Thursday, 3 November 2011

Christopher - Day 6


During which twelve-year-old David gets his very own Red Indian costume!

Mrs Harper went to visit a friend, Emily Clarke, for coffee. As the two women chatted away it became apparent that Mrs Clarke was concerned about her twelve-year-old son David. He was her only child and she was worried that he was not getting enough fresh air and exercise.

“He should be out and about…” she told Janet Harper, “… enjoying himself and playing with other boys…”

She told her friend that it would be far more healthy if her son were to join in games with other children during the long school holidays.

Would Janet Harper help her to get David out of the house more often?

Emily Clarke had heard that Janet Harper was looking after Christopher while his parents were away, but she had no idea of the fourteen-year-old’s predicament. However, she  thought it would be good for her son to be encouraged to play with an older boy like Christopher.

“Not that he shouldn’t be encouraged to play with Terry as well,” she added, not wishing to exclude her friend’s young son, “I’m sure David had a great time playing that game with Terry the other week…”

“… Oh, yes… Cowboys and Indians…” Janet Harper replied, “Yes, I’m sure he’ll have enjoyed himself. Terry… he always likes to be a Cowboy… Terry leant him one of his Red Indian costumes and David was certainly getting into the spirit of the game when I saw him…”

Mrs Harper smiled and added, “I’m afraid David will have been captured by the Cowboys, though… the Indians always get captured, you know…”

“I shouldn’t think David would’ve have minded in the least about being captured…” Emily Clarke said in reply.

Janet Harper, when she heard this, wondered whether her friend knew what happened when Red Indians were captured. It seemed obvious to her that David hadn’t said anything to his mom…

“… and I’m sure he did enjoy himself,” Emily Clarke continued, “… but you know what boys are like, Janet… I reckon he’s got to that age when he thinks he’s too old to put on a costume and play games like Cowboys and Indians… but he’s not said a word to me about it…”

“… you see, Janet, this is just the sort of thing I mean. Ever since he played that game with Terry, I’ve not been able to get David out of the house… and it’s been such lovely weather. All David does is to mope around and when I suggest he goes and asks Terry if he can play with him again, he just pouts and goes all sullen on me… Maybe he does think he’s too old to play Cowboys and Indians with Terry…?”

Now Janet Harper was convinced Emily didn’t understand why David wouldn’t necessarily be that keen to play another game of Cowboys and Indians with Terry, but as her friend was obviously very eager to get David out of the house, who was she to refuse to help? If Emily Clarke wanted her son to join in some more games with Terry, she would do her level best to help… wouldn’t any other mom do the same?

“Christopher was happy enough to play Cowboys and Indians with Terry… why, they played a game only other day… and Christopher’s fourteen! So I don’t think David… he’s twelve, isn’t he? I don’t think David’s too old to play Cowboys and Indians, by any means. Why he’s two year’s younger than Christopher!”

“You’re right, Janet,” Mrs Clarke said with considerable emphasis, “It’s time to do something and get David off his lazy bottom…”

“By the way, just out of interest, was Christopher a Cowboy or an Indian?” Emily Clarke asked.

“Oh, Christopher was an Indian and a very convincing one too by the time he’d got his War Paint on!” Janet Harper replied.

“Well that does it,” Mrs Clarke was adamant, “If Christopher is happy enough dressing up as a Red Indian, then David can do the same!”

Twelve-year-old David would’ve been horrified to hear that his mom wanted him to play Cowboys and Indians again. David knew exactly what went on – and what came off! – during one of Terry’s games of Cowboys and Indians.

David had been tricked into playing an Indian in a game of Cowboys and Indians a couple of weeks ago and he wasn’t at all keen to repeat the experience. David, a naturally shy and thoughtful boy, preferred his own company. He disliked silly games in which you have to dress up and play “pretend”.

On the whole David would far rather have forgotten how he was captured and tied up by Terry the cowboy. David shuddered at the memory of how his tiny Redskin costume had been unceremoniously torn off to leave him helplessly bare-nude and unable to cover himself up.

To David’s relief his mom didn’t stay at Mrs Harper’s long enough to see the whole game, so she had no idea that her son was tied up and stripped bare-nude in front of a group of giggling boys and girls, as he was forced to reveal, along with his hairless genitals, the whereabouts of the secret Indian Camp.

