Fiction by Tes Staylace
© 2003-17 All rights reserved

Patrick didn’t really mind the calf-length petticoats so much, although the boys DID tease him when and if they passed the house and saw his plight; along with the pantaloons, they felt nice against his legs.  It was the stays that really bothered him.  Not only were they tight, but also they prevented him from doing most activities of boys of his age – he could never catch his breath!  And if he COULD play that way, well, he wouldn’t want to expose himself to the other boys’ ridicule and teasing.  Furthermore, if he mussed his frock, or even his pinafore, well, it would mean even more punishment.

The Ryan family matriarch was well known for her methods of her handling unruly grandsons and great-grandsons.  She expected them to grow up as “gentle-men.”  Lacing them into stays prevented them from getting into trouble – but the rest of the dress was punitive:  Whenever a Ryan boy got into trouble, well, it meant dressing in an older sister’s outgrown clothes for one full week.  An eternity of humiliation, in boys’ time!  During that period, the wrongdoer stayed home and did his studies there, making up schoolwork the following week – that was a punishment as well.

But it wasn’t just the dressing that bothered him:  It was also having to permit all of his sisters to dress him every day.  And doing female chores with them.  Furthermore, if he did not do them right, his skirts were pulled up and he was put over Gram’s knee and spanked, in front of all the children.

This was Patrick’s third time in such straits.  Try as he might, he was always in trouble (boy will be boys!).  Some of the boys DID “learn their lesson” after one such bout; but Patrick was not one of them.

**  **  **  **

The Saturday had begun fairly non-eventfully.  Patrick and some of his friends were playing ball in the front yard, and, very quickly, the game ended with the breaking of one of the windows.  The others immediately ran off, and Patrick was alone to take the blame.  He quickly knew what the future held as watched the errant ball sail toward the window, causing a loud shattering noise, promptly followed by Gram’s appearance at the front door.

“Ruffian!  This the second time you have done this!  Wash you hands and face and go to Martha’s room! Immediately!”

There was no use in protesting. There never was.  But he figured he’d try.

“But, Gram. I can’t stay home from school next week – it’s finals!”

“Well, then, you will have to go to school in your Patty dress.”

“But Gram – can’t we wait until next week, so I can stay home?  The others will never let me live it down!”

“Should have thought about that when you broke the glass!   Brought this on yourself, boy.  Go now,” waving her hand in a ‘shoo’ motion.

Patrick was shattered.  It was one thing being dressed as a girl at home – but at school?  This was terrible! He trudged up the steps.  He knew his sisters would be coming up soon.  He was trapped.

As he entered Martha’s room, that now-familiar feeling came over him once again, of being out of place in all the frills and laces and light colors.  He hated the ridicule and humiliation, but he had to admit to himself that he kind of liked the feel of pantaloons and skirts on his legs.  It was the darned stays that bothered so much, especially when his sisters decided to have fun and tie them too tight!  He could hardly breathe!

As he waited, he walked over the large armoire in the corner, where all the girls’ older dresses were kept.  Opening the door, he began running his hand across them, in an idle manner, wondering which he would be forced to wear.

“They really are so pretty,” he thought.  He remembered this one he had worn once...and this one…and this one – they all seemed to hold a memory.  Most unpleasant from the humiliation, but some were not so bad.

Here…this green frock...what a day that was! 

He remembered it well; it was a rather windy, but warm, day this past early spring.  His older brother Harold, feeling sorry for him, and wanting to console him, took him up the hill to the south field for a little picnic.  It was there, for the first time, that Patty got a sense of how a girl must feel in a similar situation – he was surprised that he rather liked it.  It seemed incongruous to him that Harold call him ‘Patrick’ with he in a pretty dress with ribbons in his hair, so he insisted he called him Patty.  His brother did, awkwardly at first, but after awhile, Harold seemed to begin behaving toward Patty the way he acted toward all girls – gentlemanly.  It was strange feeling, especially since Patty was only twelve.  He even helped him with his skirts when the winds began to blow them, holding them down.  Harold even had difficulty picking a subject for conversation – something he never had before.  Patty surmised that his garb presented itself to Harold as female, making it difficult for him to relate to him as a boy – a boy in petticoats.  The illusion was furthered by the fact that his hair was even longer than a boy’s – after his first week in frocks, Gram never allowed his hair to be cut.

