Bird Wings- Wings were by far the most popular answer, but most people were torn on what kind of wings they want. Arm-wings like birds have are beautiful, like the flycatcher we found in a mist net this morning. They look like angel wings bursting out from a terrified little bird having one of the most confusing experiences of its life.
Bug Wings- No one straight-out claimed bug wings, which I think is a huge oversight. Bumblebee wings are wildy efficient. Wasp wings let the hornets by the volleyball court dart and dip around. Beetle wings come with their very own elytra. And the cicada that Sarah found, that Maddy has preserved in a jar in the girl’s dorm, has charming, bright blue and green wings sprouting out of its newly-molted body.
Bat Wings- Hand-bone-wings that stretch way down to your feet. They require a quick drop before you fly, so this choice in body modification probably also requires hanging upside down. That’s good for your spine, I think. Allows for quick, flappy flight, like that of the bat that flew right past my head as we were listening to the chirps of the colony that roosts in the side of the girl’s dorm. Like the bats that we watched at the edge of the lake, soaring and diving at sundown.
Badger claws/ Rhino horns- Defensive choices were less common, but definitely interesting. What would you do with a weapon like that? Leave behind animal bones, like the deer hip by the access point or the skull that John found by the lake? Toss around the Sherman traps that we set out into the woods?
Giraffe Neck- Definitely not a practical choice.
Mantis Shrimp Eyes- Watching Youtube videos of exotic animals over lunch reminded me of when I was a little kid, trying to imagine a new color. I realized then, years ago, that I couldn’t just make up a new color, that I had to see it first- and that somehow, this was outside of possibility. But mantis shrimp have three-tiered eyes that see so much more than we do. I would like to know what that’s like. It’s fascinating to me that there are sensory cues spouting out everywhere that I’m totally unaware of: ultrasonic clicks and flaps, pheromones coating the dirt, movements faster and smaller than I’d ever recognize. Just an iota of insight into that world, by technology or magic, could change your entire world.
I’ve asked this question to a lot of my classmates these past few weeks. They have good answers. The whole concept of picking up a new body part is stuck in my head, clinging onto every new thing that we do here.