Of Leopards and Their Spots (Collab with Personalias) COMPLETE

This story started out as a fun adventure and experiment with a fellow writer, Personalias. We teamed up to collaborate on a story, and this is the result. A trip to the zoo gone…well….right or wrong totally depends upon your point of view.

Of Leopards and Their Spots
By: Cute_Kitten and Personalias

A note to the reader: I’m not an Adult Baby, or a Diaper Lover, or Ageplayer, or AB/DL, or Little, or whatever you wanna call someone who…who likes wearing diapers and pretending to be a baby. I know that’s not how you’re supposed to start these kind of things, but it’s really important to me that you know where I’m coming from.

Was I ignorant of that fetish? No. Not at all. I’m not claiming that. I went through…an experimental phase in late high school…and early college…and all through my childhood I kept thinking about that one Tom and Jerry cartoon-you know the one-or that Bugs Bunny Cartoon…or that Porky Pig and Daffy cartoon…I think you’re missing the point here.

I could go for months at a time without ever visiting one of those sites. And I’d never visit a site that required me to become a member to look at their pictures or read the stories. I never made an account. I never wore “AB” diapers or bought big baby clothes. I haven’t worn diapers of any kind since I was potty trained. I never even thought of doubling up on underwear to get that padded feel; too risky,too many questions. People who get in too deep with that stuff never get out. They never have lives of their own, and they just get stuck living in their mom’s basements, swimming through their own sick fantasies.

That’s why I played it smart: I’d lurk. I’d skim. I’d satisfy any lingering curiosity, and then I’d go cold turkey…till the next time. I mean, you can’t really judge a person for what’s in their head, can you? If you have dirty thoughts, you’re still a virgin till you hook up with someone. Did I have those thoughts? Sometimes. Enough times. Maybe too often. But I didn’t act on those thoughts.

I’m not an AB/DL or Ageplayer or Little, or whatever. I never wore a diaper, or big baby clothes, or was a registered member with any of those sites, and what I may or may not have wanted at any given time is irrelevant, isn’t it? No sense in thought crime, is there? Point is, I was normal. I even had a girlfriend; operative word being “had”.

And when it comes down to it, that’s what this story is really about: How I had a girlfriend and how over the course of a day, I lost that relationship because of all this Adult Baby bullshit. By the way, my name’s Gavin. Prepare to hear about the weirdest and worst day of my life.

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Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Oh wow, a powerhouse collaboration. To heck with the prologue, as long as this wasn’t written in Sophie’s RP style that grates on me so much, I’m fully tuned in for the duration!

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

No RP here- we each wrote different sections, but we both edited and tweaked the scenes and wove them together. 8)

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Missing the Sophie RP style reference. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Sophie is a much-loved DD author who, unfortunately, posts mostly RP exchanges between herself and others with some minimal formatting changes, and it makes the stories extremely dialogue-heavy and two-character-centric.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

“So why are we here, again?” I asked, sleepily, staring out of the front passenger window. We were in the zoo parking lot, the top of Skye’s mini cooper down so that Skye could recline back in the driver’s seat and stare up at the clouds.

“Because, Gavi-poo” Skye called me by one of her many pet names for me, “today’s a special day.” Her tightly braided blonde hair, with streaks of teal and pink dyed in, hung lazily over the headrest; they seemed to be relaxing as much as she was. Every part of her was just luxuriating in her current sloth. Typical Skye: All or nothing.

It was almost nine in the morning, which wouldn’t have been that bad if I had had more than three hours sleep. Today was a special day, alright. Skye had been planning this little date for the last month- at least as far back as spring break- which was more than a little unlike her.

Skye was a free spirit, alright. I almost didn’t think the word “plan” was in her vocabulary. When Skye wanted to do something, she did it: No questions asked, no repercussions considered, and no worries about the future. It’s not that she was super impulsive, exactly, but it was more like nothing in life could throw her a curveball.

In other words, she was nearly my exact opposite. Me, the good guy; the buddy who you could always depend on; the beautiful loser. Her wild, almost dreadlocked hair completely contrasted my own short trimmed dirty blonde-do.

On paper, we weren’t going to ever work out. Ever. She was a junior, her major still undecided. I was a lowly freshman, my major in political science already well declared pretty much since orientation.

I was the nervous wreck. The planner. The steady one. She was the adventurous one; the exciting one; the girl everyone wanted to be around. Oh yeah…and the stripper. What? Strippers can have boyfriends that aren’t giant 'roid heads or douchebags with too much hair gel. That’s the stereotype, right?

