Suggestion For Piers Anthony

I have no idea where to go with this idea...can you use it?


It was a quiet day in the land of Xanth.

Ava, a young pretty, human girl approached the harpy. On purpose.

Heloise Happy stared. Humans usually had the sense to avoid harpies. But this young girl was coming towards one!

"Hello. My name is Ava. What's your name?" Ava asked the harpy.

"I'm Heloise. What the blankly-blank do YOU want?" Heloise asked.

Ava blushed. Those blanks had been filled with the vilest words imaginable .

"How would you like to be a MALE harpy?" Ava asked Heloise

Heloise was so astonished she actually responded POLITELY.

"Excuse me?" Heloise asked.

"It's my talent. I can change any creature into the same kind of creature, only of the opposite gender. (1) How would you like to be a MALE harpy?" Ava asked.

"Would I be able to sire male harpies?" Heloise asked.

For while female harpies could lay eggs that hatch without a male, the harpies that emerged were ALWAYS female. It took a male harpy to sire male harpies.

"I don't know." Ava admitted. "But even if you couldn't, I can change half of your kids into males. I can change half the harpy population into male harpies."

"Why only half?" Heloise asked.

"You don't want the same problem only backwards- too many male harpies and not enough females. That would be worse- harpies might become extinct." Ava explained.

"What's in it for you?" Heloise asked.

"The harpies would have to protect me from danger, when need be. After all, as long as I live, there will always be enough male harpies. All we humans like having USEFUL talents. Mine is only useful to the harpies." Ava said.

"I don't have the authority to make that kind of decision. I'm just a rank-and-file type harpy, not a Harpy Queen." Heloise admitted.

Ava smiled at the opportunity to say something she had always wanted to say:
"Then take me to your leader.

So Heloise took Ava to the highest harpy queen, Tsarina California,(2) leader of all the harpies.

Heloise explained Ava's claim.

"You can REALLY change half of us into MALE harpies?" Tsarina California asked.

"You think I'm stupid or crazy enough to say so if I couldn't? You harpies would rip me to shreds if I failed!" Ava replied.

"True. But how do we choose which harpies get to become male without starting a war of harpies vs. harpies? Of every harpy for themselves?" Tsarina Calfornia asked.

"May I give a hint, (3) my Tsarina? How's about a harpy Olympics? The fastest, strongest, cleverest harpies get the prize of being made male. We can compete until half of all harpies have defeated the other half." Heloise suggested.

That's as far as I got. Can you use it? (If I knew where to write to him, I would.)


(1) With reverse wood, could she turn a creature into a different creature of the same gender, ala Magican Trent? Maybe if it was ALIVE( A bonsai tree in a pot? A present from Irene? Maybe the curse fiends who drove reverse trees into extinction saved some seeds in case they changed their minds and wanted the reverse trees back?) and not dead?

(2) After the endangered California condor. And because California girls are sterotypically beautiful.

(3) You're heard of "Hints from Heloise", I hope? I always thought the kind of privileges that come with being male OUGHT to be earned, and not a mere accident of birth.