The Transformation Story Archive Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...

Mother Nature

by diverse Hands

It's Not Nice to Mess with Mother Nature

by "Thomas Harbert"

A German Shepherd sat on a dais in the center of a large, brightly lit room. Across the room, at a control panel stood two men dressed in white smocks.

"Well Doctor, if these tests work we will have the ability to reshape the face of nature as we wish.", said one. "Yes, begin the sequence".

The first man flipped a switch and both men turned to look at the dog. The lights dimmed and a glow appeared around the dog. The glow brightened until it was hard to look at, then swiftly dimmed. Where the dog had been standing now sat a white rabbit.

The scientists cheered and began a small celebration. Neither of them noticed that a warm spring breeze, lightly scented with wildflowers and fresh mown grass began to blow through the sealed room. At least not until someone cleared their throat behind them.


Startled, they spun around to look at the dais. The rabbit was gone, in its place stood a beautiful woman dressed in a light and airy green gown, wearing a wreath of flowers in her hair and standing in a shaft of warm sunlight that came from nowhere.

"The world is in rough enough shape as it is, without humans meddling with the powers of the gods.", she said.

She lifted one hand to point at the machinery and vines began to grow from the cabinets all around the room, completely destroying the machinery. Then she pointed at the two scientists. In their place stood two handsome German Shepherds.

The last human thought to pass through their minds was "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature".

Nature 's a Mean Mother

by "Bryan Derksen"

Dr. Peter Worth sighed as he compared the diagram to the projector for the hundredth time. "I just don't get it," he complained. "This is exactly what was used in the prototype, but it works fine. Exactly as it should have."

The large dog lying by the wall raised his head at the sound of his voice and cocked it to the side. "What is it, boy?" Peter asked hopefully. "Do you remember?" The dog barked once with annoyance. "Sorry, I keep forgetting," Peter apologised quickly. "Do you remember anything, Dr. Samuel?"

The dog got up and walked over to the workbench, and Peter felt his excitement rise, but it quickly collapsed again as Dr. Samuel leaned against his leg and looked up at him. Peter sighed and scratched him behind the ears as he appeared to be requesting, and the dog obviously enjoyed the attention. There were still no signs of improvement, he thought, or clues of what had gone wrong.

Dr. Samuel and Hadrian had been at the top of their fields, brilliant scientists on the fast track to a Nobel prize. They had discovered a technique that allowed living organisms to be reshaped, quickly and without the need for complicated genetic modifications, and had been testing the prototype when something had gone wrong. Their first full-scale test had been to turn a rabbit into a german shepard, but they had ended up as dogs instead and the rabbit had ended up god knew where.

It was a good thing they had kept notes, Peter thought, or their brilliant work might have been lost. The two dogs seemed to remember their lives to some degree, but apparently not everything. Peter had managed to arrange for Dr. Samuel to visit the lab to show him his work, but so far it had been a total flop. It was hard to believe the dog was a former colleague whom he had actually known in passing and had looked up to professionally. At least he didn't seem too unhappy, though his family certainly was.

Peter finished scratching the doctor's ears. "I'll get you back," he promised quietly. "I'll figure out what went wrong, and you'll get your accolades yet." The dog looked up at him and for a moment Peter saw understanding and pleading in his eyes, but before he could say another word it was gone again and the dog wagged his tail. "Yeah, you can go lie down again" he said, voice slightly choked with emotion. "You're a good... dog." Dr. Samuel walked back to the wall and curled up again. Peter returned his attention to the field projector lying on the bench.

After a few minutes, he had regained his concentration on the problem at hand. Though the projector met all the specifications that the doctors' theories required, his own theory was that the focus had somehow spread catastrophically to include those standing nearby. It explained why they had been affected by the german shepard program, at least. It didn't explain where the rabbit went, and even more irritatingly it didn't explain where the vines that had ended up all over the wreckage had come from, but it was a start. It was something he could test.

