I gaze at the form I have left behind and wonder how the elements will dispose of it and recycle it. It was a nice form while I was in it and I had become quite attached to it. I had spent so much time in that form that I no longer recognised the land around me, not the plants nor the not-plants. There were more not-plants than plants. I began to distinguish differences between the not-plants. There were the creatures of the water, fish, there were creatures that walked upon the land, animals, there were creatures with armour on the outside of their bodies, some crawling along the ground, some burrowing in it, some flying around in the air like elementals. And then there were creatures that walked on the ground and flew in the air. I learned over time that the armoured creatures were insects and the softer animals that both walked and flew were birds. I watched the birds with great interest. They seemed to have such grace in flight that they were as close to elementals as possible, able to travel without difficulty over any terrain. I looked deeper around me and saw other creatures of spirit like myself. They were no longer formless things but they had taken the forms of the things that surrounded me. I saw great bird-like spirits, I saw tree spirits, insect spirits and animal spirits. The living creatures were aware of their presence and some appeared to be communicating with them. One was leading a small pack of four legged creatures to my body. The spirit was twice the size of these small animals and strode purposefully, turning often to beckon its followers, the living versions of itself, or rather I perceived the living versions which it had taken the form of. As the pack of animals reached my body the great spirit version moved aside and came towards me. The small creatures were diving into my body, ripping out chunks of the flesh. I looked with some fear, then, at the spirit coming towards me, wondering if it planned to try to engulf me too as its creatures were devouring my body.
You don’t recognise me, do you? I have changed much since you last saw me. And I see you have changed much also.
My spirit soared at the sound of this familiar voice. I had found her finally. We had both changed over the aeons but fundamentally we were still the same. I cursed myself for not recognising her but she chided me for it, telling me I was recovering from death, it was normal to not recognise everything, to feel lost and alone. I saw you when you stumbled on me as a fish, I felt your pain as you saw me die. Death is not something to fear, it is the natural cycle of things, the way we travel from one experience to another, the way we learn. She gestures at me to take a look at myself and with amazement I see my spirit has retained the form of the body being quickly dismembered behind her. One of my pack of worshippers is about to become a mother. Her body has created more inside her in the way Mother Earth created us the first time within herself, within her spirit. One of the new bodies lies empty within her, the spirit that was to give it life has moved on to its new challenges already and this leaves a problem for me. If the empty body stays dead within her she will be in danger of losing her life and with hers the lives of the unborn will go to. I do not want this to happen. You must do what I did when you saw me last, you must enter the body and take residence within. She knows of the trouble she is in and I have promised to find a new spirit to take the empty form, I cannot go back on my promise but no other spirits have wanted to be cats at this time. I felt your death and hoped to find someone willing to take new life straight away. Can you do this for me?
Of course I will, how could I leave my love now I have found her, how could I leave her with problems when I could help her to solve them. I focus upon myself and change my spirit shape to match hers and prepare to enter the lifeless body within the female but then I perceive I am too large and must become much smaller. I tentatively try to reduce my size and I find I do so without diminishing me though my memories fade and some I lose altogether. She talks to me as I change, reassuring me that I will remain and will retain some of the knowledge I have learned. She begins singing then, a soft melodic tune and I feel the lethargy I had when Mother and Father sang to me. I stumble on my spirit feet towards the female carrying my new body and leap into her womb, squeezing between the other children til I find the empty body, smaller than the rest, it seems I will have some catching up to do when I awake next. As I drift to slumber I remember what she had called these creatures. Cats. The word had a good feeling about it. It hinted of great things and the word fit her well somehow. I sank into the new body and sank into the sleep of the unborn once more.