Neonato Ranch - A Regression Story (Chapter 7 - Complete!)

This was a story I was commissioned to write - it features some themes that I don’t often explore, and is primarily a slow-burn mental regression story. It’s seven chapters long, I’ll be posting the complete story over the next couple weeks.

If you like my writing and want to support me, please consider subscribing to my Patreon. You get early access, exclusive stories, and you help put food on my table, and I’d be enormously grateful. :heart:

Chapter 1

The old bus rumbled down the gravel road, tires crunching on little rocks as they pulled through the gate. They were kicking up a line of dust as they went, but it had rained a few days before, so it wasn’t the billowing cloud you could get when the countryside was really dry and barren.

Jeremy loved the country. When the chance presented itself to spend his summer on a ranch, working and learning with free room and board, he’d jumped at the opportunity. If he did well enough, there was even the possibility that they’d take him on as a ranch hand full time, a job he’d be more than happy to do.

The bus rolled to a stop and he stood, grabbing his duffel bag from the upper compartment. Tossing it over his shoulder, he walked to the door, thanked the driver, and stepped out.

Neonato Ranch. His home, for the next three months, and possibly longer if he was lucky.

The main house was a big, wide building, two stories spread out to cover a large space. There was no formal front desk or reception area, just a hallway that split off to a living room on one side and a stairway on the other. He poked his head into the living room first, trying to spot someone who could tell him where to go.

“Eh… Hello?” he called, into the empty space. “Is anyone home?”

Nobody was in the living room, but he heard someone with a friendly southern drawl call out behind him. “You must be Jeremy!”

Jeremy turned, to see a man about six inches taller and maybe five years older than himself, coming out of the nearest bedroom. “Yeah, how’d you know?”

He grinned, in a friendly way. “You’re the last one here. Almost late for your first riding lesson. Billy, by the way.” Sticking out his hand, Billy waited for him to shake.

Trading grips, Jeremy shifted his duffel. “Where should I put this?”

“I was just getting the rooms ready, the last couple on the left aren’t claimed yet so take your pick,” Billy replied. “Then get around back to the barn. If you’re late you won’t hear the end of it.”

“Thanks.” Following the directions, Billy tossed his bag in the second to last room, walked back out the front door, and navigated his way around the building and towards the barn.

It was scaled similar to the house, big enough to comfortably keep a hundred horses or more, separated into rows and stalls. A large fence surrounded the whole thing, and a group of a dozen people were leaning on it, chatting and joking in the warm afternoon sun.

He waved, half-jogged to cover the last fifty feet, and stood on the opposite side of the fence. “Hi, I’m, eh, Jeremy. Is this where the summer hands are meeting?”

A couple people nodded, and a woman who looked a little older and a little more experienced addressed him. “You’re just about late.”

“The bus driver’s fault, not mine,” Jeremy said, glancing around for a gate so he could get to the other side of the fence.

The woman looked him up and down, frowning skeptically. “Did the bus driver dress you, too?”

A couple of the other hands laughed, and Jeremy found himself blushing without really knowing why. “Uh, no?”

“So you were planning on riding in those clothes, then?”

He looked down at his outfit. Loose jeans, a plain T shirt, tennis shoes. “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

More snickers from the other farm hands, but the woman just said, “What room are you in?”

“Uh, I’m not sure.” He tried to think back, if there’d been a number or the label on the door. “Second to last one on the left?”

“Hmm.” She shook her head. “Go back to your room, Jeremy, and check the closet. You’ll find some clothes that are actually appropriate for riding, that won’t get tangled up or caught on your saddle. Hurry along, we’re all waiting on you.”

Blushing, Jeremy turned, jogging back towards the ranch house.

He knew there had to be a back door he could go in through, but he wasn’t sure where it was or if it was even unlocked, so he had to go all the way around to the front entrance to get in, puffing for breath as he got back to his room.

Checking the closet, he found a pair of breeches and a polo shirt hanging up in various sizes, along with a couple pairs of boots and a helmet. Stripping hastily down to his boxers and socks, Jeremy started to get dressed, mindful that every second he was away made him look more incompetent in the eyes of the trainer.

It took him a little trial and error to find a combination that fit, adding to the time it took to get dressed. The first shirt he donned was too large, and the first pair of breeches were too small, and it took him half a minute of struggling to pull the boots on properly. Clipping the helmet in place, he ignored the discarded clothes that hadn’t fit, leaving them scattered on the floor as he ran back to get to the barn.

Huffing and puffing, he realized he still didn’t know where the gate was. He ended up standing on the wrong side of the fence, catching his breath, while all the other farm hands stared and smirked.

“Just… a second,” he panted. After he’d gotten in a bit of air, he asked, “Okay, where’s the gate?”

“Just climb over,” the instructor replied, shaking her head.

He looked at it. The fence was only as tall as he was, and it didn’t look like it would be particularly hard to climb, but he wasn’t much of a climber. Swallowing, not wanting to look any weaker in front of the others than he already did, he grabbed the top and pulled himself up, kicking his legs for support. He got over the top, threw over a leg to climb down, missed, and fell, kicking up a cloud of dust where he landed.

Trying not to blush as the other rookies giggled, he sat up, brushed himself off, and pretended like nothing had happened.

Ignoring it all, the woman said, “Alright, well, I’m Karen, and I’ll be teaching you how to ride. I don’t care how inexperienced you might be…” her gaze lingered on Jeremy when she said it, “As far as I’m concerned, all of you should be able to learn the skills you need to be an expert rider. There are a few basic things you need to know, before you get on a horse…”

She kept talking, and Jeremy sighed in relief. Karen wasn’t going to single him out any more than she already had, and now that they had something to focus on, the other hands weren’t really focusing on him either. He was able to settle in, listening to the instructions and watching as Karen brought out a gentle horse to start the demonstrations.

“Jeremy,” She said, getting his attention.

“Huh? I mean, yes?” he nodded, stepping up.

“Why don’t you go first. Show everyone what I just taught you.” She gave him a look, like she expected he’d decline.

Sticking out his chin, Jeremy stepped up to the horse. The stirrups were a little higher than he could lift his legs comfortably, so he wobbled a bit stepping into them.

Karen steadied him with a hand, and he climbed up, resting in the saddle. “Like this?”

“Like that,” Karen replied, nodding with satisfaction. “Now, walk her around for a few steps.”

Jeremy nodded, taking the reins and nudging the horse forward. It was used to carrying inexperienced riders, and began to lope forward, slow and gentle. He turned her to the right, and she obeyed, moving at a lackadaisical speed.

“I’m getting it!” he declared, perhaps a bit too excited for how simple the accomplishment was.

Karen looked up at him, her expression thoughtful. “I think I might just make something of you yet.”

The rest of the day went smoothly. They were given a tour of the property - Jeremy finally learned the location of the back door and the various gates around the barn. A schedule was drawn up for their choring, and finally it came time for supper.

Jeremy liked most of the other farm hands, despite the somewhat embarrassing introduction he’d had to them. Kimmy had been a farmgirl most of her life and knew her way around the place. Ned was quick with a joke, but didn’t participate in any group teasing. Jess somehow managed to make their mostly-identical work clothes look skimpy and revealing.

It was a good group, and he looked forward to getting to know them over the summer.

Billy, as it turned out, was the ranch’s next best thing to a chef. The stew he whipped up with dinner wasn’t anything like fine dining, but after a day outside, it was particularly satisfying, and the whole table ate it up with seconds.

One of the other ranch hands was in the middle of telling a long-winded yarn when Karen walked in, scooped up a bowl of stew, and sat down at the end of the table next to him. “So, Jerry, you’ve never ridden before?”

“I mean, a little as a kid,” Jeremy said, unsure if this was leading into a compliment or a criticism. “But not much in the past few years. Why?”

“I just think I see something in you,” Karen replied. “Your demeanor. I could see you being a real fixture around here.”

Given the rocky start to the day, Jeremy was more than happy to hear that. Raising his eyebrows, he beamed. “Well, as long as I’m pulling my weight.”

“Sure.” She paused, then added, “I did notice you left your room a mess.”

“A mess? I didn’t even…” Jeremy paused, remembering his hasty attempt to get dressed that afternoon, the clothes he’d strewn on the floor. “Oh, yeah. I was just in a hurry, I didn’t want to keep you waiting. I’ll clean it up after supper.”

“No need.” Karen shook her head. “I realized we still had the suite open, so I moved your bag in there and took care of your little mess. It’s a bigger room, and it’d go to waste if nobody was sleeping in there.”

Despite the fact that it was a privilege, Jeremy still felt hesitant. Being set apart felt like he was being punished. “Are you sure? I’d happily let someone else take it, but-”

“I insist,” Karen said.

Jeremy glanced down at the table, at his peers. Nobody really seemed to be paying attention. “Okay, sure. Where’s the ‘suite’?”

“Down the opposite hall, at the very end. You can’t miss it.” Karen turned her attention to Jeremy’s empty stew bowl, and added, “Don’t forget, you do your own washing up around here.”

Blinking at the sudden change in topic, Jeremy said, “R-right,” and found himself standing to go and wash out his supper bowl.

The suite was right where he’d been told, with his duffel sitting on the large bed. It was, as he’d been promised, superior to the other room - bigger, but also with a window overlooking the barn, and a large painting set against the left wall.

Jeremy took a moment to stop and admire the art. It was a sunset scene, showing a cowboy on a brown-and-white stallion, expression hard and masculine. He looked experienced, but still young, with brown hair and blue eyes, and he overlooked an idyllic version of Neonato Ranch.

Tilting his head, Jeremy stared at the cowboy’s face. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it bore a striking resemblance to himself, right down to the ears that stuck out just a little. It was aspirational. With a little training and some proper experience, Jeremy could be that cowboy, overlooking the ranch himself.

That thought made him smile as he unpacked his bag, took off the boots, and started getting ready to unwind.

Returning to the living room, he spent some time with the others, chatting, getting to know them, basking in the shared experience that they’d all worked hard that day and would work hard again tomorrow to do something they enjoyed. Beers were passed out, and after having two Jeremy started to feel drowsy, so he excused himself to get a good night’s sleep.

After the long day, he was going to sleep soundly. Navigating back up to his room, he undressed from his work clothes, set them aside to put with the laundry in the morning, and curled up under the covers.

Maybe it was the extra hard work, or the extra beer he’d had just before going to sleep. He couldn’t be sure. One way or another, though, that night was the first night since he was a child that he’d wet the bed.


Chapter 2

Jeremy didn’t realize what had happened right away.

Waking up in the early morning to the beep of the alarm clock, he stretched and yawned, considering pressing the ‘snooze’ button. There was a long day ahead of him, and surely five more minutes of rest wouldn’t hurt. Besides, it was so warm and cozy beneath the covers.

Tossing onto his side, he felt it. Squish.

He paused, sitting up. Another squish, and now that he’d realized it, he could smell the stale odor of urine. Lifting the covers, he looked down and confirmed his fear; he’d wet the bed.

“Crap,” he whispered, tumbling out of bed and getting to his feet. “Crap, crap-”

His boxers were soaked, along with the sheets and covers. Stripping off the wet underwear, he pulled away the bedding, examining the damage.

It was an old mattress, with a couple existing stains, but the large wet spot from his night’s wetting stood out like a sore thumb. There’d be no hiding it, unless he could get it cleaned up fast.