Peter finished aligning the field coils to his satisfaction, and gently picked up the piece of equipment. He carried it to a cubical room in the corner of the workshop, with thick insulated walls and a vault-like door, and hooked it up to power and control cables. He then retreated to an equally well-insulated control room at the far side of the workshop. "Here b... I mean, you'd better come in here," he called, but Dr. Samuel was already following him inside. Peter closed the door and turned on the warning signals. After ten minutes of carefully checking and rechecking everything three times, he was ready to try out the projector and see what would happen. Dr. Samuel and Hadrian had of course done this test lots of times before their accident and nothing had gone wrong, but obviously they had missed something. Peter slowly turned up the field projector's power, sending simulated transformation signals through it once it was at minimum potential.

Nothing. Though he was still sweating from tension, Peter couldn't help but feel dejected that nothing was going wrong. He would try a higher power setting next, perhaps the focus wasn't unstable this low... Peter was jolted from his thoughts by the small beeping of an alarm and the low growl of Dr. Samuel. Something was going wrong, but not with the focus; the projector had just lost power. The diagnostics registered some sort of overheat, though that shouldn't have been possible at these power levels. Peter glanced at the closed-circuit monitor, and saw plants on the projector.


Peter leapt to his feet, heart pounding. A woman was standing in the control room behind him, though the door was still sealed; she was dressed in a light and airy green gown, wearing a wreath of flowers in her hair and standing in a shaft of warm sunlight that came from nowhere. Dr. Samuel pressed against his legs and continued to growl at her. "Uh?" Peter asked, bewildered and afraid.

"Here we go again," she sighed. "The world is in rough enough shape as it is without humans meddling with the powers of the gods." She lifted one hand to point at Peter.

Dr. Samuel lunged at her, barking fiercely. The woman stepped back in surprise, dropping her hand to gesture at the attacking dog. Peter took that moment to bolt for the door, not understanding what was going on but thoroughly unnerved. He slammed the door behind him and ran out of the lab.

Inside the control room, Dr. Samuel's charge had been quickly aborted by the woman's gesture. He now lay on his back at her feet, wagging his tail and panting while continuing to stare at her with anger in his eyes. The woman smiled and lightly scratched his belly, setting his hind leg kicking and overwhelming the anger with momentary bliss. Then she straightened back up and walked through the door, disintegrating it with a touch. She saw that Dr. Worth wasn't in the workroom, either. "So you want to play tag, eh?" she said with disdained amusement. "I suppose it's only sporting, after all." She rose several inches off of the floor, and rapidly accelerated out into the hallway.

Back in the control room, Dr. Samuel whined and struggled to his feet, disoriented and disturbed. He shook himself, walked a few steps, and then sat down heavily with disgust. Damn, he thought, she got away. Then he wondered if there was new food in his dish yet, and wandered off to look for it.

Peter ran through the hallway as if pursued by the hounds of hell. In a way, it felt like it; there was something about that woman, a creepy sort of power... Peter wasn't a superstitious man, and he wasn't going to start being one now, but it had certainly felt like something otherworldly. He just hoped she wouldn't follow him.

His hope was dashed with the sound of light laughter; she was behind him, all right. "You can't go against Nature for long before she catches up to you!" she called out, and he sprinted harder; but he wasn't exactly the athletic type, and a glance over his shoulder revealed that she was flying. "No... Fair!" he gasped, "Help!" he shoved past a pair of surprised graduate students as they came out of another door, and ran into the stairwell.

"What's his problem?" one asked the other.

"Dunno." he responded. "Who's she?"

They watched the woman fly effortlessly past them, long dress billowing around her curvaceous form. Then she abruptly halted and turned to face them again, a cross expression on her face. "Such thoughts!" she exclaimed indignantly. The two grinned and glanced at each other sheepishly. The woman lifted one hand to point at them, and they emitted simultaneous high-pitched screams as they abruptly turned into twin buxom nymphs before each other's eyes. "Let's see how you like it yourselves!" the woman scolded, and returned to her pursuit.

