In a Time that was Once, in a land up the road, there lived a little girl with a grand Shakespearean name. The little spirit that she was, she had hung around her Poppa, naked and unborn, for quite some years, indeed since he himself was a boy, determined to materialise, when time was ripe, as his own wee babe in the world. She had wished herself so ardently to human form that the simple touch of her Poppa’s lips upon her mother’s was enough to ignite the egg that was her beginning.

Just like an old wives tale.

Which of course is a bit of a porkie (pie=lie); for after all, immaculate conception is the stuff of stories—is it not? Truth is, her parents did this yumptious thing that you have to do to bake a cookie. Her mother was but a babe herself (=not legal), and she may not have wanted to spring another life so soon had not the tiny sprite (=me) spun a wishing spell to captivate her. I was born to Jeanie (16 yrs) and Jimmy (19 yrs) on April 1st 19??, and a proper little fool I was. Wise and funny, a speaker of riddles. I was Shakespeare’s invention: fool and sprite in one. A magical gift born of wonder to youthful parents into a rosy world. And I became known as Ariel.

The little girl, she was very happy because she had everything she wanted. She did not know the land of cornucopia in which she dwelt would one day be shattered. She did not know that her wishing herself into this world was the quiet beginning of a calamity. For all she was a spirited sprite, she could not divine her destiny until it was upon her. For all her clever ways, she could not realise that her very name ensnared her in a Tempest from the beginning.

Now she is all grown up and beyond, she understands she is imprisoned in a tree, which is her body, with no Prospero to free her. She lives in a world of symbols. It is the only way to keep her situation all sewn up.

She is a bunny, a pussy, Ratso Rizzo and Travis Bickle; she is a little blown up human, a walking-talking-catch-a-story living doll. Me, I am more than meets the eye, less than you could ever imagine. A red representation of woman on a euphemism door…