He took a deep breath, making a plan. They were responsible for their own laundry, so he could make this work. He’d just have to find the laundry room, dump the wet clothes, and start a load before anyone found out. Then he could figure out something to do about the stain.

A problem presented itself. His thighs were still wet, glistening with sticky, half-dried pee. If he put anything on, those clothes would get dirty immediately, as surely as if he’d just peed in them directly. He’d need to rinse off in the shower, or risk needing to do even more laundry to hide his accident.

Looking in the closet and dresser, he hoped to find a bathrobe, or a towel he could wrap around his waist, anything, but there was no such luck. He’d just have to go naked, and be fast.

It was a flimsy bit of logic, but he was in a hurry to get this taken care of before the rest of the ranch woke up. He couldn’t hear anyone walking around, and his isolated room presented an advantage in that he had no direct neighbors.

Just be quick, you’ll be okay, you just need to find the laundry room.

… and then get to the showers, fast.

Picking up the bundle of smelly, wet laundry, he wrinkled his nose and walked to the door, awkwardly pulling it open with one hand.

Stepping into the hall, he looked around, trying to guess where the laundry room might be, cursing himself for not asking the night before. Nobody was out and about, so he had a little time, but he didn’t dare run around for long.

He tried a couple doors at random, but that only showed him an empty office and a storage closet. Just guessing wasn’t going to do him any good.

Think. The laundry room would probably be near the bathrooms, because otherwise they’d need separate plumbing. Those are down the hall, to the left, so… that must be where the laundry room is, too.

Confident in his theory, he shuffled down the hall, using the bundle of wet laundry to hide his nakedness should anyone spot him in the open.

The hallway to the left was open and clear. The bathrooms were all lined up, four of them, enough to provide for a house with a couple dozen people, though you’d have to be quick to shower if you wanted any hot water.

He ignored that. He just needed the laundry room. Trying a door, he opened it, and his heart leapt. Washers and dryers, three sets, were lined up on the wall. He stepped inside, pushed the door shut with his foot, then froze.

In his haste, he hadn’t checked the whole room before coming in. Off to the side, measuring soap into a cap, stood Karen.

She looked up at his entrance, and blinked once.

He wasn’t sure what was more mortifying. The soggy, yellowed bedding, or the fact that he was naked behind it. Face burning with embarrassment, he racked his brain for an excuse, and explanation, anything-

“You didn’t mention you had a bedwetting problem, Jerry,” Karen said, simply. Stepping over, she took some of the laundry out his arms, moving it into an open washer. That was it. She didn’t even giggle.

“I don’t,” Jeremy protested, holding the remaining bedsheet over his crotch to try and preserve a little modesty.

“You wet the bed on purpose, then?” Karen raised an eyebrow, looking at him.

“No, I mean-” His blush suffused his face. “It hasn’t been a problem before. I don’t know what happened.”

“Sometimes, a new environment, stress, it can cause issues like that,” Karen suggested simply. Looking at the remaining sheet, she added, “That needs to be washed too, you know.”

“Um, yeah, but…” he trailed off. “I’m not…”

“What?” Karen asked. “You’re not dressed?”


“Well, if that was something that bothered you, you should have done something about it,” Karen pointed out. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Erm… but…” he stammered, before buckling and tossing the sheet in the washer.

She poured her cap of soap in, started the wash, and faced him again. “Well, until we know it’s not going to be a recurring issue, we’ll just have to do something about it. Billy’s driving in to town today, I’ll have him pick up some pull-ups for you.” Looking down at his waist, she asked, “What size are you? Small?”

He knew she wasn’t talking about that size, but he covered himself and looked away anyways. “Erm… A thirty inch waist?”

“Alright.” Putting the cap back on the soap, she said, “I’ve got some work to get to, unless you need something else?”

She already knows, Jeremy considered. “Erm… stain remover? For my mattress?”

“In the storage closet, top shelf. It’s for removing stains left by pets , but I’m sure it’ll work for your accidents, too,” Karen said. Wrinkling her nose, she added, “Maybe take a shower, first.”

“R-right,” he said. Turning, he stepped out the door, running across the hallway to get into an open bathroom.

After showering, he was relieved to find a towel in the bathroom, so he could walk back to his room without being completely naked. The stain remover was right where Karen had told him, and after spraying the mattress down and dabbing it all up, it didn’t seem so bad.

It was just a freak accident. Nothing to be concerned with. He could put the whole incident behind him. Dressing in appropriate work clothes and boots, he felt ready to face the day.

Breakfast was flapjacks, again prepared by Billy’s skilled hands. They were stacked up by the time Jeremy got to the kitchen, free for the taking. He took a couple on a plate, drenched them with syrup, and took a seat with the other new hands.

One of the girls giggled, Jeremy couldn’t remember her name. Kimmy? Carey? “What’s funny?” he asked, feeling automatically defensive.

She shook her head. “Nothing.”

He felt a bit of discomfort form in the pit of his stomach. They know. How do they know?

“Erm… how did you all sleep?” he asked, trying to change the subject.

“Pretty good. You?” Ned asked.

“Eh, so so.” The conversation moved on. Nobody said anything, not explicitly, and Jeremy sighed in relief. Either he was being paranoid, or they just weren’t going to say anything.

Morning chores came. He was tasked with sweeping out the barn and getting hay in the troughs for the horses, scooping out manure to keep their stalls clean. The barn was full of the earthy smell that came along with livestock, the not-quite-unpleasant odors that were identical across a thousand ranches, and before too long, Jeremy had picked up those smells too, soaking into his clothes as he worked.

While he did his job, all the others all went off on their own work, maintaining the ranch, overseeing various duties that could be done with minimal experience and a can-do attitude. He wasn’t quite sure what everyone was up to, but he knew they were all working towards the betterment of the ranch.

It took a couple hours, and it was hard work, but Jeremy didn’t mind. It was the price he paid for the chance to stay here, after all, and he liked being useful. He was part of the team, all working towards a common goal.

His hands were starting to get a little sore from gripping shovels, brooms, and pitchforks by the time he got everything wrapped up and neat. Based on the clock on the wall, he’d finished just in time - he’d have a chance to run back to the ranch house, get some water, wash up his face and hands, and most importantly use the bathroom before riding lessons.

Turning, he hung up his tools and started walking back-


The bell outside the barn rang, signalling that it was time for riding lessons. Jeremy swore, half jogging to get outside, looking to see that a group was already forming inside the pen.

Pursing his lips, he ran over, taking in the rest of the group. Everyone else looked clean and collected, meaning he was the only one with dirt and sweat marking his face and clothes.

Karen glanced at him, but didn’t comment besides saying, “Alright, well, with Jerry here that’s everyone. Are we all ready to get started?”

Jeremy shifted his weight from foot to foot, feeling awkward. He had to pee, but he didn’t want to cause a fuss two lessons in a row. It could wait. “I’m alright,” he said, doing the math on how long he could hold it.

I should be alright for a couple hours.

“Okay, then. Well, let’s start by reviewing what we went over yesterday…”

The lesson started much the same as yesterday’s. There was a bit of review, and then Karen brought out the horses. The hands were broken up into two groups of six, taking turns riding the six available horses. Jeremy got paired up with Kimmy who, having more farm experience than most of them, let him take the first turn.

As he got up on the horse, legs spreading wide so he could sit in the saddle, he felt the pressure in his bladder redouble. That made up his mind; after his turn was over and Kimmy was riding, he’d run back to the ranch house and use the potty.

Er… the bathroom.

He frowned, uncertain.

“Everything alright, hon?” Kimmy asked.

“Oh, yeah, just… distracted,” Jeremy said, leading his horse in a tight circle. Making conversation, he asked, “So you grew up on a farm?”

“Growing corn and soybean,” Kimmy replied. “Plus an apple orchard. We’re actually neighbors, and the cattle here come over to graze on our cover crops. I’ve known Karen since I was a little girl.”

“So why’d you need to join on as a hand?” Jeremy asked.

“Didn’t need to, I wanted to.” Kimmy shrugged. “It’s out of the house, but still close to home. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah, it does.” Jeremy squirmed in the saddle. Just say something and go. It’s not a big deal.

Despite the thought, he felt too awkward to bring it up. Following Karen’s guidelines and taking tips from Kimmy, he rode the horse up and down the yard, practicing keeping his balance with a little more speed, learning to give guidance and steer.

And, all the while, the pressure in his bladder was growing at an uncomfortable rate.

Finally, time came for them to switch, and Karen approached him and Kimmy. “How are you two doing?”

“He’s really learning a lot,” Kimmy said. “I thought, since I’ve done all this before, he could just take a second turn if that’s alright with you.”

“I don’t mind. Jerry, you want to keep learning, right?”

“I…” Jeremy squirmed, but he couldn’t bring himself to just say ‘I need to pee’. “Yeah, sure. That’s fine.”

“Well alright, then! Carry on.” Raising her voice, she called, “Everyone else, switch! And if you need to take a bathroom break, now’s the time.”

Crap, Jeremy fumed, as he returned to his riding practice.

There wasn’t much else for him to do, at that point. If he changed his story now, saying he had to pee when he’d been fine just a moment before, he’d look particularly silly. His only choice was to hold it until the next switch.

That had to be fine. He was an adult who had mastered his potty training after all, even if his uncomfortable squirming implied otherwise.

Ten minutes later, though, he’d given up on the idea of waiting until the next switch. He was struggling mightily, legs trembling a little with the strain of preventing an accident. Turning his horse, he rode over to Karen to explain.

“Everything looks good with your form,” she said immediately, as he trotted up and stopped. “You might be holding your legs a little tense, but your posture is good. Has Kimmy been giving you any tips?”

“I- yeah, a couple,” he started to say. “Look, I-”

“I saw your gallop across the yard. Trigger’s an old boy, he doesn’t usually go that fast. He must like you quite a bit,” Karen said. “Do you feel like you’re getting along with him?”

“Who? Oh, you mean-” Jeremy looked down at the horse he was sitting upon. “Yeah. He seems nice. I need-”

“Just a moment.” Karen whistled with her fingers, getting the attention of the yard. “Everyone, gather round!”


“Since you’re doing so well, I’d like you to give a little demonstration,” Karen explained. “Just ride in a little circle, so everyone can see your posture.”


“Unless you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job?” She interrupted, eyeing him.

By that point, the others were gathered round, watching him carefully. Jeremy squirmed, trying to come up with an excuse that wouldn’t sound ridiculous. He couldn’t.

Blushing, he said, “Um, I need to pee-”

Just then, his body decided that it’d had enough. The pressure simply vanished, bladder giving way as he flooded his tan breeches. The light fabric turned dark and yellowed, the stain spreading out from his crotch while his face turned pink, letting out a little ‘meep’ sound when he realized he’d lost control.

Nobody said anything, except to giggle as the hot urine ran down his legs, dripped off the saddle, and dampened the dirt beneath his horse. There was no playing it off, no pretending that he wasn’t simply peeing his pants in front of everyone.

Finally the stream stopped. Kimmy was one of the hands laughing, a few more were looking away and rubbing at their necks, politely pretending not to notice.

Karen was the first one to speak up, breaking the silence. “Well, you certainly don’t need to pee any more, do you now, Jerry?”

Blush turning to a darker red, Jeremy shook his head.

“So, give us a little ride around, show your posture, and then you can go wash off that saddle and change your pants. Okay?”

He looked at the dirt, humiliation making it hard for him to argue. “… okay.”

