(being an instructional tale for children)
Contrary Carrie waited until her mother was distracted,
Then dumped her loathsome vegetables onto the floor and walked outside with the plate,
Intending to toss it into the river.
When she got there, though, she found it was more pleasing to use it as a paddle in order to take herself to N'awlins and become a grande dame.
She would live in a fine house and boss the servants,
Commanding them to place a heavy chest of drawers
Her brother warned, "You will get into trouble," and so Contrary Carrie declared an old discarded box her brigantine,
And routed him with a fusillade of crabapples, stockpiled for just such an occasion.
"Wise crabapple," said she to the willow tree on the bank,
"Such lovely long hair you have! Marry me and be my Queen! All the whatnots and gewgaws your heart desires shall be yours!"
When Contrary Carrie got back to the house, she declared that she had married a tree and was moving to New Orleans.
Furthermore, she added, the tree was a girl.
That evening, sitting with her kitty "Mister Kitty" in her chair facing in towards the wall,
Contrary Carrie announced that voodoo hexes awaited all of her enemies,
And went on to elaborate that only Mister Kitty, a magick doctor, could cure anyone thus cursed.
"I despair of you, child," said her mother, wearily.
In 1912, at the age of twenty years, Carrie moved to Paris and became a dancer.
Her girlfriend, Willow, said, "Ma petite cherie, when do you think you'll go back to Iowa?"
"Jamais!" cried Carrie.
"Le medecin de chat dit que je suis folle, and that I must not travel, ever again!"
But she did,
Into the future she had believed into being, and which carried her like a current where it might,
As if she were a plate tossed skyward from the hand of a willful child.
ma petite cherie = my little sweetheart
jamais = never
le medecin de chat dit que je suis folle = the cat doctor says I'm crazy