The thought of how he was left stripped bare for a whole hour while Terry and the Cowboys went off to hunt for more Red Indians, was unbearable, as was the embarrassment of being seen tied-up and bare-nude by Mrs Harper!

David was certainly not going to tell his mom what happens to captured Red Indians, but unfortunately this meant he’d been unable to offer much resistance to his mom’s entreaties to join in another game of Cowboys and Indians with Terry. However, by the use of ever more desperate excuses, David had so far managed to avoid wearing again the dreaded Red Indian costume so that he could join in what his mom called the innocent fun - innocent in her eyes at least!

“And to think, I went to the Boys’ Outfitters especially and bought David a proper Redskin play costume… he looks so cute!” David’s mom told Janet Harper, “You simply must see him wearing it…”

David well remembered the embarrassment of that visit to the outfitters… how could he possibly forget…?

                                       oooOooo

After a lot of nagging Mrs Clarke finally got her son along to the Boys’ Outfitters, promising him a ‘surprise’. She thought that once David got his own Red Indian costume he’d be eager to put it on and then it would be easy for her to persuade him join in some more games with Terry and his friends.

David was intelligent enough to know what his mom’s ‘surprise’ was going to be and he was under no illusion what she had planned for him once he’d got him dressed in one of those revealing Red Indian costumes. The twelve-year-old was left standing nervously by the glass-topped counter while his mom explained the reason for their visit to the nice middle-aged lady who managed the Boys’ Outfitters.

David blushed beet-red as he heard his mom tell the outfitter how he ‘loved’ playing Cowboys and Indians so much that she wanted to treat him to his very own Red Indian costume. To his shame David was forced to agree with his mom as she insisted that he couldn’t wait to wear his own costume!

“Ah! I see… yes of course I’ve just the thing. Your son’s in luck, Red Indian costumes can be difficult to get hold of this time of the year… so many boys like to play outside in the fresh air… and Red Indians are guaranteed to get lots of fresh air.”

The lady disappeared for a few minutes, leaving David to wonder just how much she knew about games of Cowboys and Indians. Probably more than his mom, he thought. After a short time the lady returned and laid out what appeared to be nothing more than a few narrow strips of thin leather on the glass counter in front of David and his mom. She explained to them that these were the only two costumes she had left, but she was sure that one of them would fit David.

“My, aren’t they cute?” said Mrs Clarke as she lifted up one of the pieces of soft leather which was barely 2” wide and maybe 5” long. Brightly coloured beads had been sewn onto the hide to produce an abstract pattern and there was a beaded fringe along the bottom of the flimsy garment.

After examining the Indian Costume closely David’s mom asked: “Is it chamois leather?”

The lady smiled, “An easy mistake, madam. Our Red Indian costumes are made from buckskin… the leather is very soft and pliable as you can see, just like chamois. We use only buckskin both for historical accuracy and also to ensure boys aren’t subject to any undesirable chafing. A proper game of Cowboys and Indians is full of rough and tumble, as I’m sure your son knows.”

The pieces of buckskin, the outfitter explained, were attached to a leather cord which went round the boy’s waist. One flap hung from the front and one from the back. This, together with moccasins and a beadwork headband, were all a proper Redskin needed to wear to take on those pesky Cowboys!

“Did you hear that David? You’ll look just like a genuine Redskin on the war-path when you go round to play Cowboys and Indians with Terry again!”

David was speechless. The Red Indian costume Terry had given him to wear when he’d been made to play that stupid game had been bad enough (not that David got to wear it for very long before he was captured and stripped bare-nude), but this was worse, much worse! David could see that the strips of leather would barely cover anything! He was horrified his mom might actually buy the ‘costume’ and expect him to wear it, let alone go out in public and play with it on. Was she mad! Couldn’t she see it wouldn’t cover anything!

Poor David. From the way his mom was talking to the lady outfitter he could tell her mind was made up, but he consoled himself, thinking that at least he might put off the dreaded moment when he’d have to wear it… maybe even manage to put it off until the summer holidays were over…

But then the lady suggested David might like to try on one of the costumes!

“That’s a wonderful idea!” David’s mom trilled, “I’m sure he would love to try on a Red Indian costume, wouldn’t you darling?”

David knew that it was a question to which there was only one answer that would be acceptable to his mom, but he bowed his head sullenly and avoided eye-contact with either of the adults. His mom persisted:

“… wouldn’t you, David?”

