Muscles Murphey

Thin gangly arms, hair cut above her ears, she lives high in the trees overlooking the Florida  seaside town. Her Cherokee mother places her into the ballet classes of a reknowned Italian dance teacher ~ with the hope she will cease beating up little boys. Nine-year-old Muscles would go on to live and breathe classical movement along with writing, illustrating, composing music and swimming competitively. A lovely life ~ yes, a good, richly lived, inspiring life.


Muscles surveys the surrounding seaside town from her perch at the top of the giant red cedar tree in her backyard. It is her favorite place to be.

Extremely thin arms, long spider-like body, hair cut above her ears. Looking rather unlike a girl of any kind, she does!  Muscles loves to shinny up  tree after tree, then sit and watch the world. She is considered an extraordinary athlete, refuses to bathe, and wins most competitions involving boys and the girls at her local grade school.

When she comes down she finds that beating up boys is just the best fun there is! She beats them up and then helps them get home to their families for consolation and wash-up. Usually there is a homemade snack and delightful conversation after the clean-up.

One day, her mother and her older sister tackle her to bathe her, curl her hair, and place her in a fancy dress with crinolines. (Crinolines are fluffy netting under the skirt of the dress to make it stand out.)

She is being considered for an award at school. The President of the United States is awarding athletes for fitness accomplishments at each elementary school. What fun! Except Muscles has to take a bath and dress up. Ugh.