Once upon a time, in a land far far away (from any civilized blue states, at least), there lived a young girl named sricki.
She was a strange child, wanting often to be left alone by the other boys and girls – alone with her books, or alone to roam the filthy wet ditches and hot Southern streets of her town, climbing trees and plodding through puddles wherever she found them. When her friends would come calling, sricki would beg her mother to talk to them, to tell them that she could not come out and play, because sricki wanted to be by herself, alone with her thoughts (which seemed to her sometimes strange and other times magnificent, but always fascinating).
She was not entirely unlike other girls. Sricki liked pretty things, too, like unicorns and ponies, and she would spend hours drawing them and daydreaming about them and wishing she could live where they roamed. But she also liked dragons and real life reptiles and insects, for which she was made fun of often when she was found on the playground, crouched alone behind the tires, playing with bugs and drawing her daydreams in the sand.
What was strangest about sricki, though, was not her tomboyishness or her solitariness or her daydreaming, but her moods. They were mercurial from the very beginning, but she was especially prone toward periods of melancholy, so that even at a young age, people told sricki that she had sad eyes and often asked whether she was about to cry. But she didn’t cry much, so she laughed in answer to such inquiries and shook her head and thought no more of them. She laughed a lot, too.