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Chapter 3

Sleeping in pull-ups wasn’t as hard as Jeremy had expected. Comfort-wise, they weren’t so bad, fitting snugly and flexing in a way that was mostly like normal underwear.

The plastic sheet that had been added to his bed was a little harder to get used to, rustling and crinkling every time he rolled over, but even that wasn’t enough to keep his tired body from dozing into a deep sleep. He had comfortable dreams, and when he woke up, the bed was dry.

Of course, he thought, smiling as he sat up. It was just a one time thing. A freak incident on my first day, not a chronic issue.

Throwing off the covers, he stood out of bed, feeling his pull-ups sag around his waist. Frowning, he glanced down, inspected the padding, and found it sodden and soaked almost through.

Not quite a dry night, then. At least the pull up had done its job, though, and he hadn’t soaked the mattress and sheets.

Stripping out of the garment, he dropped it in the trash bin in his room, wrapped a towel from the dresser around his waist, and walked to get showered. After a quick rinse, a brush of his teeth, and checking to find that he didn’t really need to shave, he returned to get dressed.

At some point the day before, Billy or someone had gotten into his dresser and swapped out his boxers for pull-ups. The padding was lined up neatly.

Well, it’s to be expected. Making a mental note to ask where his boxers had been stored, he slipped on one of the pull-ups, put on pants, and left his room shirtless to go get breakfast.

No flapjacks that day. Billy was frying up eggs to order, with bacon on the side, crispy without quite being burnt. Jeremy helped himself, using an excessive amount of ketchup on the eggs, and needing prodigious use of a napkin to wipe off his face as he finished eating.

He noticed that the other hands were giving him funny looks, but brushed it off, until he realized that the waistband of his pullups were poking out. Pointing out that they were just temporary felt like too much of an admission, so he just ignored them, frowning down at his food.

There was no reason to care what they thought, but it still made him blush a little, making his cheeks warm. His crotch was warm, too, and-

Wait, am I peeing?

Jeremy looked down at himself, blinked, and quickly looked back up, pretending like nothing was the matter. The urine rushed into his pullup, flooding it and bringing the padding almost to capacity.

He’d have to change, when he went back to his room to finish getting dressed. No problem, even if it meant he might need to explain why there were two wet pullups in his trash can. In the meantime, he’d be more careful, more aware of how much he needed to go.

Standing, he squelched over to the sink, set down his used dishes, and walked back to his room to get changed and dressed for the day.

He never got the opportunity to put on a fresh pullup, because Karen was waiting for him.

“Oh, hey there,” she said, looking up from making the bed as Jeremy walked in. “Sleep alright?”

“Yeah, um… fine,” he said, eyes darting to the trash can, holding his first soggy pullup. “Do you need something?”

“I noticed your boots were a little too large, and not fitting properly,” Karen explained, gesturing to the floor where a pair of new rubber boots sat. “So I took you these out of storage. They’re a half size smaller, they should be more comfortable.”

“Aren’t those training boots?” he asked, looking at them.

“We didn’t have any leather ones in the shed,” Karen shrugged. “Put them on, see how they fit.”

He wanted to take off his pants and change his pullup, but he wasn’t going to do that while Karen was there. Crouching, he pulled on the boots one at a time, finding them a little more comfortable, just like she’d suggested.

As he stood, she tossed him a shirt from his closet. “Get that on, too. You’re late for starting your chores.”

“But…” he started to say.

“Is something wrong, Jerry?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “Do you need to go potty first?”

“No!” Jeremy blurted, quickly buttoning up the shirt. “I’ll get right to that.” Tucking in his shirt and hitching up his pants, he tried to ignore the squelch of his pullup.

At least the choring was the same. Now that he’d done it once, things were easier, a familiar routine. Certainly, this time, he’d get it done in time to run back to the ranch house and change before riding practice.

Of course, faster didn’t mean fast. It was still a lot of work that took most of his concentration. The soggy pullup fell to the back of his mind as he built up a sweat sweeping, shoveling, raking, and generally keeping the barn in order. It wasn’t until he was a couple hours in and getting close to done that he felt the chafing that had begun to build. It was the sort of rash that he didn’t notice while it crept up on him, but once it had his attention, it was hard not to think about.

The rash wasn’t awful, but it was certainly uncomfortable, as though he’d been wearing something coarse that grated against his thighs, instead of just a wet pullup. He wasn’t sure why it was uncomfortable - he wasn’t really familiar with ‘diaper rash’ as a concept - he just knew that it would be a good idea to rinse off and get into something dry before it got any worse, even if that meant leaving his job early and coming back to finish it off.

Keeping in line with his terrible luck that week, though, something had to go wrong. As he hung up the tools and got ready to jog back to the ranch house, Karen wandered in. “Done already, Jerry?”

He shifted uncomfortably, both because his thighs felt a little raw, and because he knew he wouldn’t be any good at lying to Karen. “No, I just… needed some water.”

“There’s a cooler near the back, it’s always got water in it,” Karen said, pointing.

“Oh, uh… sure.” Spotting it, Jeremy walked that way, trying to limit how much his thighs rubbed against the pullup. “So what’s up?”

“I had a question,” Karen said. “Hold it, stop.”

Jeremy did so, glancing back at her. “Why?”

“Did you pull a muscle?” she asked. “You’re walking like something’s wrong.”

“Nothing’s wrong!” Jeremy squeaked, not wanting to admit to having had another accident.

She rolled her eyes, walking over. “It happens to the best of us. Here, show me where, and I’ll teach you a stretch to help… wait.” Realizing, she raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t pull a muscle, did you?”

“No,” he mumbled, looking down at the dirt.

Stepping up, she unbuttoned his trousers for him, letting them fall to the floor and exposing his sodden pullup. “Jerry! How long have you been this soggy?” she demanded.

Jeremy shuffled uncomfortably, blushing as he admitted, “Um… since breakfast?”

“Well, no wonder you’re uncomfortable, you’re going to rash something awful if you do that!” she said. “Here, you need to air out so it doesn’t get any worse. Sit down, I’ll help you.”

Feeling too awkward to do anything but obey, Jeremy plopped down on the ground, letting Karen pull off his shoes, pants, and finally the wet pullup. She helped put the boots back on, but that was it. “Now, you need to let that breathe for a couple hours, or you’ll just get all sweaty and make the rash worse,” she said, offering a hand to help him stand.

Jeremy got to his feet. “I… sorry.”

She sighed, sympathetically. “You don’t need to apologize, Jeremy, it’s not your fault that you’re having potty troubles.” Tilting her head, she considered for a moment before asking, “Do you need to go potty now?”

He started to shake his head, then considered how he felt and his eyes widened in surprise at how badly he needed to pee. Suddenly urgent, he said, “Yes!”

Taking his hand without question, Karen nodded. “Then lets get you to the potty.”

In just his shirt and his rubber boots, walking hand in hand with Karen, she walked him all the way back to the ranch house. It did feel nice to have some fresh air on his tender thighs, he had to admit, but that feeling was overtaken by embarrassment, and embarrassment was overtaken by his desire not to lose control.

They got inside, and she walked with him all the way into the bathroom, sitting Jeremy down on the toilet. “Can you do the rest?”

“I ca- yeah I can!” he exclaimed, annoyed. “I’m not, like, two.”

She shrugged. “Can you blame me for asking? Your track record isn’t great.”

He started to complain some more, then realized he’d started peeing in the middle of inventing an angry remark.

Karen just gave him an ‘I told you’ look, smirked, and said, “Be sure to wash your hands for twenty seconds, then finish up your chores before riding lessons.”

Jeremy blushed as she left, glad to have a little privacy once she’d walked away, almost missing the back half of her comment. She expects me to go to riding lessons like this?

It had to be something where she’d have clean pants and a fresh pullup for him. Airing out wouldn’t take that long.

Waiting a few extra moments to be sure he was really done, Jeremy got up, washed his hands, and walked half-naked back to the barn.

He had to be a little careful with the rest of his chores. Swinging in the breeze as he was, he didn’t want to accidentally get knocked somewhere sensitive. Going slow and steady, he finished setting out the hay, checked the clock on the wall, and-

“Dammit!” he swore, realizing he was late for riding lessons again.

Hurrying out of the barn, he jogged through the gate and into the pen, finding the whole group of hands already there, most of them already on horses. A couple of the girls giggled as he jogged up, leaning on his bare knees to catch his breath, but he pretended that it was just because he was late, and not for… other reasons.

“Finally decided to join us, Jerry?” Karen asked, glancing at him as she helped someone else adjust the straps on a saddle.

“Sorry,” Jeremy said, glancing around, looking for pants or at least a pull-up that Karen might have brought for him. “Um…”

“Um?” Karen looked over her shoulder at him. “What is it, Jerry?”

“Did you, uh… bring a change of pants for me?”

This time it was one of the guys who giggled, making him blush more.

“What for?” she asked. “You’ll really want to air out a while longer, Jerry, to help with your diaper rash.”

At that, everyone giggled.


“I know best, Jerry. Now, wait patiently, and you can have a turn on the horsies just like everyone else.”

That left him dumbfounded, at a total loss for how to respond, and Karen went right back to her work, ignoring him.

There wasn’t much for him to do. Jerry stood off to the side, not feeling up to chit-chatting with the other hands while he was half naked. He felt ridiculous, exposed, constantly worried they were judging him, but most of the amusement seemed to come from finding him silly, not from thinking him pathetic. Whether that was comforting or not, Jeremy wasn’t sure.

On the one hand, it meant he didn’t have to worry that the girls just thought he was particularly small and unimpressive, but on the other, they probably weren’t thinking about him as a sexual prospect at all. That was off the table. He wore pull ups, he walked around without pants or underwear of any kind. At best, they probably thought of him as a slightly-larger-than-normal kid.

That… was uncomfortable to think about, so he tried to forget it, pacing in the yard while he waited for his turn to ride.

That came, eventually, as Karen walked Trigger over and nodded to him. “Alright, Jerry! It’s your turn to ride for a bit. Let me give you a hand up.”

He frowned, but accepted her hand, clambering up into the saddle. It turned out to be important that she was there for balance - he wanted to sit down gently and relax onto the saddle, given that there was nothing between his skin and the hard leather, and it took an extra hand for him to do that.

It was good to be in the saddle. Social awkwardness and embarrassment aside, he loved riding. With only a few days under his belt, he was by no means an expert, but it was fun, it was relaxing, it made him feel better when he was otherwise stressed out. His shirt flapped in the breeze a little as he was up on the saddle, free to trot around the yard.

He got to go about ten feet before Karen whistled, stopping him. He turned, frowning, and she raised a hand to get everyone’s attention. She pointed at Jeremy, next. “Alright, everyone take a look at Jeremy.”

Everyone did what she told them to, but nobody had any particular insights to offer.

“Something’s wrong,” Karen prompted, rolling her wrist in a ‘follow along’ gesture. “Who can tell me what it is?”

“He’s not wearing any underwear?” Someone proposed. Someone else giggled.

“That’s not it,” Karen shook her head. “It does have to do with his clothing, though.”

A few idle seconds passed. Nobody had any ideas.

She gave them another clue. “When you’re riding, you’re supposed to keep your clothes…”

“Tucked in,” one of the hands suggested.

“That’s right!” She smiled. “You can’t have your shirt getting caught on something, or loose, baggy pants that’ll get snagged on your saddle. Everything needs to be neat, and tucked, and tight. Now, look at Jerry’s shirt.”

