There was a woman who loved the magic so that she moved easily from shape to shape. She had concourse with many other animals when she was in her season, and when her belly grew within her, she did not know which animal had given it root.
But it hardly mattered, since she changed her own shape so much that the creature within her learned to change as easily as it learned to beat its own heart.
And when it was born, the woman was in the shape of a deer, for she believed that was the shape easiest for birthing. But the creature which had been a small fawn, changed shape immediately afterwards, and then again and again. Dizzying the mother so that she grew frightened and loped away, leaving her child to its own defenses.
Yet none of the other animals of the forest would dare come near this creature. She did not know which parts belonged to which creature, and so she began to match the nose of a wolf with the eyes of an eagle, and the legs of the deer with the strong back ox the ox.
There was nothing natural in her shape, and she was lonely, for she had no equal. She roamed the forest, changing and changing, her magic spilling out of her to be picked up by others who knew not from whence it came.
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