interesting discussion at a party (flirting or arguing – either will intrigue) then disappear into a corner to continue their talk, I’d love to be able to shift into a fly on the wall. That way I could hear the good bits without anyone knowing I was there.

5/ When the doorbell rings and dear Aunt Tilly arrives for the second time in a month with her peekapoo in tow, I’d love to shape shift into a mouse and slip under the hall clock until she moves on to the next relative/victim. (Note that I don’t actually have an Aunt Tilly, but I like the name and it makes a good placeholder for that one houseguest we really don’t want to host again, for whatever reason. Your “Aunt Tilly” might empty the wine cellar or drain the hot water tank or leave her dirty teacups everywhere. Mine, well, if she wasn’t an irritating guest, there’d be no need to pretend I wasn’t home, or to call her an “Aunt Tilly”.)

6/ When my thistle “collection” is being difficult to manage (that’s pretty much every year – it’s actually an infestation but I’m trying to look at it more positively) I’d like to shapeshift into some kind of beetle with jaws of death. Then I’d dig into the earth and destroy the roots of those thistles for once and for all. Ha.

7/ When moths take up residence in my knitting wool stash, I’d like to shapeshift into something that eats moths – except I’m not sure that anything does. Any ideas?

8/ When I lose something – invariably a single earring when I like the pair a lot – I’d love to shape shift into a big she-wolf. With that incredibly sensitive sense of smell, I’d stalk through the neighbourhood, retrace my steps and find my lost whatever in a jiffy.

9/ I love the sound of the sea. When I walk by the ocean and the waves are rolling, the surf is pounding and the wind is blowing, I’d love to shape shift into a mermaid and leap into the waves. I’d like to check out coral reefs and fancy fish, swim and play and explore. A day at the beach without sunscreen would be a fun thing!

10/ One of my favourite medieval stories is that of Melusine. Whenever I read that story – the medieval French version or my version – or think about it, I’d like to change into a lamia like Melusine. Just because.

To Weave A Web of Magic anthology

A lamia, just FYI, is a woman who is half snake – that would be from the waist down. Melusine’s story is intriguing because it’s an early romance – she has a big secret in that she makes this change weekly. She tries to hide it from her human husband, without success. My novella “An Elegy for Melusine” is part of the anthology TO WEAVE A WEB OF MAGIC.

Let’s have a contest today for a copy of TWAWOM – comment on this post to be eligible to win!

So, how about you? When would you like to be a shapeshifter and why?

posted by Deborah Cooke



  1. Corinne said,

    I think spiders eat moths…either that or they get caught in their webs and expire there.

    I know it sounds silly but I’ve sat in bumper to bumper traffic on the highway (QEW) and wished I was a giraff, then I could just step over all the cars and carry on. Either that or Godzilla! Then I could fling them all about in a temper. (after everyone ran scraeming of course, I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone LOL)

  2. Terry Spear said,

    Great post, Deborah! I thought about this when I was having so much trouble with my painters–if I were a tigress or she-wolf, and they just didn’t all run off screaming, I’d have made them stay until the job was done right–the first time!!! And not have had to wait 3 weeks. Then when they overcharged me, I’d make them revise the bill. 🙂

  3. Lori Devoti said,

    Dogs and cats both eat moths–at least mine always have. And eew the crunch as they chomp them down. I don’t think I’d want to be anything tempted to eat a moth…
    Which makes me think, I wonder if my hellhounds are tempted to chase cars…?

  4. Laura said,

    Every spring Dad would take us fishing at St. Johns river. I use to daydream of turning into an alligator. That would be so much more fun than fishing!

  5. Michele Hauf said,

    Ah yes, a mermaid. I’ve always wanted to be one of those. But to shift into anything when needed? A dragonfly, because I’d just like to have that view of the world.

  6. rainedelight said,

    Great post Deborah. I had to think on this one and I think I would love to shift into a lioness..just to get my kids to clean their room when I ask them to,not when they decide to clean it. Might get my point across. LOL

    Raine Delight

  7. Colleen said,

    My black cat eats moths…. 😉 I love #2 & #9… to be a dragon and a mermaid, what fun you could have!!! To fly around and see everything from a different view… or to swim in the unknown depths of the ocean!!!
    Your novella “An Elegy for Melusine” sounds great… I have never read a story about a woman changing into a half snake before… secrets from a husband… interesting… 😀

  8. Teresa W. said,

    Looking forward to your novella. Would love to be able to become a shapeshifter to fly when I would need to be someplace that I have to be at fast and could enjoy not being stuck in traffic!

  9. Becky said,

    Those are all great reasons to shape shift!!!! I love em!! I always wanted to fly. How cool would that be? And I have to admit…I would occasionally like to have a paw full of claws to smack somebody…
    Thanks for the great ideas Deborah!!!

  10. Virginia H. said,

    I think I would like to fly like a bird. Just imagine the country side you could see if you could fly like a bird. That would be my choice.

  11. AlainaLee said,

    hm.m a frog would eat moths..
    i would.. like to turn into something that could fly.. and carry bags.. lol.. (a dragon would be awesome..) cuz that would mean i wouldnt have to drive.. lol.. (curses gas prices!)

  12. Cathy said,

    What I would have given to be an eagle this past year. My mother was ill. Her house is 1 hour away, she was in the hospital 1 hour away in the other direction and Dad didn’t know how to pay the bills. I went around the mountain between all these points at least 3 times a week for 4 months. I had to shut my business down for that period of time, if I could have flown over the mountain I would have saved 3-4 hours a day!!

  13. Deborah Cooke said,

    Wow, everyone wants to fly. How interesting! And there are so few bird-shape-shifter books out there. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    The anthology, btw, was published a few years ago, both by Berkley (the cover shown here) and in hardcover large print by Thorndike. So, there are copies out in the world.


  14. Lilly K said,

    During winter I would like to be able to shapeshift into a bear and hibernate until the warmer weather arrives – I hate the cold!!

  15. Cath said,

    what a beautiful post. I’m right with you on the mermaid, particulalry as I live a stones throw from the sea…but there are occasions when the internal deamons arise when I wish I could shift into a fire bird so I really could explode…after which of course I’d like to shift back into teensy ladybird to bring myself good luck.

  16. Tracy said,

    What a great post! As I’ve been having frustrating issues with my 10 year old I’ve thought wouldn’t it be great to just leave the house for a while (kids in fathers care, of course) and just be able to shift into a panther or wolf or something like that and just run. Run and let all your worries and cares fall to the wayside for those moments. *sigh* darn that sounds good! lol

  17. Savanna Kougar said,

    Fantastic post! What wonderful ideas. I shapeshifted into a horse when I was kid, in my mind, of course. And I would run the neighborhood.
    I’ve often daydreamed about being a mermaid or like the Man from Atlantis, so I just swim in the oceans. Sometimes I’ll see a huge hawk or a cardinal and want to fly. I couldn’t resist shifting into a Big Cat, any of them, or a wolf — actually almost any animal or mythical animal. Unicorn would be fun.
    I love everyone’s imagination about what they would shift to…wish, wish we all could.

  18. SM said,

    Bats eat moths. As for shapeshifting. I’ve always loved wolves. To be able to see in the dark and run endlessly would be great. Also shapeshift into an owl who fly silently through the trees at night. As for water, I would say a dolphin.Playful, smart, and swims fast. 🙂

  19. breukelen5 said,

    Cool post. Yes being able to mix it up and be a little different and experience things other ways sure makes life a lot more interesting than doing the same old, same old. My shape is wolf, cause they’re the coolest and sexiest!

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