Everyone did, Jeremy included. His shirt had nothing to tuck it into, and as such, was buffeting in the gentle breeze.

“Jerry, go ahead and take that shirt off, before you get yourself hurt,” Karen instructed.

“But…” he started to protest. “I mean…”

She gave him a withering look, and the protest died in his throat. Unbuttoning the shirt, he wadded it up and passed it down to her, completely naked save for his rubber beginner’s boots.

He felt ridiculous, but there wasn’t any more giggling than there had been a moment before. Mostly, the other students just got back to riding, or talking, or doing whatever they had been before he took off his last article of clothing.

Jeremy got back to riding, feeling the wind tickle his hair as he got up to a quick trot around the yard. Even with everything else going on, the riding was still okay.

He didn’t really unwind with the others that night. It felt awkward to approach them, seeing as they’d all seen him naked, even if they were still theoretically his ‘peers’.

Instead, he just retired to his room early. The pullup he’d put on after riding was wet. When did that happen? Stripping out of it, he tossed the old one in the trash, going for the drawer to get a clean, dry pair.

As he slipped them on, he examined the painting above the dresser, tilting his head as he puzzled at it. A young man on a horse - no, not even a young man. A boy, really. Tall, maybe, but still going through puberty, not quite as built out as he’d be in a few years.

It was a good painting, really conveying the youthful energy that it was going for, but something about it puzzled him.

He could have sworn that it was an adult a couple days before.

And it was hard to tell, but… Is the boy in the painting wearing a pullup?

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Chapter 4

The only thing remarkable about Jeremy’s routine in the morning was how unremarkable it was all becoming. After just a few days on the ranch, he already felt like he was starting to get a grasp on things, establish habits, and generally get comfortable.

He rolled out of bed, tossed his wet pullup in the diaper pail Billy had found. Since he’d slept in just the pullup, there was nothing else to take off, he just wandered out of his room and then went to go take a shower. Once he was clean, he dried off, went back to his room, put on a fresh pullup, pants, and went out to get breakfast.

In true form, Billy had breakfast ready to go. This morning it was waffles, flakey and crispy and perfectly cooked, and Jeremy just about jumped with excitement when he smelled them.

Glancing up from the iron, Billy spotted Jeremy walk in and smiled at him. “Morning, Jerry. You look like you slept good!”

Yawning, Jeremy nodded agreeably. “I don’t know where you all get your mattresses, but I’ve been sleeping like a log these past few days.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear it.” Billy slid two waffles onto a plate, cut a pat of butter over each, and then drizzled syrup from a carafe. Pushing the plate towards Billy, he said, “Eat up!”

Jeremy didn’t comment on how he had been served, instead of just being expected to set up his own plate. He wasn’t going to complain about any special treatment, not when it was the positive kind. Taking his plate, he glanced at the table, looked for a seat, and walked to the right end.

Most of the temporary hands were clustered on the left end of the long table, chatting or just eating together, but it wasn’t like Jeremy really wanted to engage in conversation. He was hungry, and his first priority was scarfing down the delicious looking waffles that Billy had prepared.

When he sat, he realized he’d forgotten to grab a fork, but that wasn’t much of a concern. The waffles pulled apart easily by hand, and he could just eat them with his fingers, running the simple dish through the sweet, sticky syrup on his plate and wolfing it down.

“Hey now, champ,” Billy said, glancing over after a minute. “You need a towel over there?”

Jeremy paused, glancing up at him. “Huh?”

“You’ve got about a gallon of syrup on your face,” Billy chuckled. Picking up a wash rag from the sink, he walked over, taking the liberty of rubbing the damp cloth on Jeremy’s face, wiping away the accrued syrup.

“I- mmph!” Jeremy protested, pushing his hand away. “I can do it myself!”

Rolling his eyes, Billy handed him the rag. “Okay then, do it.”

Flushing, Jeremy wiped his hands and face clean, pushing away the empty plate. “Thanks for breakfast.”

The most important thing this morning was making sure to get done eating quickly. Today, for once, he actually had a chance to take off his wet morning pullup, change into another one for the day’s chores, and then get dressed and head off to start working.

The horses were all familiar to him by now, even if he couldn’t place most of them by name. The shy ones, the fussy ones, the ones that you could give a few rubs on their head and they’d be friendly. He made conversation with them as he swept the place up with the push broom, making jokes that nobody but he could hear.

It was nice. Meditative, almost, though he didn’t really go in for actual meditation. Still… if it was like this for some people, he could see the appeal.

The morning slipped away at a comfortable rate. At some point he wet in his pullup, which he only noticed by the slight squelch when he moved. No big deal, he was making good time, he’d be able to change before riding.

While he was scooping out the manure, though, he felt a pressure in his gut, telling him he needed the potty again. Without really thinking about it, Jeremy squatted down, spread his legs, and puffed up his cheeks, taking care of business.

These really are more convenient than hoofing it all the way to the bathroom, he thought, as he pushed out the mush, filling up the seat of the pullup. It sagged in his trousers, and he stood, and… paused.

“Wait…” he mumbled out loud, realizing his mistake. He’d gotten so used to relying on the pullups as his primary source of ‘potty’ that he hadn’t really considered what they were designed for.

Or, for that matter, that there was no way he was going to be able to hide this accident.

The smell wasn’t too bad. His pullup was stinky, sure, but he was shoveling manure. The distinction wasn’t huge.

However, when Billy changed the trash bag in Jeremy’s diaper pail, he’d be sure to notice the poopy pullup inside. Jeremy was going to need to find another way to dispose of… it…

“Um…” he said, looking at the open doors. “Hi, Karen!”

She waved as she walked in. “How are you doing, Jerry?”

“Oh… y’know…” he shuffled uncomfortably, trying not to squish the load in his pullup, and his face had to be telling the whole story because Karen raised an eyebrow immediately.

Walking a few steps closer, she started to ask, “What did you-” and then her nose wrinkled and she sighed. “Oh, Jerry, you didn’t even try?”

“I di…” he didn’t even bother finishing the lie. “I’m sorry, Miss Karen, I just wasn’t paying attention, and… well, it just sort of happened.” He blushed, avoiding eye contact with her. “I’ll do better next time!”

She shook her head, gentle reproach in her tone. Karen wasn’t upset, but she didn’t believe him for a second. “Will you? Or will you just keep having accidents?”

“I…” Jeremy didn’t know how to answer. He wanted to start using the potty again like a big boy, but the track record made him feel incapable. “I want to try.”

“Jerry,” Karen tsk’ed, shaking her head. “We both know you are having trouble here. I think it’s time that we start taking your protection more seriously, until you’re ready to try potty training again.”

He felt ashamed, but not of his accident. He just didn’t like disappointing Miss Karen. “Okay, if you think that’s best.”

She nodded, gently taking his hand. “Let’s go get you cleaned up, Jerry.”

Jeremy waddled behind her, out of the barn and back to the ranch house, blushing every time he felt his mess squelch between his thighs.

Instead of going to the bathroom like he’d expected, though, Karen just walked him past it, stopping by the laundry room so she could speak quietly to Billy. After exchanging a few quiet words, while Jeremy just stood awkwardly in the hall, she came back out, took his hand, and walked him the rest of the way to his room.

“Lay down, Jerry,” she instructed, walking to his dresser. He obeyed, moving aside the covers on his bed so he could lay down on the plastic sheet. After retrieving a couple things, Karen walked over to his bed, pulling his boots free, dropping them on the ground.

Next she bent over, unbuttoning his pants and tugging them gently down, folding them and setting the trousers aside. For his pullup, to avoid making a mess, she gripped one side with both hands and ripped it, repeating the process on the other end, and slipped the whole thing free from under his bottom.

Then, she picked up the box of baby wipes she’d retrieved from his dresser. Jeremy frowned. When did those get there?

Taking out a cool wipe, she started cleaning him up, taking her time and ensuring that she got every little bit of stinky muck that was clinging between his thighs. The wipes were cool, but they weren’t cold, and it felt nice on his bare skin.

“It looks like your rash is starting to get a little better, but I’m still worried about it,” she commented. “I think you need a little more time to air out, Jerry. Sit up?”

He obeyed, swinging his legs over the side of the bed, and Karen crouched to pull a pair of felt boots onto his feet. They were soft and comfy, though he was worried they wouldn’t be quite as heavy duty as his good rubber ones.

There wasn’t room in his tone to argue. If Karen said he was going to air out, then he’d be spending another day riding naked, then that’s what he’d be doing.

Once the boots were snugly on his feet, he stood, blushing as Karen looked him up and down.

“That’ll do for today,” she commented, smirking.

Jeremy blinked. “What?”

“Nothing to worry your little head about, Jerry,” Karen said, ruffling his hair. “Let’s get out to the yard.”

She held his hand and walked him back outside at a pace that felt just a touch awkward. A little faster than his normal walking pace, but not quite a walk, making it a struggle to keep up. He felt exposed once they stepped outside, but the cool air did feel nice on his skin, Karen had been right about that.

For once, he wasn’t late to riding lessons, though he was only exactly on time, showing up with the teacher. The other students, all more seasoned and experienced than they’d been on day one, had already let out the horses, and were getting them saddled and situated.

“Afternoon, everyone,” Karen said, addressing the group. “I’m really proud of how you’ve all progressed. Today we’re going to be doing some exercises to work on your form. I’ve noticed a couple bad habits forming, and we’d do well to nip those in the bud.”

Standing shyly behind Karen, Jeremy looked around at the other students, noticing something odd. Quietly, he got Karen’s attention and asked, “Er, what’s Billy doing here?”

“Oh, I asked him for some help with you so I could focus more on the students,” Karen explained, simply.

“The students?” Jeremy raised his eyebrows. That didn’t make sense - he was a student, wasn’t he?

“That’s right,” Karen replied, waving over to Billy, who led over an old, steady horse that was already saddled and ready to go. “Billy, can you take over here?”

“Of course, Karen,” Billy said, smiling at Jeremy. “Alright, sport, lets get you up in the saddle!”

Jeremy was confused, but he didn’t want to argue with the adults… with the teachers. Accepting Billy’s hand, he got up onto the saddle, settling comfortably on the leather.

“Now, I bet you want to go fast, huh?” Billy said, encouragingly, as Karen walked away to talk to the others.

“Huh?” Jeremy frowned, catching up to the question. “I mean, er… yeah. That’d be cool.”

“Okay!” Bill took the horse’s reins, pulling it along at what was really only a light jog, but Jeremy hadn’t been expecting it so he wobbled a little before getting steady. “You’re doing great, sport!”

The encouragement was nice, but Jeremy was distracted watching the other students. Karen was giving them hands on lessons, training them on their posture, their grip, while he was getting a guided trot around the yard.

Are they really that much better than me? He thought, blushing. Sure, he’d been late a few times, he’d had a few accidents, but… It hadn’t been that bad, had it?

Billy noticed his uncertainty and slowed. “You alright there, Jerry? Was I going too fast?”

“No, I just… never mind,” Jeremy said, shaking his head. He didn’t want to voice his concern out loud, and have Billy confirm what he was afraid of. “I’m alright.”

“Sure you are, sport. Ready to keep going?”

Blushing, Jeremy nodded.

Despite his frustration, it was still fun to ride. He got to sit up high, moving fast, feeling the horse do the work beneath him. It was a chance to play cowboy, even if someone else was doing all the work of leading and guiding his route.