Long story short, we met because one of my buddies was a dick and slipped my phone number into her thong at a club. I wasn’t even there, I swear. He figured it’d be a hilarious joke on one or both of us. For whatever reason, because Skye does what Skye’s gonna do, she actually called the number and started talking to me.

I told her “wrong number”, and she kept wanting to talk to me. I kept talking back, being too afraid to hang up on a pretty sounding girl. Then, after about an hour on the phone with me, she offered to take me on a date, and some dumb, stupid, impulsive, part of my brain made me say yes.

That’s partially why our relationship really worked. Being around Skye made me feel braver, and cooler, and more exciting, darn it! Even when I was at my worst or most self conscious, her own confidence was damn near infectious. I felt like a cooler, better version of myself; maybe not a stud, but at least I wasn’t a loser.

What did she get out of the deal? I don’t know. Or rather, I didn’t know. Really, who wants the safe guy? Maybe people who settle, but that wasn’t Skye. Skye got what she wanted, and for some reason, she wanted me right then, and that was enough for me.

What was so special about today- besides Skye having a predetermined destination in mind, I mean? For me, it was moving day. The Spring semester was over, and that meant it was time to move out of the dorms.

I would have paid for lodging over the Summer, but that Spring Break was when Skye had first suggested that I move in with her. I had never even been in Skye’s apartment, and she wanted me to move in. She wanted to take our relationship to the next level, and she knew she wanted that at least two months in advance. How could I say no?

So, we had been up all night, shoving all of my things into cardboard boxes for moving day in between bouts of…other things…intimate things And now, the plan, as Skye outlined it, was to spend the day at the zoo of all places, while a moving crew took all of my stuff out of my dorm room and moved it into her apartment.

No muss, no fuss, no additional stress on either of our part. And, because of the money she made, she could afford it.

“No,” I whined a little more than I had meant to, “I mean why are we at the zoo?”

“Because, honey,” she regarded me with her cool, blue eyes, “It’s a special day at the zoo, too.”

“Yeah?” I cocked an eyebrow. “Some kind of bargain or discount or something like that?”

“Something like that,” she winked at me. She was not going to tell me. No point in trying to find out more till she was ready. Skye was gonna do what Skye was gonna do. I was about to continue gazing out of the mini cooper’s window while we waited for the zoo to open, when I saw something by my feet.

I bent over and picked up the rainbow swirled glass object and turned it in my hand. I sniffed one end of it, picking up the pungent smell of burnt ashes and used up marijuana.

“Skye?” I asked, holding up the pot pipe.

“Yeah, Gavi?” Skye replied looking over to me holding the thing, accusingly, in my left hand.

“Why do you still have this?”

Skye looked over to me and took everything in, examining me cooly. Then she smiled lightly- smirked really- and took the pipe out of my hand.

“Hey,” she grinned. “I’ve been lookin’ for this. Thanks, honey boy.”

“Skye,” I protested, “I thought you told me you were giving this stuff up.”

“Well,” Skye shrugged, “I kinda did. I just stopped smoking it around you and didn’t tell you about it. That’s kind of the same thing, right?”

I felt my face get hot. “So are you still seeing other guys and just not telling me about it, too?!” I almost said. But the words choked in my throat.

Another long story short: When we were first dating, I was under the impression that we would only be seeing each other. She clearly had had different expectations. About a month and a half into our relationship, I found a lot of pictures and posts about her nightlife. There had been more than a few times when she had blown me off to go hang out with other guys.

So I confronted her about it in my dorm room one night, and started yelling at her. She just shrugged like it was no big deal. She didn’t even try to justify it one way or another. It was what it was. I had expected a shouting match and a breakup; but it devolved into me just telling her how hurt I was that she was going out with other guys but still referred to us as a couple, and ultimately breaking down into sobs like a toddler. I was just a lovesick little boy, and she was the more mature, world-wise, woman.

That’s when she held me, and shushed me, and said she was sorry and promised she wouldn’t hurt me again. She promised she’d stop seeing other guys as long as we were a couple. That was the first time she called me “Gavi-poo.”

“Seriously, Skye,” I prodded her, “that stuff bothers me. This isn’t Colorado you know. You could get arrested, or something.”