The outfitter smiled indulgently… she was used to this sort of behaviour.

“We’ll measure you up to make sure the costume fits properly,” she said brightly, “We want to make sure you’re the smartest little Redskin in the Indian Tribe, don’t we?”

David positively cringed when he heard this and felt butterflies in his tummy as he glanced up at his mom who looked at him expectantly. Mrs Clarke cocked her head to one side:

“There now, David. You want to look nice and smart in your new costume, don’t you?”

David knew there was no escape. The dread words ‘your new costume’ were proof enough that his mom was going to buy one of the flimsy Red Indian outfits for him. Finally David managed to whisper: “… yes, mom…”

The lady picked up the smaller of the two costumes and took David through to the fitting-room.

The room contained boxes, a full length mirror, a bench, coat-hangers and a low stool. The lady told David to take his clothes off.

David paused.

“Come along hurry up and get yourself undressed and we’ll soon have you looking like a real Redskin,” the lady urged brightly, talking to David as if the twelve-year-old couldn’t wait to dress-up in his new costume!

Reluctantly David did as he was told and started to undress, but when he was down to his white school uniform underpants, he paused again. Unsure about whether the lady wanted him to take all his clothes off, David stood and blushed, nervously picking at the elastic waistband of his underpants.

The woman looked at David and smiled, “There’s no need to be shy. I see bare-nude boys nearly every day… now off with those underpants so you can try on your Red Indian costume to make sure it fits.”

Unwillingly David did as he was told and slipped out of his underpants. He put them down on the bench with the rest of his clothes and waited with his arms at his side. He felt dreadfully embarrassed to be nude in front of the lady outfitter and he wondered what to do next.

“Up onto the stool, young man,” the lady said briskly, “We just need to take a few measurements first…”

David felt ever so nervous as he clambered onto the stool… why, he thought, anyone could walk into the fitting room and see him in the nude!

The lady stood close in front of David, took the tape-measure from around her neck and leant forward. She pressed herself against the nude boy, so that she could reach round David’s back. The outfitter ran her hands round to David’s front to measure his waist. Then, to David’s astonishment, she placed the tape-measure across the base of his hairless penis!

Twelve-year-old David flinched as he felt the lady’s hand holding the tape at each side of his penis. She told David to keep quite still as it was very important to get these measurements right, so as to be sure David would get the correct size costume.

Then David got even more of a shock when the lady placed the tape-measure sideways and measured from the base of his penis downwards along the inside of his thighs!

“Oh, this will fit you perfectly!” the lady said as she held up the flimsy little outfit, “Now lift your foot up and we’ll get you dressed in your Red Indian costume. Won’t that be nice?”

David grudgingly agreed although in reality he failed to see what could possibly be ‘nice’ about being made to wear nothing but two thin strips of material, one at the front and one at the back. The lady drew up the tiny garment as David thought how unfair it was that his mom wanted him to play Cowboys and Indians and how he would be made to wear… this!!

“Now I just need to make a couple of adjustments and we’ll have you looking like a genuine Redskin in no time…” the lady said as she slipped the leather cord so that it dropped down from David’s hips. She then positioned the front buckskin flap so that its top was now in line with the base of David’s penis. Now everyone could see without doubt the pubescent boy was completely smooth and hairless!

David turned his head and was horrified to see himself in the fitting-room mirror. He very nearly died of shame… it was worse than being nude! As he looked at himself dressed in his new Red Indian costume, his heart thumped. He knew without a doubt his mom would make him put on the costume to show people at every opportunity. This was turning into a nightmare… every boy’s worse nightmare!

David was transfixed. He couldn’t take his eyes off his reflection in the mirror. Stunned, he let the lady outfitter lift each of his legs in turn to put on his leather moccasins. Then, the pièce de résistance, David’s very own Redskin headband with its long and colourful feather!

The poor twelve-year-old boy was left speechless as the smiling woman took each of David’s hands and helped him off the stool. David now saw himself reflected side-on in the mirror. From this angle there was even less coverage! Anyone looking at him sideways could see what David now saw… that his hairless penis and equally hairless testicles were barely hidden at all behind the little flap! He quickly realised he’d have to be very careful and try to stand facing people head-on while avoiding any sudden movement which could so easily dislodge the tiny piece of buckskin.

