When I danced in the arms of a big happy elephant, I became a nimble mouse that leapt at its heavy feet. The rotund creature with his merry energy limited in his movement on the crowded floor, and I could make graceful what he made look awkward, the centre of gravity was him and I spun out from it, around it, and always back to it.
There was a tree too, and in his stable subtle presence, I was a bird that flittered with no need to feel the ground beneath my feet or a care in the world. Free to feel the wind in my hair, the sturdy hands the branches I would rest on for a moment or two, cradled by their gentle movement.
And again, as a bouncy bunny around a growly bear, and a feline that danced with a wolf. Drenched shirts sticky with sweat, all types of bad odour, b.o and stinky breath, all became bearable and amusing when coming from a fairytale toad.
I always made myself the cute creatures, and sometimes a princess at a ball.
My friends were usually just my friends, it was the strangers who could make the transformations. And later on the train, I would look for the magic in the other, faceless strangers who now stood just as close. I never can find it. All ancient people knew that we had animal spirits, and ours must still be out there somewhere. Running free, having adventures, while we wait empty until the day when we realise we must chase them and join them.