The two graduate students watched her go with stunned disbelief and then, after a moment of silence and lacking any better ideas of what to do, they screamed again.

Peter burst out onto the ground floor, lungs wheezing and muscles burning but at least farther ahead of the woman. He staggered to a momentary stop, trying to catch his breath. "Gotta... get... help..." he gasped to no one in particular. Then he heard a horrible shriek, resonating as if it came from two throats, and the whoosh of the woman swooping down the stairwell like a diving hawk. He groaned and started running again, out into the building's lobby. He was about to run outside when he remembered that this was a reasonably high-security facility, and that there was a security office immediately to his left. He turned and jumped inside, slamming the door behind him.

A security guard was at the desk, and looked up in surprise at Peter's wild appearance. "Uh, is something..." he began to ask.

"YES!" Peter screamed at him. The guard flinched. "You've gotta help me, she's after me! Ahh!" Peter flung himself forward and to the floor as the door disintegrated behind him. The woman floated through the door, her dress and hair sparkling with discharges and swirling as if in a storm. The guard gasped and rose to his feet, fumbling to draw his sidearm as Peter scrambled behind his desk.

"Ollie ollie oxen free!" she cried triumphantly. "No, wait; that's not what the seeker says. Oh well, you know what I mean."

The guard managed to draw his gun and train it on her. "You, you, hold it, ah!" the woman quickly lifted one hand to point at the guard and he dropped the gun with a cry of surprise. His hands had turned into black cloven hooves. He stared at them in horror.

"Looks like we need to work on that aggression, don't we!" She yelled, and pointed more firmly. The guard's scream choked off into a bleat of terror as he fell forward onto the desk, his uniform splitting as his brown-furred flanks rapidly expanded and his limbs lengthened.

Peter was huddled under the desk in a state of near-hysteria as the guard confronted the woman. He cringed at his initial cry of horror, and again as the guard's gun landed in front of his face. He stared at the gun, wide-eyed. As the guard fell heavily across the desk, Peter grabbed the gun and stood up. He had never handled a gun before, but he was scared out of his mind and totally desperate. He pointed it at the woman, trying to keep from shaking too hard to aim. "St-, St-," he stuttered.

The woman dropped her arm and smiled viciously at him. The doe now draped over the desk rolled her eyes in panic, but was too uncoordinated to stand up; Peter was leaning against the wall for support now anyways, so she wasn't in the way. "Do you think you'll do any better, you unnatural excrement?"

"Wh- Why!?" Peter managed to force out.

"You're reshaping the face of nature, playing god!"

"Somebody has to!" Peter screamed, delirious with fear and exhaustion. The woman jerked her hand up, raising it to point at him...

Peter came to a moment later, and realized that he was sitting on the floor. His wrist hurt terribly, and his lower back too; he must have fallen hard. There was an unpleasant metallic burnt smell in the air and his ears were ringing. He groaned and struggled to his feet, pulling himself upright on the doe standing straddled over the desk and frozen in terror. They looked at each other in mutual incomprehension. There was another groan, not his this time, and they looked toward the door.

The woman lay sprawled in the doorway, her green dress soaked in blood. Peter glanced behind him and saw the gun lying against the base of the wall, smoke trickling from its barrel. He flexed his injured wrist, and realized that he had been quicker on the draw than her. "...gotta ... call the police..." he muttered at last. The doe nodded slowly, eyes still wide and looking quite dazed. Peter stared at the woman for a moment longer and then reached for the phone.

this story inspired two endings, either the pessimistic Reset or:

Natures Shaky Balance

by "Thomas Harbert"

"Emma!", the old man yelled out as he was startled from his deep sleep. He looked beside him at the bed was empty. With an oath, he flung back the covers, leapt to his feet, and rushed out the door. He made his way through what seemed a labyrinth of passages, with the certainty of one who has followed the path to his destination many time before.