With a theatrical gesture the lady outfitter swept the fitting-room curtain open and there in front of David stood his mom.

“My! It’s lovely David! You look just like a real Indian Brave! I bet you can’t wait to go on the war-path…!”

David stood blushing, rooted to the spot for fear the flaps of loose material that constituted his ‘costume’ would flutter to one side and expose his pubescent genitals.

“Oh, it’s perfect!” Mrs Clarke enthused, “Perfect. You’ll really show up the other Indian Braves in your tribe the next time you play Cowboys and Indians, won’t you?”

 “Yes, mom…” David was forced to reply.

Now there was another bombshell. The lady outfitter, who had been standing with one hand resting on David’s bare shoulder, made a suggestion:

“As David likes his new play costume so much, why don’t you let him wear it to go home in? I can put his other clothes into a bag for you… It won’t be any trouble… I’m sure David will want to show off his new Red Indian outfit…”

David was appalled at the woman’s suggestion:

“M-O-M!!!” he pleaded, “Pleeease…!!”

He looked quickly from his mom to the lady and back again. David’s tummy felt as if it had flipped over and thousands of butterflies had somehow burst into life inside it and were trying to escape. It felt as if his life was in the balance. He couldn’t possibly walk home in THIS! And he looked down at himself and the pathetic, tiny, tiny little flap of beaded leather that only just covered his privates.

His mom appeared to give the outfitter’s suggestion some serious thought during which David thought he would faint. Please, mom, please! he said to himself, Please don’t make me wear this home!

“Well I do have some more shopping to do and I’m sure David would love to show off his new costume…”

Suddenly David had a thought!

“But mom…! I haven’t got any war-paint on…!” he blurted out in desperation.

“Oh, what am I thinking of… David can’t possibly be seen without any war-paint on!” To David’s immense relief his mom agreed that no self-respecting Red Indian would be seen without war-paint and he was allowed to change back into his normal summer clothes.

It had been a narrow escape. But what of the future? David knew he’d have to wear his new Red Indian costume to play in one day, so it was with a feeling of dread that he took the costume from the friendly lady at the Boys’ Outfitters and left with his mom.

The outfitter had a parting shot, though: “… don’t forget, I want to see David back here when he’s got his war-paint on and wearing his costume, so that I can see what a proper Redskin looks like when he’s ready to play Cowboys & Indians…!”

                                            oooOooo

“Ah… here’s David now…” Mrs Clarke said as her son passed the door to the living room on his way upstairs to his bedroom, “Come in here David and say ‘hello’ to Mrs Harper… We’ve just been talking about you, haven’t we Janet?”

“That’s right,” Janet Harper replied, “Your mom’s been telling me all about your new Red Indian costume… it sounds as if you’ll look like a genuine Redskin!”

David could feel himself blushing furiously and the heat he felt from his ears made him think he’d burst into flames at any minute.

“Why don’t you go and put it on and show Mrs Harper?” Mrs Clark suggested, “I’m sure she’d love to see you wearing your new costume… besides you’ve hardly worn it since I bought it for you… and don’t forget you promised to wear it to the Boys’ Outfitters to show that nice lady what your costume looks like when you’ve got some war-paint on.”

“But mom… I wanted to go and do my stamps…”

Mrs Clark turned to her friend, “You see… this is just what I mean. David would rather spend all his time up in his room than outside playing with other boys. Really I don’t know why he spends so much time in his bedroom… sometimes I wonder what it is he gets up to in there…”

Mrs Harper smiled. She had a reasonably good idea what a twelve-year-old boy like David got up to in his bedroom! After all wasn’t Phyllis Evans telling her about Ryan’s escapades only the other day, saying how she had to pre-soak her son’s washing to get all those dried boy-cum stains out. Never mind, Janet thought, Emily will find out soon enough exactly what David gets up to in his bedroom.

“Yes, I’d love to see your Red Indian costume, David,” Mrs Harper said with a smile and without more ado a nervous David was sent to change.

Upstairs in his bedroom, David took the minuscule costume from its drawer and laid it on the bed. He’d only tried it on once on his mom’s insistence, just to make sure he could get it on properly. Slowly he started to undress and in a few moments David was bare-nude, ready to put on his Red Indian play costume. He looked over to the corner of his room where the children’s bow-and-arrow set was. Did mom want him to take that downstairs as well to show Mrs Harper? He supposed he ought to along with the silly plastic tomahawk that a neighbour had given him since her own son had grown out of playing games of Cowboys and Indians.

