Roxie Adams was the toughest woman who ever did live. She was tough as granite, not that you would know by looking at her. She was pretty as a lilac, with a delicate periwinkle blush, her eyes a pure robins-egg blue, and her hair so black that some folk swore she washed it in coal. Like I said, she was tough as nails, even from the first day she was born. They say she was just one day old when her mother set her in the grass to play. She was so excited she kicked a mountain range of dirt up under her feet that they started calling the Rocky Mountains. When she was learning to ride a horse for the first time, she fell off and hit her head. She struck the ground with such force that her head ripped a hole in the ground so large it became the Grand Canyon. She never did like horses after that. Some years later, as a love spurned teenager she was so upset with her Russian boyfriend, who had forgotten her birthday. That she spit flames and melted the Bering land bridge. Upon which they had previously rendezvoused to gaze upon the northern lights together.
One might think that just because she was tough as nails on the outside that Roxie was as hard and calloused on the inside as well. They would be wrong. Inside, she was a bleeding heart for social injustice. She was only six when those fellers were fighting over the Alamo. She was on her way over to sort them all out when her folks saw in the newspaper it was all over. She cried for a year straight when she found out that her beloved hero Davey Crockett died in the fighting. Those tears poured into a great river. When she finally stopped weeping ships were sailing it, and they called it the Mississippi.
Years later, during the Civil War. She enlisted in the Union Army as a nurse. During the battle at Gettysburg she got shot with four bullets and they bounced right off her while she was loading seven wounded soldiers into her push cart. Abraham Lincoln even mentioned her in a little speech he gave afterwards. You might have heard of it, it begins, “Four ignored, and seven warriors in tow, . . .”
After that she traveled the world to see what she could make of it. She swam the English channel in an hour. She hiked to the north pole to talk with the big man. Eventually she wound up in India, in the Bengal province. She ended up spending a good deal of time there, her favorite activity was tiger hunting. Oh, don’t worry, she would never dream of shooting one, but she liked to sneak up on them from behind and pounce on them, wrestle a while, and let them go when they tired out. When she arrived in Bengla the weather was so dry you would be as likely to get water from a rock as from anywhere. People there took dirt baths like a pheasant or quail. There was a famine that was at least a thousand million years strong at that point. The people were almost beyond hope. Roxie was a problem solver though. When she saw something that needed fixing, that’s what she did. She chopped a boulder out of a mountain to use for an armchair. Then she sat on that rock and thought about what she could do to help. She sat there for a solid month wondering and pondering before the biggest tumbleweed she ever saw rolled across her path. It was at least as big as a blue whale is long, and the branches were as thick and strong as welded steel. She took that tumbleweed, and trimmed it until it looked like a huge comb. She started on the south shore of Bangladesh, near the bay of Bengal and raked canals in the ground so deep and so long that they filled with water and became great rivers. After that, vegetation sprouted up and Bangladesh became the green, fertile, marshy place it is today. The wise Brahmin’s couldn’t thank her enough. In return for her kindness they awarded her a bird called a Doel for a pet. To those interested, the Doel was later designated the national bird of Bangladesh. However, that was many years after. A beautiful black and white songbird, it would sing her the songs of Bengal. In the early mornings her beautiful pet would sing the most beautiful melody; long notes pealing out praises to the rising sun.
Starting to feel a little homesick she decided to return to America, taking the eastern route through Asia. On the way she stopped in Russia to see how her once-beloved lumberjack Piotr Ivanovich fared. A hard worker, he was strong as any man, and twice as burly. His thick beard was curly as a lambs wool, and the color of a fierce brown bear. His eyes glinted like obsidian gems. Piotr had a tender heart, like a teddy bear. He still felt sorry for missing her birthday, he loved her madly. He promised to never make the same mistake again if she would only marry him. He pledged, “I vill alvays love you. From now on I to remember that your birthday is on de 25th of de month called June.” He meant well, but was wrong again, her birthday was in July. However, she loved him so much that she forgave him. She reasoned to herself that no one could be perfect after all. They married under a sky glowing Chartreuse green with the Aurora Borealis. They hopped from Russia to Alaska and lived together a thousand years in the marital bliss, and grew a mighty fine family too. But that is another story.
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