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With classes due to begin soon, there's a new biology discussion being batted around at Old Maggoty Institute. The question is whether Elves are canines, like wolves, dogs and foxes.

The "canists" argue that Timmain assumed different animal shapes. It's also possible Timmain, or other High Ones, had the capacity to assume plant shapes.

These transformations were meant to insure the survival of the High Ones. For example, in hawk form, Timmain could catch small game, or see over distant hills.

One side effect of shapeshifting is the tendency to assume the behavior and thought pattern of the life-form one is imitating. Thus, Wolf-Timmain lived in the "now" of wolf thought, and eventually mated with the sire of Timmorn.

Timmain, in hawk form, might have mated with a hawk. High Ones in tree form might have pollinated with other trees. Later Elves who shape-shifted, might have done the same. Yet we see no Elf-tree hybrids, like the Ents of Middle Earth. Nor do we see Elf-hawks. Wavedancers, if they produce shapeshifters, have yet to crossbreed with marine mammals.

If the Elves' DNA is only compatible with wolves, argue the canists, doesn't that prove that Elves were a species of dog to begin with?