David sat down on his bed next to his clothes. He looked down and between his feet he saw that he’d left a piece of white tissue poking out from under his bed. He hurriedly pushed the incriminating evidence further under the bed where it could not be seen. Just in time as Mrs Clarke pushed open David’s bedroom door!

“Haven’t you put your costume on yet? I’ve been calling upstairs…”

David squashed his hands between his legs, “Mom! I haven’t got any clothes on! Please, I’ll be down in a sec…”

David was very embarrassed to be caught in the nude by his mom. Like most twelve-year-olds, David had become exceedingly self-conscious in the past few months, but his mom appeared not to have noticed.

“Well, hurry up then and don’t keep Mrs Harper waiting,” Emily Clarke said as she left David’s bedroom.

“Mom! Mom… the door!” David shouted.

Mrs Clarke sighed and turned back. “Don’t be all day…” and closed the door of David’s bedroom.

That had been close, David thought, what if mom had seen the tissue and started asking him questions? He’d have to be more careful in future.

Quickly David got dressed in his Redskin costume and checked in the mirror to make sure the little pieces of buckskin were covering his hairless genitals. Then he put the headband on and picked up the moccasins. David sat back on his bed and pulled one foot up until it was resting on the edge of the bed. He caught a glimpse of himself in his bedroom mirror and with his foot in this position he could see right up between his legs. The tiny buckskin flap covered nothing! Nevertheless, David put the moccasins on, stood up and reached for the headband which he carefully pushed onto his head.

David’s little heart thumped as he picked up the bow and arrow set and the plastic tomahawk. He took another look in his bedroom mirror and nearly cried at how childish he looked. Like a nine-year-old, he thought… And I’m twelve!! He wanted to shout out… I’m twelve!! It was so unfair!

His moccasins made no noise as David padded downstairs and along the hall to the living-room. He stood still in the doorway holding his bow and arrow in one hand and the tomahawk in the other.

Mrs Harper put her hands to the side of her face in mock horror, “Help! Emily, it’s a Red Indian! A real Redskin!” she cried, “Oh no it isn’t… it’s David! You had me fooled for a minute there, David. I thought you were a real Indian Brave…”

This made David feel worse… much worse. Now he was being treated like a nine-year-old! It just wasn’t fair!

He remained standing in the doorway. He didn’t want to go any closer to his mom or Mrs Harper. He felt very, very vulnerable wearing his tiny costume and he knew that the slightest sharp movement would expose his penis and testicles. As it was Mrs Harper could see quite clearly how smooth and hairless David still was, since the lady at the outfitters had adjusted the front flap so that it hung just above the base of his penis.

“Come in, David,” his mom said, “Come in so that Mrs Harper can see your new costume.”

David thought that Mrs Harper had a very good view of his flimsy Red Indian costume from where she was sitting, but he stepped gingerly forwards and stood directly in front of her with his bow and arrow in one hand and the tomahawk in the other.

To David’s horror Mrs Harper then reached out and placed her hand around the back of his left thigh and pulled him closer. The touch of her hand felt like an electric shock to the twelve-year-old and it was with immense difficulty that he kept himself calm enough to stop the front flap of his costume from moving.

“That’s alright… don’t be shy David… now let me look at your Red Indian costume properly…”

Before David knew what was happening Mrs Harper had taken hold of the front flap of his costume and had lifted it up in the palm of her hand! There was nothing David could do to cover himself. His hands were holding those silly playthings; the bow and arrow and the tomahawk, so he was forced, with ever increasing shame, to stand perfectly still while Mrs Harper examined his Red Indian costume.

David knew that his hairless pubescent genitals could almost certainly be seen by both women and it made it all the more worse that they were clearly unconcerned with the acute embarrassment this exposure was causing him.

“Isn’t it wonderful!” Mrs Harper enthused, “Just look at this beadwork…”

“The leather is genuine buckskin… just like real Red Indians used to wear, isn’t it David?” Emily Clarke informed her friend.

“… yes, mom…” the red-faced David mumbled in reply

“… and I just love these tassels,” Janet Harper continued, still holding onto the front flap of David’s costume, “… you know some Redskin costumes have strips of plaited leather instead of buckskin flaps…”

“How does that work?” asked David’s mom.

