Twelve reprinted magazine stories, 1978-83, with mild whimsy/fantasy elements inserted into mundane settings and plots: in the limp title piece, for instance, a schoolteacher suddenly turns into a dragon. Other, similarly strained notions: a spy-plane pilot takes off for the moon in his jet; a memorial concert for dead Earth is played on the organ-pipe volcanic vents and fissures of Mars' Olympus Mons; a man with two functional, thinking heads (they argue over a woman); a petrified fetus; an aristocratic magician who resembles a monkey; a futuristic children's crusade; and the well-known ""The Quickening""--in which the world's population is instantaneously redistributed utterly at random. True, there are better entries here: a monster called ""the grither"" comes to devour everyone who mentions his name; a Southern town becomes absorbed by Japanese literature and culture. But even these are marred by illogical or unnecessary endings. Flat, undramatic fancies for the most part--and a particular disappointment for admirers of Bishop's more effective science fiction.