He almost didn’t notice the accident, until Billy pointed it out.

“Whoa there, buddy!” Billy declared, half concerned, half amused.

“What?” Jeremy asked, looking down. Blushing, he realized he’d started trickling urine onto the saddle without even thinking about it. “Oh, jeez, I’m sorry-”

“It’s alright, sport, the saddle’s waterproof and this guy doesn’t mind,” Billy said, patting the horse on the neck. “But lets get you down from there and cleaned up, okay?”

“… yeah,” Jeremy said, his cheeks pink. He couldn’t even stop peeing while they talked, even though he tried.

Billy helped him down, and they walked back towards the barn, horse in tow, passing by Karen and the other students on the way. “Jerry had a little accident,” Billy explained, simply. “We’re gonna go get him cleaned up.”

“Oh, that’s alright,” Karen smiled. “Jerry, when you’re done, wait for me in you’re room and I’ll help you get dressed?”

I can get dressed myself, Jeremy thought, but he didn’t voice the idea. He just walked with Billy, standing by awkwardly as he first wiped down the saddle with a shop towel, led the horse back to its stable, and then finally walked Jeremy by the hand back towards the ranch house.

He at least let Jeremy take a shower by himself, though Billy did insist on helping him take off his boots. Once he was rinsed clean, washed, and dried, Jeremy toddled back to his room to wait.

This is stupid, he thought, sitting on his bed, kicking his legs. Just get dressed. You’re an adult, you can do it yourself.

But, despite his internal protests, Miss Karen had told him to wait, so he was going to wait.

It wasn’t that long of a wait, anyways. Fifteen or twenty minutes went by, he wasn’t sure, and then she was there, smiling her sunny smile.

“You’re such a good boy,” Karen said, smiling, as she walked in. “Thank you for being patient, Jerry.”

“I mean… yeah,” Jeremy blushed, crossing his hands over his lap in a completely pointless attempt at modesty.

Karen only smiled, waltzing over to the dresser and producing powder, wipes, and a fluffy white diaper.

Wait, huh?

Jeremy had only a second to be confused before Karen was standing next to him, gently pushing on his chest until he laid down on the bed. “Spread your legs and lift your hips, dear,” she said, waiting for him to take his hands away and obey.

Confused, he did as he was told, and Karen slid the diaper beneath him without comment. It was as though she didn’t find anything unusual about this situation, as though he hadn’t been wearing big boy underwear just a few days earlier.

He couldn’t stay silent anymore. “Um, Karen?”

“What is it, sweetie?” she asked, as she opened the tube of baby powder, sprinkling a little on her hand and more on his thighs.

“I don’t need diapers,” he explained, sheepishly, as she rubbed the softly sweet-smelling powder into his skin, her touch gentle.

She laughed, gently. “Jerry, what did I catch you doing in the barn this morning?”

“Erm…” he blushed, not wanting to answer.

Karen stopped what she was doing, her tone hardening just a touch. “Answer me when I ask you a question, Jerry.”

“I…” Bright pink, he stammered out his response. “I went poop in my pullup.”

“That’s right,” Karen confirmed, closing the powder tube. “And when’s the last time you made it to the potty for number one?”

“Erm… A couple days,” Jeremy admitted. “But…”

“No ‘But’s. You’re clearly having troubles, so until we get your potty training all settled, you’re going to be in diapers, mister.” Karen folded the padding over him, holding it in place and securing the tapes down as she did so. “If you can’t tell when you need to go to the potty, you don’t get to argue about your diapers.”

It was a stupid rule, but Jeremy couldn’t argue it. The diapers would mean fewer leaks, and he wouldn’t have to worry about any other problems. Besides, adults wore diapers sometimes too, there was nothing to be embarrassed about.

“Now, butts up, let’s get you dressed,” Karen declared, smiling as she walked back to his dresser.

I can dress… myself… Jeremey started to think, but the consistent protest no longer sounded reasonable even to him. He just sat there on the bed, while Karen picked out a shirt, pants, and a pair of sandals for him to wear.

She brought them over, unfolded the pants, and held them up. “Legs?”

He did as instructed, putting his legs into the pants and scooting so she could pull them all the way up and button them in place.

“Arms up!” she added, holding up the shirt, a light blue tee that fit loosely once she pulled it over him, hanging down enough that it would hopefully cover the waistband of his diaper.

The sandals slipped on easily, and he was all dressed and ready to go.

Karen beamed. “You look like such a big boy. Just let me know when you need a change, alright?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Jeremy said, getting to his feet, feeling the diaper rustle between his legs.

He wouldn’t say it out loud, but he was starting to worry that he wouldn’t know when he would need a change, and wouldn’t think to ask.

It’s alright, he realized, smiling. Karen will notice before I do. I’ve got nothing to worry about.

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Is anyone reading this?

Chapter 5

Jeremy yawned and stretched, blinking softly as his alarm clock beeped.

Five more minutes, he told himself, rolling over and pressing the snooze button, making justifications in his head for the time he’d lose. He could shower quickly, and a diaper change wouldn’t take that long with Karen doing it.

Blinking blearily, he dozed off again, dreaming of soft things.

When the alarm beeped again, he admitted to himself that he really did need to get up. Groaning, he rolled out from under the covers, sitting up in bed and feeling his diaper squelch.

Poking at the padding, he determined that he would definitely need a change right away - he was close to leaking, and it’d be embarrassing if his diapers leaked in front of everyone. Better to go find Karen and get changed right away.

So, he got up and waddled out of the bedroom, looking around for her. She wasn’t in the laundry room, or the bathrooms, so he shuffled all the way to the kitchen and poked his head inside. No Karen, but he did spot Billy at the stovetop, flipping up flapjacks.

“Hey there, buddy!” Billy said, smiling at him. “Looking for Karen?”

“Yeah, I- How did you know?”

“Because you’re looking pretty soggy there, mister!” Billy chuckled, pointing at the diaper that was sagging between Jeremy’s legs. “Check the front room, I think she was going through the mail.”

“Thanks,” Jeremy said, cheeks turning just slightly pink. Sure, he needed a change, but was it really that obvious? Not thinking too much of it, he wandered all the way back to the front room, where Karen was sitting on the couch, sorting a stack of envelopes.

She glanced up at his entry, smiled, and set down the mail. “Good morning, Jerry.”

“Morning.” Rubbing the back of his neck, Jeremy said, “Um, I need a diaper change.”

“It sure looks like you do,” Karen agreed, getting to her feet. “Let’s go take care of that, okay?”

Walking over, she took his hand and led Jeremy back to his room. This time when she went to the drawer, she produced a plastic-backed pad, which she set out on the bed before instructing him to lay down.

Smart, Jeremy considered, getting up on the changing pad and laying back down.

Karen’s movements were smooth, caring, and practiced. She pulled away his soggy old diaper, washed him clean with cool, damp baby wipes, applied a thin dusting of powder, and massaged it into his skin. Once he was all clean and dry, the new diaper was slipped beneath his hips, folded in place, taped snugly around his waist, and she was done.

With the diaper, at least. She still had to dress him for the day.

Walking over to the closet, Karen picked out a T shirt, retrieved Jeremy’s felt boots, and walked back to where he was still laying on the mat. “Up!”

“Er…” he said, obeying and raising his arms. Karen pulled the shirt over his head, and then he finished asking, “Don’t I need pants?”

“Nonsense,” Karen said, crouching to pull socks over his feet. “It’s a lovely day out, you won’t get cold, and this way I can see when you need a change right away. We won’t have to worry about your diaper getting too soggy and leaking!”

“… right,” Jeremy said, nodding as she tugged the boots onto his feet. He got up, looking down at himself, all dressed for the day.

With that all done, he supposed it was time for breakfast. Karen went with him to the kitchen, and when they arrived, she picked up a plate stacked with pancakes already prepared for him, drizzled syrup over them with a flourish, and began to cut the pieces up with a fork and knife.

Jeremy wasn’t sure what to make of the gesture, but he sat down and waited for her to finish cutting up his breakfast. Only once she was done, and she slid across the meal to him with a plastic fork, did he dig in and eat his fill. As always, Billy’s cooking was fabulous, and the extra touch of care with having the pieces all cut uniformly to shape seemed to make it even better.

He certainly wasn’t going to complain about the extra attention, giving that the other kids… That is, the other students seemed to mostly ignore him at breakfast, sitting at their own table and making no effort to include him in their conversation.

It didn’t feel great, to be left out. Jeremy was a big ki- a student too, he should get to pla- talk with them.

Once he was done eating, he resolved to do something about it. Getting up, he marched right on over to where they were all sitting, drinking coffee, eating their own pancakes. “Hi.”

One of the guys, Ned looked over at him and grinned. “Hey there, Jerry! How was your breakfast?”

“Er…” What? Since they’d been excluding him, Jeremy hadn’t expected such a friendly greeting. “It was good!”

“You sure seem like you enjoyed it,” one of the girls - Jess, he thought - said. “You’re wearing half of it on your face!”

A few of them chuckled, but it didn’t feel like mean spirited teasing, just a joke. Jeremy chuckled too, unsure how to respond to their friendliness.

“Here, lemme help you there Jerry,” Kimmy said, leaning in with her napkin. She rubbed it on his face, wiping away syrup and bits of pancake that he hadn’t even noticed were there. “There! All clean.”

“Thanks…” Jeremy said. They weren’t being exclusive, he realized, he just hadn’t been brave enough to sit with them. And, thinking about it, he didn’t really feel like he belonged. He’d interrupted their conversation, after all, even if they were being nice. “Er… I’ve got chores to do, so… I’ll see you all later?”

“Sure thing, Jerry. Have a nice time with choring!” Kimmy beamed, and then the group of students returned to their friendly chatter.

Fed, face clean, with a fresh diaper, Jeremy toddled out the back door and went to get to work.

Karen had been right - It was a really nice day out, with a pleasant, warm breeze. Pants would have just been hot and uncomfortable, having just a diaper on below the waist was a lot nicer. Besides, it wasn’t like he needed pants for his work.

He busied himself sweeping, moving hay, shoveling out the stalls. This, at least, hadn’t changed since his arrival - His chores were the same, even if his outfit while doing those chores had become crinklier as the days went on.

It was around eleven when he felt the tug in his belly that said he needed the potty. He could have hurried on back to the ranch house, found Karen, gotten her help taking off his diaper, and gone on a toilet, but that sounded like a lot of work. Besides, there was still cleaning to do in the barn.

By the time he’d made the decision in his head, he was already squatting down, filling up his diaper with mush. By then, there was no point changing his mind anyways, so he just went with it, finished, stood up straight, and got back to work, his diaper hanging heavily between his legs as he finished up with his choring.

The dirty diaper didn’t really get in the way as he worked. Sure, it squelched a bit and sure, it smelled, but neither bothered him much, because he knew that he wouldn’t have to stay in it long.

Karen strolled in some fifteen minutes later, her little check-ups as much a part of the day’s routine as anything else. She had a large bag over her shoulder, and she spotted the condition of his diaper right away, pointing it out as she walked up to him.

“Well, it looks like someone used his diaper,” she said, getting close enough that she could reach around and squeeze the back of his padding, feeling the weight. “It looks like I got here just in time.”

“I didn’t want to bother you so I could use the potty,” Jeremy conceded, shrugging. “I’m just about done here.”