Once, that first time, Patty had begged Harold to loosen his stays for a short while, which he did while they hid in a closet.  Of course, his frock had to remain open until Harold retightened it.  But this time his brother demurred, saying something vague about having hurt his hand, and therefore, he could not retighten him. After that day, he never related again to him the same – things were just different, and Harold was always gentle toward Patty, even when Patty was not in dresses.

Yes, the green dress with the floral pattern.  I’ll never forget that day…

Martha and Bernice coming into the room interrupted his reverie - his hands were still on the dresses.

“Any particular one you’d like to wear today, dear Patty?” a gentle smile on Martha’s face.  “They ARE pretty, yes, Patty?”

“Don’t call me that.  My name is Patrick.”

“For now,” said Bernice.  “The others will be here soon. Finishing a chore. What did you get yourself into this time, bad girl?”

Patty scowled.

“Some of those dresses…oh…I mightily wish I could still wear them!” said Martha, sighing, with her hand to her bosom.

“Me, too!  I guess we’ll have to live vicariously though our little…sister!”

Delilah and Francine, the twins, just then entered.  They were older than the other two, and were into the long skirts appropriate to their age.

“Oh!  Those short dresses  - our girlhood!”  exclaimed Delilah, seeing the rack in the open closet.”

“Pswah!" said Martha, “You are STILL girls.”

“Let’s get going," said Francine.

“Please, my sisters, don’t tie me so tight this time?”

“We just want to ensure that you understand what WE go through,” said Francine.

“You made your point!”

“We’ll see,” said Delilah.  “Let’s get you into your underthings. Take off those horrid boy clothes.”

This was the part he hated most.  Being naked, even for a moment, in front of his older sisters.  Sometimes he wished he had a younger sister on whom to take out his frustrations – and ever since that time on the hill, his older brother was of no help in any attempt to shield him.  It was a dismaying situation.  And now!  Now he would have to face his schoolmates face-to-face!  Patty felt like crawling into a hole.  The only consolation was the feel of the petticoats and pantaloons on his legs; he REALLY liked that – but he could NEVER admit that to ANY ne, least of all his sisters.  He would never live it down!

Slowly, he removed his trousers, shirt, shoes and socks, and stood there in his underwear with pleading eyes. “Please…”

“Go ahead…take them off,” said Francine.  Her voice was not harsh, and the others, while they felt no compunction about all of this, were not about to allow him privacy to put on his feminine undergarments, what with Gram’s strict orders and terrible punitive disposition when it came to punishment.  They would make sure it was done right.

He removed his undershirt and, then, slowly, with great reticence, removed his underpants, putting his hands over his crotch.  He had placed his clothing in a neat pile on the floor.  He knew that the first chore after he was dressed would be to wash both his male clothing and the girls’ as well.

“All right,” said Martha.  “Let’s see what we have for you…”

While Patty just stood there, she brought out a cotton camisole, linen pantaloons, and a pair of black stockings.

"Sit on the bed, Patty.”  She rolled the heavy cotton stockings onto Patty’s legs and up to past her knees.  “Good thing you have no hair on your legs – yucky!   Yours are just like a girl’s!”

Patty ignored her and looked up at the ceiling, all the while trying to keep his privates hidden with his hands.  Yes, I imagine the clothing wouldn’t feel so good if I had hair on my legs.

“Stand up!  Francine, would you put on his, that is, her underclothing?”  All the sisters seemed a bit shy, in a girlish fashion (particularly the younger ones), not directly looking at Patty’s nakedness; all the same, they did allow themselves a peek here and there.  And, of course, the girls who actually applied the clothing had the best view and didn’t have to avert their eyes.  A little giggling DID take place now and then.  After all, a girl cannot help herself!