Janet Harper slipped her left hand under the front flap of David’s costume and held it in the palm of her hand. She then brought the fingers of her right hand up to the top edge of the flap until they were actually touching David on the smooth skin at the hairless base of his penis!

“… you see where my fingers are pointing Emily…? Well the young squaws tie thin strips of leather… rather like laces… onto the waistband of the loin-cloth and then they plait the leather strips so they hang down in front of the young brave instead of the leather flap…”

“… Oh my…!” David’s mom said, “these squaws sound very inventive…”

Mrs Harper couldn’t resist adding that some squaws even plaited the leather strips “around the Redskin’s willy…” and attached the leather flap that way!

David was mortified to hear all this talk about costumes. Wearing the one he’d got was bad enough… He could do without Mrs Harper putting any more ideas into his mom’s head.

Finally Mrs Harper let go of the little flap of buckskin and David regained the modest sliver of coverage that made all the difference to him. David was unbelievably bashful… but what boy wouldn’t be, dressed in such a skimpy outfit in front of his mom and her friend? But if David thought it was all over, he was very wrong…

Mrs Harper now announced that she wanted to look at the back of David’s costume!

One glance from his mom and David turned round, still holding his bow and arrow and tomahawk in his hands, so that Mrs Harper could see how the Red Indian costume looked from the back.

It’s safe to say that there wasn’t much of David’s pert twelve-year-old boy’s bottom that wasn’t on display. The rear flap of buckskin, although slightly longer than the flap at the front, didn’t come down anywhere near as far as the front flap and so the lower curves of David’s  bottom were left completely bare. This was because, unlike at the front where the top of the flap had been adjusted so that it was held at the base of David’s penis, the rear flap was attached to the leather cord at David’s waist.

David’s mom thought her son’s bottom was beautiful and it’s fair to say that David’s bottom was pert and delightfully rounded, but this also meant that the rear flap of his Indian costume, which offered little enough coverage as it was, simply hung away from his curved bottom cheeks ensuring David’s lower curves were left quite bare.

Now David was expected to show his almost bare bottom to his mom’s friend!

“Well I never…!” Mrs Harper exclaimed, as David turned round with his back towards her, “I just love the way there’s a flap at the back as well!”

David twisted his head back over his shoulder. What on earth was Mrs Harper talking about? Of course there is a flap at the back. Why wouldn’t there be a flap at the back?

“Some Red Indian costumes I’ve seen don’t have a flap at the back,” Mrs Harper explained as she casually lifted up the buckskin and admired the patterned beadwork, “…apparently it was very common in Indian tribes for Tenderfoot Braves to wear their costumes without a flap to cover their bottoms…”

“Why… I didn’t know that, Janet,” David’s mom said and then asked, “…how old were Tenderfoot Braves?”

“Up to about thirteen or fourteen… some tribes a bit older… a lot of it had to do with the Brave’s physical development… but any Brave under thirteen-years-old was considered to be a Tenderfoot in all the Indian tribes…”

“Oh… so David’s technically still a Tenderfoot…?”

It was time for David to protest. He could see where all this was leading…

“M-O-M…!!” he cried.

But David’s objection was ignored as Mrs Harper continued to examine his costume, “It looks as though it’d be quite easy… yes, Emily… I’m sure you could remove the flap if ever you wanted to… or I should think the lady at the Boys’ Outfitters would be more than happy to carry out the alteration…”

David jerked forward, intent on putting a stop to all this talk, but Mrs Harper was still holding onto the rear flap of his costume. As he made a break for it David’s  Red Indian costume was accidentally pulled halfway down his legs!

David was still clinging onto his bow and arrow and tomahawk when the disaster struck. Now, with the costume drawn down to his knees, David was paralysed with fear… he didn’t know what to do… for some reason he held on to the toys in his hands, but as he stood there David felt his Red Indian costume slide further down his legs!

David was desperate. He tried to move, but the costume only slid down some more, until it was right down around his ankles… now he was effectively hobbled. If he moved he risked tripping himself up.

Mrs Harper come over to help.