“You did a very good job,” Karen praised him, though it wasn’t clear if she was talking about the chores or about using his diaper. Either way, she took him by the hand and added, “Let’s get you in a fresh diaper, ok?”

“Okay,” Jeremy said, expecting that they’d walk back to the ranch house. Instead, she opened her bag and unrolled another portable changing mat, laying it right down on the dirt in the barn.

Oh, it’s a diaper bag, Jeremy realized, laying down obediently while Karen crouched and took out the other changing supplies.

Before she did anything else, though, Karen took out a pastel blue object from the bag, leaned over, and popped it into Jeremy’s mouth. His eyes widened as the pacifier was placed between his lips, but he didn’t argue - he couldn’t, without spitting it out, and it felt somehow appropriate to be suckling on it while she changed his diaper.

That done, Karen untaped him, wiped him up, and rolled up the old, soiled diaper, setting it aside and leaving him naked from the waist down.

While she got the powder ready, though, a few figures approached from the outside, strolling in through the open barn door. “Hey, Karen!”

Jeremy leaned up slightly so he could see a few of the students walking in. One of them waved, adding, “Isn’t it time for lessons?”

Karen smiled, waving back. “I’m just giving this lil’ stinker here a change, but you can get your horses ready now if you’d like. I’ll be out in a couple minutes!”

Jeremy turned pink, realizing that he’d be late for class again, that he was even making Karen late for class. Laying back down on the changing pad, he crossed his arms, hoping nobody would comment on the delay he was causing.

“Sure, we’ll see you out there,” one of the big kids said, smiling. “Take your time!”

“I’m almost done,” Karen chuckled, returning her attention to Jeremy.

It was true - she just had to finish applying powder, tape up a new diaper, and he was all set to go. The old diaper got wrapped up and put in the bag until it could be thrown away, the changing pad was rolled and stowed, and they were done.

“Now, let’s get you someone to ride, too, okay?” she said.

That was enough to get Jeremy excited, riding was still the highlight of his day. To his surprise, though, instead of walking over to one of the older horses he’d been riding on all week, Karen walked to the other side of the barn, where the ponies were stabled.

“No faiw!” Jeremy started to say, lisping as he realized the pacifier was still in his mouth. Taking it out, he repeated, “No fair! I want to ride one of the big horses!”

“Don’t be silly,” Karen said, opening a gate and leading out one of the tamer ponies. “You’re too young for that - one of the big horses would just be too much for you!” Getting to his side, she ruffled Jeremy’s hair, took the pacifier from his hand, and plopped it back in his mouth. “You do want to ride, don’t you?”

He nodded, emphatically. “Yeth!”

“Well, it’s a pony or nothing today. Maybe when you’re bigger, you can ride one of the horses.”

Fuming, Jeremy nodded. He couldn’t argue with Karen about it - if she said he wasn’t big enough, then he wasn’t big enough. The pony would be better than nothing, and it was still riding. So, he trudged next to her out to the yard, waiting until they were in the enclosed area before he took her hand, got up on the saddle, and started to ride.

It wasn’t particularly quick, and it wasn’t particularly fast, but it was still riding. While Karen taught the big kids more advanced riding techniques, he rode in slow circles around the yard, letting the pony do all the work. It knew how to walk, and didn’t take much direction to move around, though if he pulled on the reins it’d obey him well enough.

The morning was pleasant like that. Suckling on his pacifier, he rode around, oblivious to whether or not his diaper was getting any wetter. It was relaxing. Fun. When he got the pony up to a trotting speed for a short moment, he giggled and waved at Karen excitedly, a gesture that she returned pleasantly.

All good things had to come to an end, and when Karen wrapped up the lessons, that meant his own riding was over, too. She helped him down from the pony while the students led their horses back to the barn.

“Hmm,” she said, looking down at him.

“Wha’?” he asked, moving the pacifier to one side of his mouth so he could respond.

Karen licked her thumb, and then rubbed the digit on his cheek, wiping away some dirt. “You’re filthy, Jerry. Did you shower this morning?”

“Erm… no,” he admitted. “I fowgo’ too.”

“Well, let’s get you back inside and we’ll do something about that,” Karen suggested, taking his hand. “Okay, Jerry?”

That did sound nice. He nodded. Holding hands, they walked back to the ranch house, and instead of the communal bathrooms with the showers, Karen walked him up the stairs, to her own bedroom.

Inside, she had her own private bathroom, and in there was an old, cast iron tub, big enough to lay down in comfortably. It looked to be as old as the ranch house itself.

“Wait here a moment,” she said, leaving him in the bathroom and walking out. When she returned, she had a fresh set of clothes that he’d be able to change into, a baby blue t-shirt and a pair of sandals, along with a pair of fluffy towels and a washcloth.

Karen set aside the clothes and towels, then ran the bath, testing the water with her hand to make sure it wasn’t too hot. While the tub filled, she helped him get undressed, discarding his old diaper, pulling his shirt over his head. She left in the pacifier.

Once the bath was ready, Karen held his hand while he stepped in and got down, laying back in the warm-but-not-too-hot water. Lifting a washcloth and soap, she began to scrub him down, washing away the day’s grime and dirt, getting behind his ears, lathering him up.

Squirting a dollop of shampoo into her hand, Karen scrubbed it into his hair, humming softly. “You’ve got such pretty hair,” she commented, fingers running through, lathering up the shampoo. “But you’ve let it get all tangled up. It’s just a mess.”

Jeremy looked at her apologetically, suckling on his pacifier while she finished up cleaning him.

Karen continued washing him, taking her time, letting him soak in the comfortably warm water. She rinsed the shampoo out of his hair, using a plastic cup to run water over his head without getting it into his eyes, then repeated the process with conditioner, trying to get all the tangles out, tangles that Jeremy hadn’t even noticed until she mentioned them.

She didn’t spare him any dignity when it came to washing around his privates, but that wasn’t much of a surprise, given that she’d wiped him up down there half a dozen times by that point, changing his pullups and then his diapers.

He couldn’t place the tune she was humming, but it sounded familiar. Comforting. Like something from his childhood, that he hadn’t heard in decades but still had an inkling of in the back of his memory.

Eventually, she decided he was clean enough and pulled the plug, letting the water drain out. He watched the little vortex of water spin as the tub emptied, while Karen got up and got a pair of fluffy towels. She sat on the edge of the tub, draping one towel over her lap, holding the other one up. “Come up, sit on my lap,” she said.

He got up, obeying, sitting on the towel. She ran the other towel through his hair, drying him vigorously, then started patting down the rest of his body. It felt nice to be on her lap, to be close to her. He felt safe.

Once she was dry, Karen held an arm around him and produced a comb. “Now hold still, Jerry. I’m going to get all those nasty tangles out.”

He nodded, sucking down on the pacifier. She ran the comb through his hair, and he felt it gently against his scalp as she pulled the tangles loose one at a time, still humming her soft tune. It was slow going, but there was no hurry. Jeremy didn’t have anywhere to be, except in Karen’s arms.

When his hair was all straight and neat, Karen adjusted her grip on the comb, moving her hand and running it gently through the hair down over his privates. Jeremy was surprised, but it felt nice, and he didn’t object.

“Shh,” Karen said, quietly whispering in his air. “Karen’s gonna get you all nice and clean, baby. You don’t have anything to worry about. Just let me take care of you. Okay?”

He didn’t respond, just leaning back into Karen’s body as she rocked him back and forth, clean, naked, running the comb through his pubic hair.

“Is that okay?” Karen asked.

Jeremy hadn’t really thought about the question as anything more than a hypothetical until she’d asked the question again, but now that she had, he gave it some thought.

His past few days had seen their fair share of embarrassment, sure. He wasn’t sure why he’d started having accidents, but nobody was making a fuss about it. The days hadn’t been perfect, but they’d been comfortable, relaxing, pleasant. And, through it all, Karen had always been there for him, always willing to help.

Yeah, it is okay. He nodded, gently, and Karen gave him a soft hug from behind.

“I’m so proud of you, Jerry,” she whispered, holding him close and rocking side to side in a soothing way. “You’re doing such a good job, and soon we’ll be all done and you won’t have any more worries.”

Jeremy didn’t know what Karen was talking about, but it didn’t matter. He understood that Karen was going to keep him safe, and that was enough.

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Of course we are reading it. You have 475 views. :-). It’s a fun piece.

Chapter 6

It was another fantastic day.

Jeremy woke up slowly, with lots of fussing and going back to sleep as sunlight began filtering into the room. His bed was soft and warm, and he wanted to stay snuggled under the blankets for as long as possible. There wasn’t any pressing reason to get up - breakfast would be made for him, he had no need to go use the potty, and Karen would get him changed and dressed when the time came.

So, he stayed cozy beneath his covers until Karen came into his room, shaking him gently awake.

“Muh?” he mumbled, blinking and looking up at her.

“Jerry, silly boy, it’s time to wake up,” she said. “Billy’s done making breakfast, and it’ll get cold if you don’t get to it now!”

“O-oh,” Jeremy said, stretching as he sat up. When he yawned, his pacifier fell out of his mouth, but Karen deftly caught it and plopped it right between his lips.

“We’ll get you changed after you eat, alright?” she offered.

That sounded good, so Jeremy sat up, rubbed the sleepiness away from his eyes, and stood. He’d just worn a diaper to bed - it was all he needed, really - so that’s what he wore when he waddled out of his room with Karen, making his way towards the kitchen. He was soggy, but the diapers were thick and absorbent, and they weren’t yet at the point of leaking.

Billy greeted him with two eggs and a strip of bacon, arranged on a plate in a smiley face. The eggs had already been cut up, with a dot of ketchup on each piece. He slid the plate across to Jerry’s seat at the end of the table, along with a plastic fork and a sippy cup full of milk.

“Erm… wha’s tha’ fow?” Jeremy asked, pointing at the sippy cup.

“So you don’t spill, silly,” Billy explained, stacking up bacon onto a plate for the big kids’ table.

That made sense. Setting his pacifier aside, Jeremy dug into the meal, happily showing down. For such a simple breakfast, it was scrumptious, and he wolfed down his whole helping in only a couple minutes, holding out his plate for seconds when he was done.

Complying, Billy served up a second plate, cut it up, and gave it back to Jeremy. Again he wolfed it down, practically inhaling the food.

Only once both plates were empty - and Jeremy had drained his sippy cup - did Karen step in with a damp cloth, washing his face clean of all the food debris that had been smeared on his lips and cheeks during the process of eating.

She even had to wipe some crumbs off his bare chest, chuckling as she did. “I think it’s time we invested in a bib for you, little guy,” she said. Now that he was clean, she picked his pacifier up off the table and plopped it back between his lips, so he could suckle on it happily.

“Why?” he asked, the question a little muffled. She’d done a perfectly good job cleaning him up even without a bib, after all.

Karen only laughed, and leaned over to give his diaper a squeeze. “I think it’s time we got you in a freshie. Come on, Jerry!”

He hopped to his feet, waddling after Karen towards his bedroom so he could get changed. It was practically routine at this point - he hopped up on the changing table installed next to his dresser, and Karen smoothly discarded his old diaper, wiped, powdered, and applied a new one.

Feeling snug and secure in his new diaper, he waited for Karen to pick out a shirt for him. Today’s was pastel purple with a cartoon horse on the front, something from a show he’d watched years ago but couldn’t clearly remember. The design was fun, though, and he giggled when she held it up for him to see.