When Patty finally was no longer naked, (s)he felt more comfortable – able to handle things better.  Oddly enough, whenever he felt that first touch of female clothing, he began to THINK differently, as if by magic. It was as if the clothing made him…softer, more vulnerable – less prone to object to orders.  (S)he felt…well, cozy!

“Time for the lacing, Patty!  Said Martha.  “I know you asked us not to make it that tight, but, Patty it is clear that we must tighten you enough to get you into a dress, and the only size we have means you will have to be tighter than even the last time, because you have grown a bit!  We have no larger sizes at this point that are not TOO large, and Gram will not permit us to alter, or even to teach YOU to alter, any of the dresses.  She says you will just have to live with it.  I’m sorry.”

Patty groaned. Being tight was one thing, but having to do chores while so laced was even worse!  (S)he unconsciously rubbed her hand smoothly on her pantaloon-clad legs.  The act seemed to calm her when she was upset.  No doubt, the girls noticed, as they did in the past, because they glanced at each other with a little smile.

Patty went over to the high lacing bar in the other corner, and grabbed hold, as Martha placed the pretty blue satin corset about her waist.  It was fairly long, ending under where the bust might be if she were a mature woman.  At this time, since Patty was only twelve, she was not expected to have breasts – and the dresses she wore at this stage were cut as a child’s 

One day, should her dresses period continue, she would be into long dresses and padding in her bodice, much as her older brother had been for a short time before he learned to ‘behave’ and not ‘act like a ruffian’.

Patty sighed deeply, then, as always, and as instructed, took deep breath and held it while the girls gathered around to close her busk with the stud and slot fasteners.

To be sure, the girls were very slow and gentle with lacings, and stopped about two inches short of their goal. They were really not mean – Patty, nonetheless, suffered, not used to such constriction, and she knew they were not finished. If they stopped here, I could do this.

“Pretty girls have tiny waists, little sister Patty!” exclaimed Delilah, unable to resist.  The rest giggled. Patty didn’t see the humor.  Besides her mind was not on this as much as if she hadn’t been staring down and admiring her pantaloons with the pretty pale blue dainty flowers.

But the reprise was only for the ‘settling in’, as they called itNow they proceeded with the rest of Patty’s dressing routine.

After assisting Patty down from the all-too-familiar bar, the girls escorted her back over to the armoire area.

“All right, Patty,” said Francine.  With your pretty blue corset, you may wear a pretty blue dress!  But first, we’ll help you with your petticoats.”

Martha already had a pile of petticoats in her arms, and she produced the first, which was of pink taffeta.

“So rustley!” said Francine.  “Mind you take care of this!  It is our favorite for daytime use!  Besides, you would not want to disappoint Gram!”  She pulled it over Patty’s head and down over her new waist, fastening it there with the attached cord.  The girls could not help notice the difference in Patty’s demeanor.  A far-off look had come to her eyes.

Again, the sisters looked at each other –but his time they were not smiling. 

Delilah said, “Is our little brother all right?” Her use of the word ‘brother’ instead of ‘sister’ signified her concern.

“Oh – Oh, yes, I am…fine.  These stays…,” said Patty as if catching herself and coming out of a trance.

But it was clear to him, and perhaps to the girls, that her new clothing seemed to be transforming her inside as well.  What is this?

Clearing his head, he said, “All right, sisters, let’s get this over with.”

“Yes, Patty,” said Martha. “We shall lace you in slowly.”

The taffeta petticoat felt marvelous! The rustling and the slippery feel were delightful.  Patty was getting scared.  I am NOT a girl!

Unbeknownst to Patty, her sisters had noticed his erection, and were hiding their glances from each, the younger very embarrassed, the older ones tolerant and kind.