“Awww,” she cooed, “inn’t he cute, lookin’ out for me?” She reached past my lap and opened up the glove box of her car, taking out a little plastic bag filled with pot. She rolled some of the stuff between her fingers into a ball before stuffing it into the pipe.

Then she grabbed a lighter out of her pocket, lit the pipe and inhaled deeply.

“Skye,” I heard my voice shaking, uneasily. “Could you…I don’t know, at least put the top up? Somebody might see you and report you. People are starting to pull in.” It was true. Plenty of cars and vans were pulling into the parking lot, no doubt filled with families ready to go to the zoo.

“Oh, Gavi-” she smiled, puffing smoke into the air as she talked. “That’s not gonna happen, baby boy.”

“Why not?” I asked, beginning to fill with righteous indignation.

“Because,” she took another hit, and then let it out. “Nobody here cares.” She smiled, lackadaisically. “Everybody here at the zoo today is just gonna be going about their own business. They won’t care what we’re doing. But,” she added, “if it makes you happy,” she dumped the rest of the pipe out onto the pavement. I felt my throat unclench a little bit.

People were piling out of their cars and headed towards the front entrance of the zoo. Almost opening time. Not as many families as I imagined, actually. It was mostly young couples, like me and Skye; some a little older, some a little younger.

They went in pairs, holding hands towards the front entrance; two by two; like Noah’s Arc, or Mormons. Clearly, this was some kind of ladies’ day or something. Almost all of the women walked with a certain spring in their step, leading their boyfriends and husbands towards the front gates. Was it couples day at the zoo, or something? How odd.

“Whelp,” Skye stretched as she opened the driver’s side door. “Looks like this is our cue, Gavi-poo. Let’s go.”

I got out, and she offered me her hand. I took her palm and looked up at her: She was naturally an inch or two taller than me, but the difference was exaggerated when she wore her platform heels. My nose barely peaked over her shoulders when we were both standing next to each other.

“Aren’t you going to put the top up?” I motioned to the mini cooper. “Somebody might steal it.”

“Who’s going to steal a car from a zoo?” she asked, condescendingly. “This is a family place.”

“But what if it rains or something?” I pointed up towards the sky.

“Naw,” Skye corrected me. “Those little puffball clouds aren’t rain clouds, honey. But you are so cute when you worry about me.” she pinched my cheek, and I looked down at the ground in a vain attempt to hide my embarrassed, blushing, smile. Only Skye could make me feel good by calling me cute.

Feeling a little bit defeated, I let her lead the way and we joined the waiting throng of other couples headed to the zoo for some kind of “very special day”.

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Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

“So, what’s so special about today?” I tried once more. We stood in line, my hand still in hers.

“Oh, you know, one of their theme days.” Skye carelessly shrugged her bare shoulders, an elegant glide of bones under smooth skin. She gently drummed her fingers on the back of my hand while we took a small step forward, moving up in line.

Flippant. I would’ve been suspicious she was blowing me off or intentionally avoiding the question if that wasn’t so Skye. She was even laissez faire with her finals. While I would be holed up in the library or in my dorm, panicking, stressing and studying all night, Skye would be out clubbing or getting stoned. By some miracle she managed to pass her classes. She was more fond of saying she was a “student of life”. If she didn’t consider it important, she simply was not going to remember or pay it much attention, no matter what the rest of the world thought.

“You had this planned, but you don’t remember the theme?” I wasn’t going to let this go so easily.

“Yah.” Skye glanced sideways at me. "Relax, Gavi-poo. We’re here to have fun. You’re too tense. Just let go and roll with the flow. " She shook my arm playfully. “We’ll find out what’s going down when we get inside. You dig?”

“Yeah, I guess.” She had a point. Did it really matter what the theme was? I relaxed and she rewarded me with a lopsided half smile. I glowed with pleasure, feeling both pride at making her smile and feeling foolish for making such a big deal about a silly theme.

The line moved again. I looked around at the couples everywhere. “I thought there’d be more kids. This being a family place and all.” I mused out loud.

Skye shrugged nonchalantly again. “It’s still early. The kids will probably come later.” She also had a point there. Getting small children ready for a full day out probably took time, so families probably wouldn’t arrive until later.

We were almost at the ticket booth now. The curvy woman with tight, frizzy blonde curls and obvious boob job in front of us dug through her purse to pay while chatting with the clerk. The man with her was a stereotypical lunk. All muscle, no brains with a huge helping of inflated ego. A walking wall of muscle topped by a handsome, chiseled face, dark brown eyes and dark brown hair with blonde highlights gelled up into crispy spikes. He probably lived at the gym and guzzled protein shakes. And he was looking right at Skye with a confident, roguish twinkle in his eyes. He glanced at me once with an expression like I was something smelly he’d stepped in.