He stopped before a massive bronze door. The door was sculpted with reliefs that changed and flowed before his eyes. This was 'The Door to History', in it's surface was reflected the unfolding of time. With a sharp command the door swung aside and Father Time entered his Sanctum Sanctorim, 'The Hall of Time'.

The room was as finite as time. An archeologist would be amazed at the contents of this room. Contained within was the works of civilizations unknown to modern historians. Here could be found the culture and science of Atlantis, the world of the Cro-Magnon, and what really happened to Amelia Earhart. What dominated and defined the room was a glowing crystal globe, six feet in diameter and suspended above the floor by no visible means. The extent of the room was defined by the glow of the orb. Beyond its reach was the lush blackness of non-existence.

He made his way across the cluttered work space to the globe. "Lets see what is happening.". With a pass of his hand the globes glow pulsed as an image formed within. Father Time saw Mother Nature laying on a floor in a pool of blood. The scene spun around and came to focus on a deer standing over a desk and beside it was a man holding a gun.

Father Time heaved a sigh and turned from the globe. He walked across the room to a large clear space. Raising his arms, he began to chant a spell. As the power gathered a nimbus of energy formed around him and spread out to encompass the clear space. With a final, emphatic word, and an explosion of outrushing air, Mother Nature, the deer, and the man, minus the gun, appeared before him.

As Peter reached for the phone the air in the room seemed to twist. He looked down at his hand reaching for the phone, it seemed to stretch out before him for yards. Suddenly, in a split second, everything blurred and snapped back into focus accompanied by a bang. The room he had been in was gone.

Peter looked around frantically, his fragile hold on reality was slipping fast and hysteria beckoned like a warm safe blanket. He looked for the possible in a place that defined impossible. The room was vast beyond his capability to grasp, and the objects defied all the safe well known and beloved rules of his logic, science. His mind couldn't accept what as around him,to much had happened to him to fast. So the logical thing for him to do was pass out, so that is exactly what he did.

Father time quickly went to the side of Mother Nature and knelt beside her. Her eyes opened as he looked down into her face. He smiled and said, "You know dear, you should really be more careful". She smiled up at him and muttered quietly to herself. The blood quickly seeped back into her as the damaged flesh sealed itself without a scar. Her gown flowed as if made of quicksilver and became whole again.

"You worry to much Augustus, you know that the Earth Spirit is no more capable of being killed than the Spirit of Time is."

"Yes, but you seem to forget that we are defined by the flesh we inhabit. And if you constantly tempt Fate with your little side trips you could end up wearing a Dodo again. It took me twenty years to talk it into giving you back your human form.", he said testily as he helped her to feet. He turned toward the man crumpled on the floor and the deer quivering in frozen terror beside him. "What exactly did you do and what does damage control look like?". His voice held the tone of one who had been through similar episodes many times before with his hot headed wife.

"I didn't do anything wrong, just my job. Maintaining the balance between order and chaos, natural and unnatural.",she said with slight annoyance as she walked toward the deer. She held out her hand and whispered softly to it. The deer quieted and the terror left its eyes as it shyly stepped forward to sniff her hand. "There won't be any need for damage control.".

Augustus walked to the globe, passed his hand over it and gazed into its depth. "Oh, really?", he said as he glanced over at her with an arched eyebrow, "Let's see what the Probabilities say." His brow creased as he concentrated on the time lines flickering before his eyes. "Well, if you hadn't turned him into a deer, a doe at that. Really Emma, that was a little over the top! In two weeks this particular guard would have been in exactly the right spot to stop a first time rapist. Because this rapist is not stopped, within three years he turns into a serial killer and kills eighteen women before he is stopped. One of these women would have given birth to a boy that would have been the father of a future president of a multi planet alliance that would have successfully stopped an invasion of some rather nasty representatives of the Corpasic-Lithan War Alliance. I would call that damage control, how about you?".

