" ... She had the gift for transformation; almost as quick and subtle she was as the devil himself. Next to the panther and the jaguar she did the bird stuff best: the wild heron, the ibis, the flamingo, the swan in rut. She had a way of swooping suddenly, as if she had spotted a ripe carcass, diving right into the bowels, pouncing immediately on the tidbits - the heart, the liver, or the ovaries - and making off again in the twinkling of an eye. Did someone spot her, she would lie stone quiet at the base of a tree, her eyes not quite closed but immovable in that fixed stare of the basilisk. Prod her a bit and she would become a rose, a deep black rose with the most velvety petals and of a fragrance that was overpowering ... "

- Henry Miller, The Tropic of Capricorn