Next came a polished cotton petticoat, in white.  Floating down over her head, Patty was mesmerized.  It became very difficult for her to maintain her composure. It appeared that the more layers of petticoat were applied, the more of an ethereal experience followed.  But this time she quickly shook it off, coming to her senses, as if she said to herself STOP! I’m not going to let this happen!

But telling herself to ‘stop’, and feeling these strange feelings, were two different things…but she DID have to consciously maintain her masculinity to her sisters.  So her sisters did not, in this case, realize her state.

Finally, a very light wool petticoat topped the other two, adding to the fullness, and thus, Patty’s euphoria. But her face was neutral.

“There!” said Francine.  "All ready for your dress.  But first, the lacing!”

Back to the dreaded lacing bar, where Patty knew her misery would begin.  But the heaviness of her petticoats, and the pleasant rustling, keep her in a decent frame of mind.

As her sisters pulled and tugged and adjusted, Patty tried to think of more pleasant things – she daydreamed she was on a billowing white cloud, sliding within its folds, lace all around the edges.  Well, she kept drifting in and out of this dream, as she was now and then abruptly brought to reality by the ever-increasing tightness in her waist, brought about by the constant tugging.  Why do I have to put up with this pain?  Oh!  That I could just be in floating petticoats and soft pantaloons and pretty…!  I HATE corsets! 

But the fantasy could not persist in the ever-increasing grip of her stays.

“Oohh! Please!”  Patty gasped – she was having a difficult time, as she fought to breathe.

“It’s all right, Patty – only one more inch!” she heard Francine say through the haze.

“But I can’t…breathe!”

“Do like we taught you last time – Breathe from your upper chest!"

"I…I want…to…please…”

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

The smelling salts did their job.  Patty awoke in a haze.  Looking up, she saw all the girls around her, looking at her with concern.

She was on Martha’s beautiful pink, lace adorned canopy bed – A dark blue cotton dress hung from the canopy – hers?  Her layers of petticoats billowed up from her legs, and contrasted nicely with her now-tiny waist.  Her stomach hurt a bit, but she was all right, breathing from her upper chest.

He smiled.  Somehow, everything seemed good, despite her constricted waist.

“Hello, Patty,” said Delilah.  “How are you feeling?”

“I’m all right, Sis. Can you help me up?”

The girls clamored about her, eager to help, bringing her to her feet. Patty held her stomach a bit, feeling the hard embrace of her stays.  “How tight am I?”

"Well,” said Francine, “last time we had you at 22”, and this twenty will get you into this frock.”

“Whew!  Twenty?”

“You look good, Patty,” said Martha.  The girls all nodded in agreement.  “I know some girls who would die for your figure.”

“I am NOT a girl!”  But her protestation seemed lame.

Francine: “Are you ready for lunch?  I mean, you don’t have to eat, but Gram and the family will be expecting you, and you know how she is…”

“Yes.” She said dryly.  “I know how she is.  Witness my plight” rubbing her waist.

The pretty blue, but plain dress quickly descended from the place from where it hung, and soon was fitted on Patty, the skirts adjusted and smoothed, the bodice made true to the corset’s outline.

“Beautiful!” they chorused.

“It is…rather nice, isn’t it?  Patty admitted.

“And with this,” Francine exclaimed, whisking over a white cotton flounced pinafore, “it will be absolutely perfect!  Put out your arms!”

Yet another layer to fascinate Patty.  While she put out her arms, the pinafore was tied in a big bow in the back and the skirt adjusted to fall just short of her dress.

“There!  That will keep my old pretty dress clean!” exclaimed Martha.

“This was…yours?”

“Yes – and she never looked as good as you in it!” shouted Francine.

They all had a good laugh, including Patty. She was beginning to feel much better. She loved the dress, and the pinafore as well, and she was feeling VERY kindly toward her sisters - sisterly.  Sisterly?  I feel like one of the girls! Wait! No!  I cannot let this happen.  I am NOT a girl.

Patty’s demeanor suddenly changed, and she became morose.