Emma blanched and looked wide eyed at the doe, shaken by the realization the consequences of her irate thought. "Oh my, when I put foot my in it, I sink up to my neck. Well,", she said to the doe, "you will have to go back." A though crossed her mind. "Augustus, there were two young men that I passed in a hall. They thought some rather lewd things and since I was already angry zapped without thinking, could you check on them please.", she paused as he turn back to the globe.

"Well, this is unexpected. You have to look at this I can't describe it". Emma walked over to the globe. She saw a group of naked people in a cluttered room. "Where are they?". "That is one of the campus frat houses and in all my many years I have never seen anything like that! Nero's Rome came close, but this beats that hands down.". The scene portrayed in the globe was one of extreme debauchery and gave a new meaning to orgy. "Emma did you have to turn them into nymphomaniacs? Why must you always go just that extract step from the sublime to the ridiculous?", he glanced into the globe again. "You know, I didn't know that position was possible for humans.", Augustus commented as he turned away from the globe. "We will take care of that after everyone has worn themselves out and are asleep from exhaustion".

"Emma, what happened to cause all of this?"

Emma paused before answering,"Well, the fellow laying crumpled on the floor over there, was trying to reconstruct a device for transforming living things, that I though I had put a stop to. When I showed up and started to change him into a mongoose, a dog jumped me and distracted me long enough for him to run. So I went in pursuit, I admit I let my temper get the best of me, but after dealing with four toxic waste dumps and an oil spill, all in one day, I think I had a right to be slightly out of sorts. I turned the two guys into girls, caught up to the good doctor, changed the guard to a doe, and got shot. That about sums it up."

"My you've been busy. First priority is the guard, go ahead and change him back and erase his memory of all that's happened since the first change and I will put him back. Make sure that he thinks he just dozed of for a second." Emma nodded and turned to the doe that was staring at her with complete and mindless adulation. She pointed at the doe and silently formed the command to return her back to his human form. The doe's form shimmered as the body began to change. The forelegs began to thicken and the hind legs to straighten, the body shrank and lost its hair, while the head compressed and returned to its human form. In the space of seconds the naked form of the guard stood before her, still with the mindless adulation in his eyes. With a wave of the hand the guards uniform condensed out of thin air. Taking him by the hand she lead him over to where Augustus was preparing to send him back.

"All right Emma, I'm ready to send him back go ahead and take care of his memory." Emma reached up and touched the guard on the forehead and whispered to him. A flicker of awareness returned to his eyes and then glazed over with the look of a sleep walker. She stepped away from him and Augustus spoke a sharp word of command and gestured. The guard disappeared with an implosion of air.

With a nod of satisfaction, Augustus turned to Emma. "Well, that is one problem taken care of.". Looking over at Peter sprawled untidily on the floor, "What do you suggest we do with our other problem?".

Peter began to stir and return to consciousness. A feeling of calm and well being flowed through him, soothing the earlier raw emotions. "There, he is waking up and his mental state will be at least a great deal calmer than before.", said a female voice that reminded him of the sighing of the summer breeze through the trees. "Good, maybe we can deal with him in some fashion that won't require you to turn him into her for a change.", a mans voice responded.

Peters eyes popped open in alarm and he sat upright. Looking around him he saw that he was back in the nightmare world of before. He looked up at the people standing beside him, seeing the woman he scrambled backward until his back was against a work bench. Groping behind him, his hand closed around something hard and he swung it around in front of him, he saw that he held a stuffed giant prehistoric dragon-fly. Nonplused for a second, he nonetheless brandished it threateningly at the woman before him. "Stay away from me!",he shouted. The couple looked at him for a second with surprised looks on their faces and then began to laugh.

While tears streamed down their faces, Peter pulled himself up using the table for support. Looking around he saw a bronze door off to the side. Taking his chance, while the man and woman were distracted, he staggered toward the door. Almost to the door, he began to feel as if he were moving through cold molasses. Turning his head to look back over his shoulder, a movement that seemed to take forever, he saw the man lowering his arm from pointing at him while wiping tears from his eyes. He walked, at what appeared to Peter a dead run, over to stand beside him.

