My shape-shifting grandfather.

My dad told me once that my great great grandfather was a shape-shifter. I don’t remember his name, or really anything else about him, except the most famous story of him shifting shapes.

According to tradition, he was guerilla during the Mexican revolution. One day, orders were given out for his arrest and the local magistrate gathered his troops to seize him at the ranch where he stayed. The government troops marched up the hill, surrounded my great great grandfather’s home, and demanded that he turn himself over. His other option, while not stated, was obvious: he would have to engage the soldiers in a gunfight.

“Let the children go safely!” he cried out from within -the original conversation was in Spanish but I have translated it for the benefit of my readers.

“Fine, let them come out. But if you come out with them we will shoot them with you,” shouted back the magistrate.

And so the front door opened, and out of it came all the children that were too young to hold a gun with their little dog chasing behind them. The soldiers cared nothing for them and they ran up into the hills nearby.

The soldiers shouted out once more for my ancestor to come out. There was no reply. They shouted again. Still, no reply was given. The magistrate’s patience was stretched too far and he finally gave the command to open fire. They stormed in the house. They found nothing.

Perplexed, they looked up towards the hills and saw the dog that had escaped with the children staring back at them.

“Why are you fools wasting your bullets? You’ll need them for when I come back for you.”

And thus goes the story of my shape-shifting patriarch’s greatest exploit.

I don’t believe that story is true for one second. My great great grandfather might have actually pulled off an amazing escape but I’d bet a lot of money that it was probably done through logical means.

But if it is true, I really hope that his powers were passed on to me. If I am a shape-shifter, I really hope I get to turn into a wolf, or a bear. Possibly a bird so I can fly.

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