“What is it?”

“Nothing.  I mean, well, I mean do not feel I should be feeling good about this.  I am a boy, not a girl.”

“It’s only temporary, Patty.  We’ve had to do this before, and you didn’t feel this way.”

“I am beginning to…like…the dress.”

“It IS pretty.  That’s all right.”

“But…you see…I like the other things, too – except the corset!” she quickly added, rubbing here waist.

“Oh.  What things?”

“I like…the way…the petticoats feel on my legs - and the pantaloons.”

“That’s all right – that’s understandable.  We like that too.”

“But…I’m a boy.”

“Well, yes…but you are dressed as a girl right now.  So you can feel that way.  You have to take the bad – the corset - so why not take some pleasure in the good, as you see it – the petticoats?   We manage.”

“Ar-are you going to tell Gram how I feel?”

“No, sweetheart,” said Francine.  If we tell her about how you like petticoats, then she’ll just find another punishment and, if we tell her about how you detest your stays, well, she’ll make it worse somehow.”

“Couldn’t be worse than this – geez!”

“Trust me, it could be worse – smaller dresses have smaller waists. Smaller waists…”  The girls looked each other.

“You mean tighter?”

“Possibly.  But more likely, she would punish you with more and harsher whippings.”

Patty dropped her head.

“So!” said Martha, “Let’s cheer up and go to lunch.  Come - Let me help you with your shoes.”

“Yes, let us put on your shoes, and we can go down to lunch,” agreed Francine.

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

As the sisters entered the door, they turned and watched Patty follow them in.  Momma, Poppa, Gram, and the other two Ryan brothers were sitting down already, waiting to be served by Cook.

Poppa looked at Patty cursorily, without surprise and then said, dryly, “I see Gram has been at work again…sit down, my girl (a little smile) – we are ready for prayers.  You may have the honor.”

“Hello, Father.  Hello Mother.  Hello Grandmother.  Hello Harold.  Hello Sean.”  Each nodded in return. The boys were prohibited from using their usual familiar names for the adults (such as ‘Poppa’) when dressed as a girl.  It was Gram’s idea of propriety.  The boys looked at Patty solemnly – they knew how she must feel.

Mother said, “Make sure you tuck your skirts under like a young lady, dear.”  She always said this when she saw one of the boys in a frock sitting down, for it was one of Gram’s sore points (she had a many such points), and she didn’t want to see the boys suffer any more than they already were.

“Yes, Mother,” as she gathered her petticoats and the dress under her arms and stiffly sat.  Even though her stays were hurting her, she smiled at Mother, knowing she meant well.  Gram cast a sharp glance at Mother, as usual.

Father just sat there, observing, his mind regressing to his youth, when Gram put HIM through similar rigors.  Well, he’ll be all right –I am.

Perhaps he was, but there came times, now and then, when he asked Mother to dress him up, usually when one was at home.  Father particularly enjoyed the soft and snuggly feel of petticoats!  He even liked corsets! But, of course, he would never admit such to any of his handsome sons or pretty daughters.  He let out a deep sigh as he folded his hands for prayer.

Patty: “Dear Lord, forgive me for my transgressions and bless us all.  Thank you for this food and…(she spit it out)…make this frock-time go fast!”

“PATTY! “ yelled Gram.  “What was that?  How unseemly!  How unlady-like!”

“I’m sorry, Grandmother. It just slipped out.”

“Just for that, you will speak in a girlish voice for the rest of the evening.  Do you understand, Patty?”

More embarrassment. “Yes, Grandmother, dear,” Patty said in a high-pitched voice.”  The younger girls giggled and they all looked down.

Patty squirmed in his chair and began to eat.  But even the small portion she was given was difficult to get all down, her stays were so tight. She felt a bit nauseated, but managed to conceal it.

But Francine noticed her discomfort, and whispered, “If you eat slower, it will be easier on you.  Girls always eat slowly.”