I hated meat heads like him. My old insecurities rushed up to pick and peck at my self confidence. I gazed down at my sandals. My childhood had been spent as a magnet for red rubber dodgeballs hurled by knuckledraggers like him. Was this the kind of guy Skye cheated on me with? She wouldn’t be interested in him- I told myself- she was here with me. This was our special day. Right?

Despite the shaky self-pep talk, my fingers tightened around Skye’s as if by holding on I could keep her at my side. She was like a beautiful, exotic bird that could fly away at any moment. I curled in on myself, instinctively shrinking back from the hunky lunk. Did he cheat on his woman the way Skye had cheated on me? No, she promised me. I believed her. I had to.

A gentle but firm tug on my hand pulled my stiff body to her side. I watched her sky blue eyes skim dismissively over the lunk then she leaned in, bending down in those high platform shoes to press a kiss to my cheek. I wouldn’t look at the muscled meat sack, but I smiled with relief. Yes, Skye was here just for me. For us.

She tugged gently again, pulling me forward this time. Lunky had lumbered away, led off by his girlfriend. As she paid for our tickets and guided me into the zoo, my nerves slowly calmed down. Skye seemed to sense this; her thumb rubbed soothing circles on the back of my hand. She kept me closer than normal, our bodies almost touching.

“Hey babe, chill. It’s just you and me today.” Skye cajoled gently. She pointed up with her free hand. My eyes followed her arm up to a huge map. “Where should we go first? Monkeys, big cats, bears……oh, here we go! A mini safari!” She talked more to herself than to me, like it was up to her to make all the decisions. It made me feel small, almost childlike inside.

“A Safari? Like an African Safari? Is it safe?” My mind filled with National Geographic images of lions and angry elephants attacking jeeps.

“Worry wart.” Skye just smiled in amusement. “Of course it’s safe. The animals are in pens here. It’s not like we’re going out into the wild savannah.” She paused for a heartbeat. “That might be fun, too. Oh, Gavin, look! How cute!” She cried excitedly, taking off and sweeping me up in her enthusiastic whirlwind as if I were a fluttering leaf.

I stumbled behind her, caught off guard and kept off balance by her constant tugging on my hand. She stopped as suddenly as she had started. My unsteady momentum kept going while she stood still. I tripped, but her arms wrapped around my waist, steadying me. One hand briefly brushed over my butt, the touch so light it was probably an accident. Or a very, very sneaky grope disguised as an accident. Either way, I blushed, my cheeks bright pink at the contact. I nervously looked around at the crowd; no one seemed to have notice Skye’s hand on my butt.

That’s when I saw what had Skye so enraptured. We had joined a small throng of zoo visitors gathered around some employees promoting today’s special theme. I stared in shock, rubbing my eyes. A young woman in typical khaki zoo uniform and shiny name badge stood in front of a small cart on wheels. A huge sign hung from the cart’s side. It read “Mother and Cub Day” in bright, multi-colored letters. Happy cartoon animals in diapers had been painted around the letters. Balloons in a rainbow of colors were tied to each end of the cart. The most ridiculous part of all were the two tall men flanking the short woman. Clowns. They had bright red, round rubber noses and happy, smiley face paint. The clown on the left wore a curly blue fright wig, and the one on the right a matching neon green. Both wore the typical khaki uniform top and shiny name badge with typical zoo employee shoes. The typical khaki shorts had been replaced by diapers.

I rubbed my eyes. Was I seeing that? Yes, they were diapered. Adult clowns in diapers, what could be funnier? And not just any diaper. A Safari diaper with happy cartoon zoo animals plastered all over it. That print looked so familiar…. Only an Adult Baby would know about something like that. If this was done as a stray gag, any diaper off the grocery store shelf would do. To a normal adult, a diaper was a diaper. To an Adult Baby, the diaper details were everything. Not that I’m an AB, mind you. I only knew from ….my occasional curious googling. That was it. Yet a pit opened up in my stomach. My nerves jangled. I wanted to puke.

I tugged on Skye’s hand. “Let’s go. I don’t feel good. We’ll come back another day.” I tried to sound mellow and cool, but my voice shook, betraying how I truly felt.