“I’m sorry David, that was my fault, but you shouldn’t have tried to pull away like that… Still no harm done. Let me help you get your costume back on…”

David felt agonies of embarrassment as Mrs Harper took hold of his shoulders firmly and turned him round. There he was, a bashful twelve-year-old boy wearing nothing but a Red Indian headband with a feather, his little costume at his feet and a bow and arrow in one hand and a plastic tomahawk in the other. In other words David was, for all intents and purposes, bare-nude facing his mom and her friend, Janet Harper. What boy wouldn’t be glowing red-hot with shame?

Mrs Harper carefully pulled up David’s Red Indian costume, adjusting it so that the flaps were in their proper places: the front flap from just above the base of his hairless penis and the rear flap hanging down from his waist, over the upper curve of his bare bottom.

David could barely look the women in the eye as he asked meekly: “Can I go and get changed now, mom?”

“Not just yet, darling…” his mom replied.

David hated it when his mom called him ‘darling’, but he said nothing and wondered why he had to wait.

“… I’ve asked Mrs Harper, now that you’ve got your very own Red Indian costume, to let me know when Terry is going to play Cowboys and Indians again, so that you can join in the fun and play along too…”

“But… I don’t want to mom,” David spoke and looked straight down at the carpet. He knew he had to put a stop to this and in a tremulous voice he added, “… it’s a kid’s game… and… and I’m twelve… I don’t want to play kid’s games anymore.”

“Don’t be silly, darling… why, you’ve got a lovely new Red Indian outfit to wear. Besides, it will do you good to get out into the fresh air. I’ve been telling Mrs Harper that you really don’t get out and play with other boys enough... and she agrees with me.”

As his mom spoke David looked cautiously towards Mrs Harper and she smiled back at him. David blushed hotly and quickly looked back at the living-room carpet at his feet. He really did not want to experience another game of Cowboys and Indians at the hands of Mrs Harper’s ten-year-old son Terry.

“You ought to be grateful Terry and Ben wanted you to join them and play Cowboys and Indians,” David’s mom continued, “… and besides you enjoyed it when you played it before, didn’t you? You said so yourself when I was scrubbing all that war- paint off before you went and had your bath...”

Emily Clarke turned to her friend and confided, “… David won’t let me into the bathroom when he’s having his bath… he insists on bathing himself now… thinks it’s very grown up…”

David’s face was bright red as Mrs Harper dropped another bombshell: “Christopher played Cowboys and Indians with Terry and his friends just the other day and I happen to know that Christopher’s much older than you are David…”

What… !! Christopher…? David’s mouth fell open. He couldn’t believe what he just heard… Christopher! Why Christopher’s fourteen! What’s he doing playing Cowboys and Indians, David wondered?

“Yes, Christopher doesn’t think he’s too old to play Cowboys and Indians,” his mom added, “…so I don’t see why you should think you’re too grown up to play, David…”

Poor David could feel himself being backed into a corner. Was there no way out? What did Christopher want to go and play Cowboys and Indians for anyway? Mom thinks that if Christopher plays silly games and runs around in war-paint waving a plastic tomahawk, then so can I… it’s… it’s not fair!

David desperately tried to think of something to say, some reason for not joining in another game of Cowboys and Indians, but now he’d been told that Christopher played… why, that made it virtually impossible to think of any excuse at all!

Janet Harper smiled, leant forward and spoke to David as if he was a nine-year-old: “I hear that Christopher is organising a big gathering of Indian Braves and he’s going to have a Pow-Wow! Imagine that David! All you young boys dressed in your colourful Red Indian costumes! You must come along!”

Then she turned towards David’s mother, “Christopher wants to get his own back for losing at Cowboys and Indians,” she explained, “… and a little bird has told me that Terry is going to let the Indians win…”

She turned back to David, again using the same patronising tone which made the boy squirm, “Wouldn’t that be fun, David! Imagine the Indians winning! I should think the more Indians that join in the game the better!”

“There you are then David,” said his mother, a little more firmly, “I don’t want to hear any more excuses. You can dress up in your Redskin costume and go along to the Pow-Wow.”

David was utterly defeated, “Yes mom…”

But that wasn’t the end. Janet Harper had some more exciting news about the forthcoming Pow-Wow. With so many Indian Braves taking part, it was thought they would need an older Indian to lead the Tribe. She calmly announced to an astonished David that Cindy would be their Indian Chief!

