“I’ve decided to be a man for this, man…”
“So I’ll be over here, then. In the shade.”
Josephine looks down at her hands, her figure. “Oh dear,” she then said, and checked her inventory. “Er, my male shape seems to have simply vanished!”
“That’s okay,” Marion said from across the patio. “Do you want me to come over there to sit or do you wish to come back over here? Your choice. I’ve learned to follow your example.”
“I’ll come back over there.” Golden Josephine was truly puzzled by the inability to transform into the opposite sex any longer. She was stuck!
“Well I must say you look simply radiant today, Ms. Josephine, ha.”
“So I was asking about the ring?”
Still looking down, Golden Josephine was unable to shake off her shock. “Am… I wearing the ring? Is it on me?” She held out her hand to Marion.
“Um, no,” he replied, looking at the fully golden appendage. No green upon it.
“Then where is the ring? Where did you leave it? Somewhere safe and secure, I hope.”
“It’s in my pocket. In a little ring box I found in my service station.”
“Just… found? Like it was laying there, waiting for you?”
“You must be careful at all times. The ring is almost priceless as you know. It has power to alter space — and time — around you. The ring *must* have changed me… changed the tree. Before I was just a golden head. Masculine. Now I’m feminine. The tree has sprouted various, colorful growth. We cannot go back. We are, as you say, treed.” She lets the statement hang in the air, then: “You better check the box. Just to be sure.”
“Never mind. I *do* have it. That explains the change.” But she had somehow switched chairs with Marion, the latter nowhere to be found now.
Golden Josephine was alone again.