Shirt pulled over his head, socks on, boots tugged into place, pacifier still bobbing between his lips, Jeremy was ready to face the day.

“Now, come on, let’s go get your chores taken care of,” Karen said, smiling as she helped him to his feet.

Right, Jeremy said, making a face. Chore time was boring, and he wanted to go play with the horses!

Karen caught the expression right away and raised an eyebrow. “Now, Jerry, you know the rules - you can play once your chores are done. If you need help, you can ask one of the adults, but I think you’re big enough to handle it. Right?”

Hmmph. Jeremy was big enough to handle it, and he wouldn’t admit otherwise. Nodding, stubbornly, he frowned and knitted his brow as he thought of a question. “Eh… wha’ are my chowes?”

“You need to go help Billy with the dishes, then feed the chickens, silly boy.” Karen ruffled his hair and gave him a pat on the butt. “Now go get that done, and you can ride the ponies!”

“O-kay!” Jeremy said, waddling out of his room to go do as he was told.

Billy was already washing the dishes, and when Jeremy toddled in he smiled and passed him a towel. “Here, get these dry for me, OK?”

Jeremy nodded, picking up the towel and stepping up to the drying rack. Together they made quick work of the job, and before long all the breakfast dishes were clean, dry, and stacked away in the cupboards.

“Good job!” Billy said, raising his hand. “High five, kiddo!”

High-fiving him, Jeremy beamed, sucked on his pacifier, and looked around, remembering the route to the chicken coop. Before he could wander off, though, he felt a finger hook the elastic waistband of his diaper.

“Ah, ah, hold on there a minute,” Billy said. “You’re looking pretty soggy there, buddy. Let’s get you changed before you wander off, okay?”

Oh. Jeremy hadn’t noticed, but now that he looked down, his diaper had started to sag. All the milk from breakfast had run right through him, straight into the padding between his legs. “Kawen?”

“Hey, I’ve changed more than my fair share of soggy butts,” Billy pointed out. “She’s busy right now. I can take care of it just fine.”

Jeremy would have preferred Karen, but Billy would have to do. Squelching all the way back to his room, he clambered up onto his changing table, waiting while Billy got out the changing supplies.

“Now,” Billy said, as he rolled up Jeremy’s shirt and untapped the old diaper, discarding it in the trash. He slid a fresh diaper under Jeremy’s waist, then said, “I know you like it when Karen does this, but let’s see if ol’ Billy can’t do a good job. It’s powder first, then wipes, right?”

“No!” Jeremy protested, behind his pacifier. “Wipes, den pow’er!”

Billy beamed, tapping his head with the palm of his hand. “Oh, right! I knew that. But you know what comes before either of those?”

Jeremy frowned. “Huh?”

“Tickle monster!” Billy exclaimed, bending over and blowing a raspberry right on Jeremy’s tummy.

Jeremy squealed in laughter, kicking his legs and giggling as Billy tickled his sides. “H-hahha!”

Billy kept this up for a couple seconds, then pulled away, chuckling. “Now, does Karen do th- oh, uh oh!”

“Uh oh?” Jeremy raised his head, confused.

“We’ve got a little bit of a leak,” Billy said, stepping back. “No problem, though! That’s why I put down the diaper right away.”

Jeremy had to sit up to see that he was dribbling onto his diaper. He hadn’t noticed when it started, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it except wait. After a couple more seconds passed, the dribbling ended.

“Well, it’s only a little wet, this diaper should still hold up for a while,” Billy decided, getting out wipes. “Let’s get you all taped up before any more disasters strike, okay?”

Jeremy nodded, still giggling with the aftereffects of all the tickling.

Wipes, powder, and tapes all applied, Jeremy was ready to go once again, waddling off to the chicken coop.

Even out there, it was hard not to get distracted - All he had to do was take a bag of seed and fill the chicken feeder and make sure there was water in the trough, but it was such a nice day out that he just wanted to run around, playing with the chickens in their coop.

It took him some thirty minutes to get the simple task of feeding the chickens done, but there was no hurry. It was a lovely summer morning, and he had nowhere in particular to be, no real responsibilities to worry about.

So, he chased one of the chickens around, stomped around in the mud behind the coop, played fetch for ten minutes when the dog that lived around the ranch came romping up to meet him. At some point he got mud on his shirt and pulled it off, tossing it over the side of the chicken coop’s fence and resuming his play with just his felt boots, pacifier, and diaper. It was the most fun he’d had in a morning in as long as he could remember.

And, better yet, there was still more fun to come. Sometime as the sun was starting to rise overhead, he spotted Karen walking over to the barn and perked up, grinning as he ran to her, feeling the air blowing against his bare skin.

“Mith Karen!” he lisped over his pacifier, once she was loosely in earshot. “Karen!”

She spotted him and watched as he ran up, resting his hands on his knees and catching his breath.

After he panted for a couple seconds, he added through his pacifier, “If it time to wide now?”

Karen laughed, sounding satisfied. He wasn’t exactly sure what she was satisfied about, but as long as she was happy, he was happy too. “Yes, Jerry, in just a moment!” she promised. “Go find Billy, so he can lead your pony and make sure you don’t have any trouble, okay?”

Right, of course. He needed a grown-up, and Karen would be too busy teaching the big kids to handle their big horses.

So, he ran back to the ranch, giggling as he felt the wind tickle his hair.

Stopping in the kitchen, he filled up a plastic cup in the sink and drank half of it, spilling a bit on himself in the process. It was okay - he wasn’t wearing any clothes to get dirty. His thirst taken care of, he ran around the house, stomping around and making the furniture shake until-

“Whoa there, buddy!” Billy said, stepping around the corner and putting up his hands. “No running inside, kiddo, you should know that!”

“Sowwy!” Jeremy said, dancing from foot to foot in excitement. “Is just- is widing time!”

“Oh, well then, I get why you’re excited!” Billy declared. “Let’s get going outside then, huh?”

Jumping for excitement, Jeremy said, “Yeah!”

The big kids were already gathered for their lesson when Billy got a pony from the stall, gave Jeremy a hand into the saddle, and led him out into the yard. It was a gentle ride, but that was okay - he was up high, almost as high up as the big kids, and he got to sit on a horse and walk around!

Once he was bigger, he’d get to ride all by himself, but this was good practice for now, and it was more than enough fun.

At some point, Billy started chuckling.

“Mph- huh?” Jeremy asked, tilting his head in confusion. “Wha… mph… wha’s funny?”

“Nothing!” Billy shook his head, still smirking. “It just looks like you’re a little busy, kiddo!”

Jeremy didn’t know what he was talking about, but as they were riding up next to the actual class, he decided to wave at Karen and say hi.

She waved back, then wrinkled her nose as they got a little closer. “Hey, Jerry, don’t you need a change right about now?”

“I was just thinking that,” Billy said, nodding. “This lil’ stinker didn’t even realize he was going!”

Karen raised an eyebrow, smiling broadly. “Really?”

Jeremy was mostly just confused. “Huh? I don’ need a-” he frowned, sniffing the air. Something smelled, and when he wriggled in the saddle and felt his diaper smush, he realized it was him. “Oh!”

“Really,” Billy said, simply.

“Well then,” Karen said. “I think he’s just about done. Not much more to expect. Here, I can go get him changed, can you make sure the drills go well?”

“Nuh-uh!” Jeremy interjected. “I wanna keep widing!”

“Well, mister, before we do that we need to get your little mush tush cleaned up!” Karen declared, taking the reins of the pony. “If you’re very good, maybe you can ride a little more afterwards. Okay?”

He almost argued, hoping he could keep riding more now, but Karen wasn’t going to accept any complaints and they both knew it. “Fiii’e…”

“Good boy.” She smiled, leading him back to the barn for his change.

It was mostly just boring. He had to wait around while Karen laid out the changing mat, then he just had to cross his arms and wait as she fussed over him, got the muck cleaned away, and wrapped him up in a fresh diaper. There just wasn’t all that much to it before he was clean, powdered, padded, and ready to go again.

“Good job, you were very patient,” Karen said, once she was finished. Helping Jeremy sit up, she asked, “Do you want to ride the pony a little more?”

Absolutely! He bobbed his head in agreement, almost losing his pacifier from how emphatically he nodded.

Life on the ranch really was a dream come true.

The rest of the day went pretty smoothly. Karen gave him a bath after riding was over, got him all cleaned, and then he played in the living room in the afternoon. Cartoons on the TV kept his attention for a while, and then once all the big kids came back inside for the day, he hung out near them, occasionally interacting with one of them to get them to put a cartoon on TV or asking for help getting a sippy cup to drink from.

All the big kids made sure to tell Karen when he needed a change, too, getting her right away when his diaper started to smell. It was an annoying interference in his playtime, but he put up with it politely.

Dinner came, which he ate while only making a little bit of a mess, and then, as the sun dipped down below the horizon, Karen came in to tell him it was bedtime.

That was disappointing, but there was always tomorrow. For now, he was admittedly feeling pretty sleepy, and Karen always knew best.

She got him changed into his nighttime diaper, checked the nightlight in his room, and then helped him into bed.

“Kawen?” he asked, as she tucked the blankets up around him.

“What is it, Jerry?” she asked.

Jerry frowned for a moment, thinking about how to form his question. He even took out his pacifier. “Do ya think that some day, when I’m bigger, I can be a cowboy? Like the one in the painting?”

Karen chuckled, looking over at the painting that was hanging against the wall. “I think you already are, sweetie!”

“Huh?” he asked, following her gaze.

The painting was of a kid on a pony, looking delighted. Jerry could have sworn that it was of a grownup cowboy, not a kid, but it was hanging there as proof that his memory was wrong.

Or… no, it couldn’t be, except…

“But…” he started to say.

Karen kissed him on the forehead. “I’m sure you’ll be big and strong someday. Now, get your rest, and don’t worry your silly little head about anything until morning. If it’s important, you can tell me about it then.”

That made sense. He was just tired, he could worry about his problems in the morning.

“Ni-ni, Karen,” he said, closing his eyes and snuggling into bed.

“Goodnight, Jerry,” she said, turning out the lamp.

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This story gets better every chapter I read! Curious to know what gonna happen next

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Chapter 7

Jerry yawned, rolling over in his crib and clutching Mister Horsey tightly. The stuffy was a little lumpy, a little worn with love, a few patches where he’d been ripped, but it was Jerry’s favorite. He liked to snuggle with it every night. Mister Horsey certainly never complained about all the cuddling.

Pulling the covers up tighter, Jerry scooted around and bumped into the bars of his crib. He blinked, opening his eyes a little to look at them.

Something was… off.

The room was the same as it had always been. His crib was in the middle, there was a window on the wall, a big painting of a toddler on a rocking horse hung over the dresser and the changing table. His diaper pail looked to be in need of being taken out, but that didn’t really bother him. He couldn’t place what was wrong.

He frowned, blearily, pulling Mister Horsey closer. The spinning mobile above his crib caught his attention for a few seconds, little toy horses and cows and chickens bobbing up and down in a soothing little pattern, distracting him.

The mobile spun, slowly, morning light casting shadows that danced in a pretty way.

Again, Jerry frowned. He didn’t remember… or… no. This is right. I’m cozy, and Karen will be here soon to wake me up and change my diaper.

Everything was fine. Jerry pulled his blankie closer, clutched Mister Horsey to his chest, and dozed off once again.