Patty glanced at her and smiled in gratitude, not only for the advice, but also more for the knowledge that she cared about her unfortunate brother. Then she unconsciously rubbed her aching waist again.

“Patty, young ladies do not continually touch their waists,” said Gram. “Desist!”

“Yes, Grandmother,” in her high voice.

Dinner proceeded fairly normally after that, with the usual talk of family affairs and situations, and soon Patty was immersed in talk, almost forgetting her tight stays.  Her demeanor actually changed because of her attire – she was more  ‘delicate’, more feminine.  It was almost second nature to emulate the mannerisms of her sisters she had observed all of these years, and the high-pitched voice, while initially annoying to use, soon became second nature.  Except for her stays, Patty actually was becoming comfortable being a girl.  Most of her sisters seemed to notice that, but, most importantly, Mother did as well, lovingly smiling a bit at her ‘new daughter’s’ attempts at being lady.

So when Patty unconsciously began to rub her waist again, Mother immediately attracted attention to herself and began talking about a topic of interest to Gram, so as to distract her attention from Patty’s movements.  Patty quickly realized she was doing, and even Mother’s kind distraction, and smiled at her.  Seems people around here treat me better as a girl than boy!

Dinner over, the family retired to the parlor, some playing games and others reading.  Patty was required to learn crocheting from Delilah, who was adept at the craft.  She still wished she could have her laces loosened a bit, but knew that there was no way, even if Gram allowed it – the dress would never close!  So she suffered as she learned, concentrating on the pleasant feel of her petticoats whenever her sides ached, really bothering her.  Many of her thoughts were of the difficult day ahead at school.

Bedtime proved a little relief, as her stays were changed to the nighttime-type, a little looser, but also much longer.  These stays were to her lower thighs – another one of Gram’s requirements for ALL the girls.  No touching of private parts!  Masturbation was an abomination to God!  Even dressed as boys, their hands were tied to the bed railings at night if she suspected they were abusing themselves.  It was a common occurrence.

The one thing she didn’t like much was the light glacé dressing mask on her face to prevent the wiping off of the facial cream she had to sleep with. All the girls wore them. It was not tight, just annoying, it did have eyeholes, and a mouth and nose hole as well.

Patty DID enjoy the filly flannel nightgown – it reminded her of a petticoat! Just before they all said their prayers and went to sleep, Mother came up to say ‘good night’.

When she came to Patty’s bed, she brushed her hand over her hair and, with a loving smile, whispered, “You would make a WONDERFUL daughter, dear!”  With that she kissed on the forehead and began to walk away.

“But…I still want to be a son,” he said in his male voice.

Mother looked back, smiled, and blew her a kiss.

Patty was full of confused thoughts, but eventually fell into deep sleep. She dreamt of a picnic on a blanket on a meadow, with fluffy clouds and lacy dolls and cozy petticoats.

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

Patty was all ready for school and on her way out, when Gram came from behind and said, “Don’t forget your bonnet, Patty!”

“But I already have on a hat, Grandmother.”  It was lacy and pinned close to her head.

“Oh! No! That is for inside!  Here.”  She fitted a large straw bonnet on Patty’s head, fussing to get it ‘just right’.  Patty hated these bonnets, for they stuck out from the front of her face (as was the fashion) and eliminated her peripheral vision.  Difficult thing when you were trying to make sure some boy wasn’t sneaking up on you to lift your skirts, as they were wont to do (she’d done it herself!).

Bad enough she was in dress, but the ribbons down her back and the bonnet would surely attract even harsher derision and taunting from the boys, even her best friends.

Today again her stays hurt, but not as badly.  She supposed she was getting used to the pressure.

“Good bye, Grandmother.”

“Have a pleasant day, dear.”

Right.  This will certainly be a pleasant day. “Yes, Grandmother.”

The school was used to Gram’s manner of discipline, and, over the years tolerated it, so the teacher and other adults would really not take notice.

But children can be cruel, especially when a boy is dressed as a girl, so Patty was prepared for the worst.  She didn’t even have to get to school before it began.  Halfway there, Billy Murdock and Hans Miller saw her walking alone.

“How‘s the sissy-boy?”  As a boy, Patty had a reputation of being a good fighter, so the taunting probably would never be really harsh for worry  about what might happen another day.

“Can we see your underwear?”  Patty ignored them, until one of them quickly ran up and pulled up her skirts.  With the three petticoats, it was not difficult to preserve her modesty, but it WAS annoying.  Darn bonnet!

“How’s your pecker, Patty?”  They both laughed.

But it was only when some of the girls from other schools turned in from a side street, that the boys relented, and drifted off.

“Hello Patty,” they said quietly.  Word apparently had gotten around about her plight.  By their tone, Patty guessed that her sisters had asked them to be nice and understanding and try to protect her, since they did not go to the same school, being older.  “We can walk with you, if you like,” said a pretty one named Jane.

“Y-yes, that would be nice.  Thank you.”

“That’s a pretty dress, Patty,” said another, she knew as Glenda.  Then, seeing the look of apprehension on Patty’s face, she added, “Oh! I really mean it.  I’m not being funny. It IS a pretty dress. And the lace…”

Patty looked down. “Thank you.”  Patty liked Glenda, so this was difficult, but they were being nice.

Glenda continued as they walked, softly, “Is this punishment hard for you, poor boy?  I mean, you must feel so…awful.”

“It’s not so bad. It’s just…”


“It’s just these darn stays - they are so tight!”

“Now you know what we girls go through.  But you will grow accustomed to them,” said Jane.

“Pat, we will help you ward off those awful boys.  Just stay with us,” said Glenda.  “And I know Mary and Millie in your class – we shall explain the situation to them, and they can do the same!  What a pretty bonnet!”

These arrangements made, Patty’s day wasn’t all that bad after all. The girls helped her with her studies, and that was positive.  Patty got a lot of stares and many looks and comments from many of her old friends, but they dared not touch her or her clothing, which reduced the agony considerably.  Her new friends also warned her when, because she was not quite used to looking after them, her petticoats showed too much, or she was just not quite ladylike in her manners (It was rumored that some of the teachers actually reported back to Gram any indiscretions).

Mary and Mille were very close friends and, after a day with Patty in her predicament, got to know her and rather like her, and invited her over to Mary’s house after school the next day.

It didn’t take long for the four girls and Patty to become good friends, and soon they were talking about exchanging clothes and the like – it made Patty very excited. Later her sisters joined them now and then.  Unfortunately for Patty, even though Mary was slightly larger then she, they could not use Mary’s clothing in order to allow for larger stays.  Gram would notice the new dresses.  So Patty continued with her struggle, finding solace in some of the stories the girls told her of THEIR past difficulties with tight stays.

Soon, Patty’s period drew to a close, and once more, he found himself in boys’ clothing.  Then, somehow, the closeness that had developed with these new found female friend slowly vanished.  The assumption has to be made that, whilst dressed male, Pat could not confide in them, or act feminine, and therefore, alienated the girls a bit, making them feel uncomfortable.  This soon dawned on Patrick.  One thing was for certain:  Pat enjoyed his time with the boys less and less, partly because he had reveled so in his time with the girls, and also because the boys began treating differently, not as friendly.  Perhaps they were somehow intimidated - or confused. Or perhaps they had less and less in common.

One thing was clear – Pat actually missed the petticoats!  He was relieved that he did not have to wear stays any longer…but it appeared to be a reasonable trade-off.

So, somehow, in a few days, Patrick didn’t hesitate as he trampled Gram’s prize flowerbed, visions of soft petticoats and friendships in his mind.

As time went on, it was noticed that PATRICK was always bad, PATTY was always good.  And little by little there was less and less of the former, and more and more of the latter, happily learning the ins and outs of lacing her waist tight from her friends.

After all, she looked so pretty that way!

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