They rejected her tongue, those men on the ledge, And said it was in her best interest to suppress her screams. And as she held her voice inside her throat, her body grew heavy, too loaded, too coarse. They rejected her looks, not female at all, and dressed her in acquiescence. “One frayed seam and you walk off this ledge.” Then, “smile, my girl, this is not punishment. We’re simply making you as you were meant!” She thought and thought, chewing her doubt- How do I speak with a tongue not my own? Rest one eye at a time in my own home? Pine cones and skipping stones with her thoughts tied around their edges Were tossed off over the snowy ledge. “Collect them if you dare,” they laughed, noting her bruised bare feet. And as she turned and left, they celebrated with large glasses of whiskey neat. “There’s cider in the fridge,” they teased winter after spring. Then one frosty morning, she took the stones from their hands and tied her ideas around them, “Allow me,” she sang, delicate and sweet, and skipped her stones into the sleet. “Very good, my girl!” Now she sat with her own whiskey neat. The frost melted and they all fell asleep, waking in the spring to the smell of pine, Dazed and disoriented from the forest behind. “What sorcery is this?” “Not sorcery, sir, nor devilry, nor witchcraft, Just gardening, and tactical combat.” She stepped off the ledge, and onto the branch of her forest home, Which people came to see from all over the world. And behind her home was that cabin of men, of whiskey, of sinister rejection, Who unknowingly planted her ideas of noncompliance, And accidentally turned their armadillo into a lion.