He wasn’t sure how much longer it was before Karen did just what he’d expected, but eventually she was there, standing over his crib, gently shaking him awake.

“Nuuuuh…” he protested, softly, wanting to stay in bed.

“It’s time to wake up, sweetie,” Karen said. “A whole new day. Aren’t you excited?”

Jerry rubbed at his eyes, blinking a few times as he woke up. Karen was smiling down at him, and he returned the expression, nodding.

Reaching to the nightstand, Karen picked up his pacifier and extended it, holding out the bulb so that he could take it. Jerry accepted the pacifier, suckling on it happily.

It was a good morning. Everything was good. Jerry had nothing to worry about at all.

Karen dropped the side of the crib and helped him up, squeezing the crotch of his diaper to test how full it was. “Looks like you need a change, lil guy!”

Of course he did - that’s what his nighttime diapers were for, after all! Holding her hand, Jerry got up onto the changing table, tapping his fingers on his chest while Karen went about the process of changing his diaper.

It didn’t take her long - it never did. He went from soggy to dry in under a minute, and then he was back on his feet, stomach grumbling in anticipation of breakfast.

Billy had cooked, as always.

With a hand from Karen, Jerry got up into his high chair. It was an old, wooden thing, hand crafted, painted baby blue, with little ducks decorating the tray. That tray was locked into place, and then Karen scooped up a bowl of oatmeal, adding just a little milk and sprinkling brown sugar over the top to sweeten it.

Before he could eat, of course, he needed his bib. Karen tied it around his neck, doting on him all the while, taking out his pacifier and setting it aside for the moment so she could feed him.

Jerry ate one spoonful at a time. Karen would scoop it up from the bowl, move it towards his mouth, and wait for him to open and accept the food. Most of the oatmeal would end up in his mouth and he’d swallow it down, then repeat the step until he was full.

He was vaguely aware of the big kids eating over at their own table, but they were a separate entity as far as he was concerned. Too grown-up for him to hang out with, and besides, why would he want to?

With the bowl of oatmeal empty, Karen wiped off his face with his bib, and right as she got done with that, Billy passed over a glass bottle full of warm milk.

Excitedly, Jerry suckled on the bottle, the delicious elixir trickling down his throat until he felt warm and cozy and full.

“Good breakfast?” Karen asked, though she already knew the answer.

Setting down his bottle, Jerry nodded, happily.

She smiled, put his pacifier back in, and helped him down from the high chair.

“Now, it’s chore time,” she said, smiling. “So why don’t you go play in the back yard while the grown ups get our work done. Is that okay, Jerry?”

He beamed back up at her, nodding.

She gave him a pat on the butt, and he hurried off on his way, toddling out the back door.

Outside, it was another nice day. Jerry ran around in circles, found a cool stick, played with the dog. He invented fanciful stories in his head, where he was a cowboy or a space man or a superhero. The adults waved whenever they walked by, and he waved back, but he was off in his own universe.

Karen, at least, did more than just wave. When she walked out the back door and passed him, she stopped, strolling over. “Hey there, Jerry. Are you having fun?”

Jerry nodded, enthusiastically.

“Looks like your diaper’s just about full,” she pointed out.

He frowned, shaking his head and taking a step back, avoiding eye contact.

Rolling her eyes, Karen said, “You just don’t want to stop playing so I can change you, huh?”

Sheepishly, he nodded. It was true, and there wasn’t much good in denying it.

“Here…” Karen crouched down, extending her arms and gesturing for him to approach. “Come here, Jerry!”

He wasn’t sure what she was planning, but he obeyed, stepping close enough that she could reach out to him.

Karen undid the tapes, dropping his diaper off his waist and balling it up. “You could use a little time airing out, anyways! Just be sure to find an adult and have them change you into a fresh diaper before you go back inside, okay? We don’t want any accidents on the furniture.”

Jerry jumped up and down, excitedly, happy to get back to playing without any interruptions. While she left, taking the diaper with her so it could be thrown in a waste bin, he just resumed his imaginary games.

The sun drifted across the sky, occasionally shadowed by big, puffy clouds. Idyllic weather. Perfect weather, even. The whole week had been nothing but perfect weather, perfect fun.

Jerry couldn’t have imagined that his trip could have been so… fun.


He hesitated for a moment. His memory was hazy. He’d…

He stood there, confused.

His name was Jerry. He played on the ranch. Karen took care of him, while the big kids learned and the adults kept things running. When he got big, he wanted to be a cowboy.

It felt like something was missing, but he couldn’t imagine what. It was like deja vu.

But… after a minute, he decided it didn’t matter. He was happy, wasn’t he? So why bother worrying about it? He could ask Karen, later, but she didn’t seem worried either, and if she wasn’t worried, why would he be?

He got back to playing. He skipped around the ranch house, ran up to watch the horses gallop when the big kids were riding, just spun in circles until he was dizzy because he could.

Finally, Karen came to collect him.

Bathtime was next. Karen walked him up to her bedroom, filled the tub with lots of bubbles, and got out a couple plastic toy ships for him to play with while he was in the water. It was delightful. He splashed a little, but Karen only chuckled and chided him softly not to make a mess.

It was so much more fun than showering, like he’d been doing when…

“Kawe’?” he asked, frowning.

Karen, who was keeping a watchful eye on him while he was in the tub, knelt down and smiled. “What is it, Jerry?”

“Am I not wemebewigning?” he asked. He struggled with the word, and furrowed his brow, concentrating on it. “Me-wembewing. We… membew… ring.”

“I don’t know what you’re saying, silly,” Karen said, ruffling his hair. “But you’re doing alright. You have nothing to worry about, I promise you.”

“O-tay, buh…” he frowned. There wasn’t a good way to ask his question, because he wasn’t exactly sure what the problem was. Something was just a little… off. “I feew wike I fo-got.”

“Forgot what?” Karen tilted her head. “Your pacifier is on the counter, your stuffie - sorry, ‘Mister Horsey’ - is still in your crib. Is one of your other toys missing?”

“No…” Jeremy said. “I…”

“When the bath is over and you’ve eaten lunch, do you want to ride a horsey for a bit?”

YES! Jerry nodded enthusiastically, grinning ear to ear. “Uh-huh!”

“That’s what I thought you’d say,” Karen smiled. “Now, let’s get some suds on that dirt and get you washed up, okay?”

“And then howsey?”

“And then the horsey!”

Jerry was more than willing to put up with the washing, excitedly waiting for Karen to be done so he could go play cowboy. She still did a thorough job, shampoo and conditioner, washing behind the ears, thorough rinsing, the works - but it went by in a breeze.

While the tub drained, Karen dried him off with a fluffy towel and they walked back to his bedroom so she could get him changed. A fresh, crinkly diaper made sure he wouldn’t have any accidents, and this time she picked out a snug onesie for him to wear, decorated with a drawing of a red barn and a couple cows.

She snapped the buttons on the crotch, then stepped back, smiling. “Now, let’s go get you some food, okay?”

“Bu’, you said howses!” Jerry protested.

“I said you could ride a horsey after you ate,” Karen corrected. “You’re a hungry little mister. Let’s get some food in your belly, okay?”

It was difficult to wait, but he trusted her. Waddling to the kitchen, he got Billy’s help getting into his high chair, and waited to be fed his chicken nuggets.

“Huwwy!” he pleaded, as Billy cut up the nuggets in half and then fed him, one bite at a time, dipping each piece in ketchup before feeding it to Jerry.

“What’s the rush, kiddo?” Billy asked. “Are you that hungry?”

“No,” Jerry said, talking with his mouth full. “Kawen pwomised I could wide after wunch!”

“Oh, well then, I see why it’s so urgent!” Billy smirked. “But you’ve still got to eat all your food, so you can get big and strong, okay?”

“Umph- okay!” Jerry said, grunting a little bit as he leaned forward in his high chair.

Why’s Billy looking at me like that?

For some reason, Billy pinched his nose as he fed Jerry the rest of his nuggets, and when it came time for his lunchtime bottle, he first raised the high chair tray. “Here, buddy, you can drink this on the way.”

“Oh’ de way?” Jerry asked.

“To get your stinky diaper changed, silly!”


He suckled on the bottle as he waddled back to his room, where Billy gave him a hand back up on the changing table. While he drank the warm milk, Billy dealt with his dirty diaper.

“You’re getting a bit of a rash there, Jerry,” he commented. “I think you could use a little more airing out time.”

“O-tay,” Jerry agreed, mostly concerned with drinking his milk.

Once he was wiped clean, Billy pulled his onesie off, folded it up, and said, “Now, wait here. I think Karen’s got a surprise for you.

Nodding, Jerry suckled on the bottle, draining it dry while Billy left to go get her.

When Karen came back, she was pulling a big cardboard box behind her.

That got Jerry’s attention.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Karen said, smiling at him. “Do you want to see it?”

“Uh-huh!” Jerry said.

“It’s an old family heirloom,” Karen added. “But I know you’ll just love it. Close your eyes, and promise not to peek!”

“Buh, I wanna see now!” Jerry protested.

She laughed. “It’ll only take a moment!”

Sighing, he covered his face with his hands, peeking between his fingers.

Chuckling, Karen just let him get away with it, pulling the box free and revealing what was beneath it.

Jerry gasped with delight. A rocking horse! A real, wooden rocking horse, with a soft mane and a handle for him to hold.

“Yay!” he all but screamed, hopping to his feet. “Ca’ I wide it? Pwease?”

Karen held up a finger. “What do we say first?”

“Uh… pwease?” he asked, confused.

“No, not that. When you get a gift, you say…” Karen trailed off, prompting him.

“Oh! Fank ‘ou, Kawen!”

She beamed. “Good boy. You can ride as much as you want.”

Giggling, Jerry got up onto the horse, leaning back and forth. The wood creaked a little, but it was well built, and didn’t wobble or feel unstable at all. He could rock as much as he wanted, as fast as he wanted, and it would handle it like a champ.

“It’s your very own horse,” Karen said, crouching. “Until you’re big enough to ride a real one!”

Jerry just giggled, excitedly rocking. It was a thrill, almost as good as… well, he didn’t know what the real thing was like, but he imagined it was just as good.

“Have yourself some fun,” Karen said. “I’ve got some more work to do, but you can play in here as long as you want, okay? And maybe you can even come up with a name for him!”

“Howsey!” Jerry declared, already set on a name.

“But your stuffie is named Horsey,” Karen pointed out. “Are they both ‘Horsey’?”

“He’f ‘Mistah howsey’!” Jerry corrected. “No’ Howsey!”

“Oh, I see!” Karen chuckled. “Well, I’ll leave you to it.”

She did, and Jerry enthusiastically rocked back and forth, giggling all the while.

It was the best day ever. He was the happiest he could remember being. It was just him, on Horsey, pretending to be a cowboy.

As he played, he had a thought, one that made him giggle. He looked just like the kid in the painting.

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I really enjoyed this story. I’d have liked to see some explanation of how all of this happened to him—clearly there was something off about his experiences, though no one else there seems to acknowledge it—but even without it this is a really fun piece, and the unusual setting is a pleasure.

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Thank you!
I probably would have explored some of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ more deeply if it’d been an original story, but with commissions I do have to stick to a certain word count and the outline that works for my clients.
Then again, if it was just my own original story, I probably wouldn’t have thought to ever set a regression piece on a ranch! That synthesis of ideas is always really fun when I’m working on a commission. :slight_smile: