By Pat Cunningham
(I know it's Saturday, but I'm not sure of my schedule so I'm posting this now. Pretend it's Monday, or wait until Monday and read it then. Either works for me.)
Last week I finally scraped enough pennies together, took the plunge and bought a laptop. No longer would I be a slave to library system availability! Well, maybe a while longer while I figure out the new programs. But I can send and check emails and play videos on YouTube, so we’re halfway there.
My foray into the modern age got me wondering how shifter species are faring in our increasingly technological universe. Would shapechangers, connected as they are to the natural world, find things like iPODs and Twitter a blessing, the work of the Devil, or just plain confusing?
I’ve already established my wolves as hardline traditionalists being dragged by the tail into a connected existence and howling and snapping every inch of the way. The coyotes, on the other hand, embrace all forms of change. Frankly, they embrace anything that gives them a leg up on the competition, that is, everyone else in existence. Coyotes were the first shifter species to install indoor plumbing. They probably stole the first Model T to roll off the assembly line. I can picture a coyote training to become a pilot, and a wolf gulping tranquilizers before he boards his flight. Different strokes and all.
I haven’t written extensively about other shifters, so I haven’t figured out how they feel about modern conveniences. I imagine werehorses probably revere Henry Ford; the car took a literal load off their feet and backs. And who wouldn’t go for a hot stud horse in a Mustang? I’m betting the big cats like fast cars. The better to run down the prey, m’dear. If wolves are going to succumb to any tech, it would be cell phones. They’re family oriented and like to stay connected. There must be entire packs on Twitter. The first thing a coyote would do with a computer is hack into the system and indulge in massive identity theft. For them, the message never changed, just the medium of delivery.
How about your shifters? Have they embraced the modern age or turned their backs on it? What gadgets can’t they live without and which ones do they despise? Who’s got the flat screen HDTV in his den? Who met his mate in a chat room? Or don’t they care about any of this because they’re too busy seducing human women? Okay, there’s a definite upside to unplugging once in a while.
Oh, and the above gave me the germ of an idea. Maybe it’s a horse and not a coyote who trains to be a pilot. The obvious title: “Pegasus.” I’ll let you know if it goes anywhere. If not, feel free to hijack.