David’s mouth fell open. Cindy…!! Cindy a Red Indian!! This was head-spinning news. Cindy was Janet Harper’s daughter, Terry’s older sister, who applied the Red Indians’ war-paint, but had never actually taken part in any of the games. Cindy was sixteen! Wow! Cindy in an Red Indian costume! David’s active imagination got the better of him as he saw Cindy in a costume just as brief as the one he was wearing. Why, he’d heard that some squaws had only their plaited hair to cover their young breasts!

Like any other healthy young twelve-year-old boy, David started to get a bit too excited at the thought of Cindy dressed as a Red Indian. He felt his penis stirring and before his mom could say anything, he made a rapid exit in the direction and safety of his bedroom.

“Well... what was all that about, Janet…?” David’s mom asked her friend.

Janet Harper smiled at Emily’s ignorance. “Oh, can’t you see… it’s so sweet… David’s a young boy, Emily… the thought of Cindy joining in and playing Cowboys and Indians dressed as a Red Indian has got him all worked up… a bit hot and bothered… didn’t you see how red he went when I told him…”

“You don’t think…. Oh, but Janet, he’s only twelve…”

“Yes, and you just told me how shy David’s become recently… Not letting you into the bathroom when he’s having a bath… I bet he doesn’t like it when you come into his bedroom without knocking… you were saying how you didn’t know what he got up to in there…”

“You don’t think… Janet, surely you don’t…?”

“He’s a twelve-year-old boy, Emily…”

“…but…”

Emily Clarke hadn’t before thought of her son getting up to that sort of thing, but she had to admit, Janet did have a point… What was it that kept David in his bedroom? Why had he become so secretive of late? No… it couldn’t be. Despite what Janet had implied, she refused to believe her twelve-year-old son David was capable of… of… oh, it was just too… too… no, she was sure that David didn’t do that sort of thing… a mom would know if her son was… was… surely?

Janet Harper interrupted her thoughts:

“There’s just one other thing, Emily… Emily!”

“Oh, I’m sorry Janet… I was miles away…”

 “…you see I thought I ought to tell you that Christopher doesn’t have any clothes to wear…”

“What… none at all?”

“I’m afraid so… You see just after his parents had left, Christopher was playing a silly game… Well, to cut a long story short, Christopher lost the key to his parents house and lost all the clothes he was wearing as well…”

“… with no key to his house, Christopher couldn’t get back in to get any more clothes from his bedroom, so he turned up at my house completely bare-nude and looking very sheepish indeed…”

“So he’s got no clothes to wear… none at all?”

“That’s right, Emily… The only thing Christopher has to wear at the moment is his birthday suit…!”

“… but hasn’t Terry got anything he could lend Christopher?”

Janet Harper shook her head, “Christopher’s four years older than Terry. There’s nothing of Terry’s that would fit…”

Emily Clarke thought for a moment, “But couldn’t you take Christopher to the Boys’ Outfitters and buy him some clothes. I’m sure his parents would understand and pay for the clothes when they got back…”

“I’d thought of that Emily, but what if Christopher’s mom has already bought summer clothes for him? What would she think if she came home to find that she was expected to pay for clothes I’d bought for Christopher that he didn’t need and would soon grow out of? No I’d thought about buying some clothes for Christopher to wear, but, much as I’d like to, I thought it best if I didn’t.”

“I see what you mean, Janet. I wouldn’t be best pleased if it was me and a neighbour had bought clothes for David while I was away… Why, you’re right, boys grow up so fast, it’s difficult enough finding the money to buy new clothes in the first place, never mind having to pay for clothes that aren’t needed and are soon going to be too small anyway…”

“… the trouble is, Emily when I explained to Christopher that he’d have to make do without any clothes to wear until his parents got back… well, he got a bit upset…”

Mrs Clarke sighed: “It’s a shame, Janet… if you’d have told me two days ago, I might have been able to sort out something that could be made to fit Christopher from David’s old clothes… but, you see I always have a clear-out of his clothes-cupboard and drawers at this time of the year. Christopher might have been able to get into something… as it is David’s only got his school uniform and his summer clothes…”

“It is kind of you, Emily, but at the end of the day, Christopher has only himself to blame for not having any clothes to wear…”

“Still, if I come across anything of David’s I’ve missed,” Emily Clarke said finally, “I’ll pop over with it… you never know we might find something Christopher can squeeze into!”

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