"Young man, I have been threatened with many things, but this is the first time I have been threatened with a stuffed insect. If for nothing else, I should keep you around for a while for comic relief. Unfortunately, I can't do that. You see, you present a problem, by trying to continue the research of your colleague you are upsetting a rather delicate balance."

Peter felt the force holding him still release and he stumbled forward. "All I was trying to do was return my friend to his true form, when that bitch started threatening me and transforming people left and right! If anyone can go around changing things like that then there can't be a balance to be upset. What government do you work for? Who is trying to suppress this kind of technology?".

"The universe doesn't like unpredicted alterations. When someone or something starts making unapproved changes its our job to put a stop to it. That is what Emma did with your friends in her 'Mother Nature' guise. I am Augustus, also known as 'Father Time', just as Emma's job is to keep life in order, my job is to keep space and time in order. If you had opened a stable wormhole, it would have been me that visited you. We remove wildcards from the deck and you are a wildcard that will have to be removed."

Peter felt a hot flush and a sensation of falling. He looked down at his arm and saw his hand change into a paw and brown fur sprout from his arm. As he shrank his back arched forcing him onto all fours which he found was a natural position. He felt a tail sprout from his spine and his face push outward. He crawled from his clothing and looked up at the man and women standing over him.

"Augustus you talk to much. He makes a cute mongoose don't you think?".

Peter squeaked and burrowed back into his clothes to hide. "What next?", he thought.

Natures Downfall

by "Thomas Harbert"

"Emma! What do you think your doing?", shouted Augustus.

"I'm getting on with my job and punishing the little mongoose once and for all. You stand around talking all day and knowing you he would probably talked you out of punishing him."

Peter poked his nose out of the pile of clothing he was hiding in. Looking around frantically for an escape route he saw deep shadows under some workbenches on the opposite side of the room. If he could get there he might be able to work his way to the door. He wasn't sure what he would do then, but one problem at a time. Peter screwed up his courage and made a mad dash across the room. His shortest path took him directly under the glowing sphere. As he ran nearer the globe he began to pass over lines cut into the floor,everytime he passed over one, it felt like he was ripping through cobwebs. He heard a muffled yell as he reached the globe.

"When you and your problems end up in my workshop, they become my problem and will be dealt with as I see fit. The best way to deal with problems is not always to turn people into anything that strikes your fancy. Sometimes just explaining what is going on will suffice and have the added benefit of making an ally in the real world. You, of course don't see....." Augustus paused as caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. "Peter NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Peter raced under the globe and was blinded as it lit up like a sun. He felt more than he heard, the globe fall to the floor beside him. The globe exploded around him, caught in the release of energy it felt as if his flesh was melting from his bones. He clutched at one

thought, he didn't want to die as a mongoose. Suddenly, he felt as if he were a sponge, the energy that had been destroying him, began to pour into him. He began to expand and change. He felt the fur dissolve into him, his bone twist, and his muscles grow. Opening his eyes he looked down at his naked body. Other than the glow that surrounded him he was human again. Then he noticed that he was looking down at Mother Nature And Father Time. Peter panicked and wanted to be gone.

As Augustus yelled out to Peter he saw the globe begin to wobble and felt the levitation spells keeping it up begin to shred. He watched it hit the floor and shatter. The energy release would destroy not only the lab, but cause a time-space rip as well unless he could contain the blast. Unfortunately, only a specially and painstakingly prepared vessel could accept the energy, unless it was a living vessel.

Augustus threw up his arms and began to frantically intone a spell. Linking it directly into the power expanding before him he cast the link to the only life-force in a position to accept it, Peter.

The energy stopped expanding and began to sink backward. At its heart a brightly glowing shape could be seen. The shape grew and changed as the energy flowed back. When the last of the energy had been absorbed by the shape, Augustus saw the human Peter standing, looking down at himself amazed at being human again. Peter was at least eight feet tall and his body was that of an idealized human male. The way that, in his heart, Peter wanted to be. Peter looked up and a shadow of fear crossed his face. The next instant he was gone.

"What did you do?", Emma asked in shock.

"The only thing I could do. When the energy released like that it would have ripped time and space apart. The only vessel available to put it in was Peter. It seems we have a new god in the neighborhood.", Augustus paused and a strange tingling began along his spine. He knew that feeling. Fate was about to make an appearance. Augustus wondered what he would be spending the next millennium being.

Where the globe had been appeared an older, elegantly dressed gentleman. "Do you know what you have done?", asked Fate. "I have been trying for the past fifteen minutes to juggle twelve peoples fate lines that you put into a twist and then what happens. A twist that puts the whole tapestry to vibrating. Father Time, I know that what you did, you did because you had no choice. But it is now your job to find this godling and teach him to control his power or find a way to strip it from him if he refuses to learn. As for you Mother Nature, I have always been partial to Dodos and you are the personification of one." With a wave of his hand Fate disappeared.

A glow surrounded Mother Nature. She screamed as her gown dissolved and feathers began to sprout. The scream became a squawk as her face pushed outward into for a clumsy beak. Her body shrank to about the size of at Thanksgiving turkey and her legs became short, stubby, and yellow. She squawked once more and disappeared. Only to reappear on a small island in the Pacific Ocean. The worlds last, and only immortal, Dodo.

Father Time sighed and began the task of trying to track down Peter.

Nature is a mean Mother inspired another more pessimistic ending:


by "Thomas Hassan"

The woman with the hole in her chest had green hair. I distinctly remember that. I do. But I don't know anymore. I had just shot her, but she opened her eyes again. She said: "Now, that's enough of this. I'm going to reset the lot of you. Then she looked at me. "And you will be the witness.", she said. I felt my clothes falling of and my body shrunk and my aches disappeared and the skin on the back of my hands smoothed and around me the world reshaped.

Timmy woke up when he fell to the floor, as his bed dissolved. He looked around, and noticed that the walls were getting - thinner? "Mom?" he said. "Dad? Mom?" he called out and he looked over where he knew their bedroom to be. The walls slowly faded before his eyes, and he could make out shapes on the other side. As the walls faded, the shapes grew, reformed. When the house was gone, Tommy sat naked on the grass, and watched the two horses that had been his parents. He didn't cry.

Jamila had always loved playing doggy with her daddy. He would run around and growl and bark, and she would run away or she would make up a fierce lion and her daddydog would protect her. So she wasn't scared when the house was gone and her daddy grew real hair and and turned into a real dog. She knew he would always protect her.

All the kids in class 5B were staring. The teacher stopped in mid-sentence and made a strange face. Then he started to grow. His face pushed out, he fell down, curved horns grew out of his head, while his clothing crumbled to dust and a shaggy fur grew and his hands turned to hooves, and when he was finished, he bleated. So intent did they watch the transformation, that they didn't even notice everything disappearing until Stefan cried out for his favorite Batman T-Shirt.

Ivan didn't really feel comfortable as he started to squeeze the udder of the cow his mother had become, but all the grown-ups were gone, and his little sister was hungry.

They lived in a herd now. They couldn't build huts. Not that they hadn't tried, but the branches and vines just wouldn't stay together. James, who was the biggest, had said that all their parents were animals now, and they weren't relatives anymore. Still Timmy wasn't so sure. When his mother dropped her foal, he called it "Bruce", because he had always wanted a little brother called "Bruce". Sometimes he missed TV most.

I never grew up. The others did, and had kids of their own, and when they grew up, they didn't change. (Except for one girl I knew, who stubbornly tried again and again to make fire) I just walked through the world joined tribes and herds for a while, walked on and watched. The woman with the hole in her chest had green hair. I distinctly remember that. I do.


Mother Nature copyright 1996 by diverse Hands.

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