“You felt fine this morning. It’s probably just nerves; the zoo is a little crowded today. We’ll walk around and the crowd will thin out. It’s a big park. It’ll be okay.” She squeezed my fingers reassuringly and pressed her lips to my forehead. I could smell the minty gum she’d chewed earlier.

“But, the clowns-”

She pressed a finger gently to my lips, cutting me off. “Shh. You don’t have a fever; you’re just nervous, baby. Just relax and let me take care of everything. You always worry so much. Today is our day, I got it all planned out. I just wanna see you relax and enjoy yourself, babe. Just chillax and go with the flow.” Skye planning was one hell of an oxymoron. But she was doing all this for me. This had been a particularly rough semester with intense classes for me; I had spent the months tense, worried and wound up; towards finals I was practically a neurotic nutcase. Skye had noticed- hell, she had even planned all this- just to help me. Touched, my heart softened and I looked into her eyes. The warm, tender expression in that concerned blue gaze melted my anxiety away.

“Well….I guess it …couldn’t hurt to just walk around a little.” I mumbled. “But those clowns are ridiculous. Those diapers.” I shuddered and took a step away from the balloons and diapered clowns, trying to pull Skye along with me.

She just tugged me back to her side. “It’s cute, just a promotional gag. Mom and Cub day with silly baby clowns giving away balloons. Ooh, and the girl’s giving out freebies! It looks like a big bag, too! The zoo’s really going all out today. I knew I had good vibes about this!” She squealed happily. She loved samples and freebies- it was a great way to discover new products. I couldn’t argue with that logic.

“It’s ridiculous. They’re obviously going for a family theme here, but there’s no families. It’s all just couples like us.” I pointed out, glancing around. Nope, not one kid yet. I just wanted to get away from those horrible diapers. Clowns. Get away from the clowns. My eyes darted around the crowd, but they kept straying unwillingly back to the colorful happy diapers. With the face paint, it was hard to read the clowns’ expressions. Poor bastards; they had my sympathies. Walking around in a diaper all day. A tiny part of me wondered what that would feel like? That was the same part of me that had probed me into googling all that Adult Baby stuff. I ruthlessly squashed the stray thoughts.

Skye smiled like she thought I was being silly. “It’s still early. The babies will come later. It takes time to get them ready.”

Okay, I could see that……“But then why are all these couples here for a family themed day?”

She giggled. “Because the weather is perfect. Like I knew it would be; I told you I had a good feeling about today. Women’s intuition.” She pushed forward, taking her turn at the front of the crowd and dragging me with her. The smiling woman in khaki uniform handed Skye a big plastic bag plastered with smiling cartoon giraffes, monkeys, zebras, and lions. Just like the Safari diapers the clowns wore. What use would kiddie crap be to us? Still, a small part of me wondered what was in the bag…

Next to us, the clown in curly neon green wig and huge, eye-catching diaper handed an orange balloon to the spiky haired lunk from the ticket booth. Lunky took it with a “what the hell” expression on his face. His frizzy haired girlfriend with the manufactured, oversized hooters held the gift bag. Before he could notice us, she was already leading the confused-looking jackoff away. I quickly ducked behind Skye; for once I was glad she had worn her heels. I worried the muscled moron would look back and see us, or even worse, one of those damn diapered clowns would try to hand me a balloon. My cheeks burned with just the thought. Maybe they were trying their spiel out on couples as a practice run for when the families with babies arrived later on?

The female employee handed out gift bags to all the females, while the diapered clowns attempted to hand out balloons to the hapless guys. Quite a few feminine retorts of “Take it, don’t be rude!” and “Say thank you!” were heard amongst the small crowd. Typical women forcing their men to mind their manners. I guess women saw us men as nothing but brutes in need of civilizing.

Luckily, I avoided the balloons and diapers. Clowns. Not soon enough for my taste, we walked away from the crowd with Skye happily digging through the gift bag. I pointedly looked away, keeping my gaze focused on the surrounding, landscaped trees and bushes or on the cement path beneath our feet. Temptation nagged and I sneaked a few sideways glances. Just what all was in that bag? Normally a promotional give away was just a few things- poster, stickers, t-shirts, water bottles. Small, cheap crap like that. Nothing to write home about. I could tell just from the size of the bag and the way it bulged out like a toddler’s puffy, diapered bottom that this was the motherload. It was like several promotions all rolled into one. The size of the bag had me curious; that was it.

Skye pawed through the bag like a curious raccoon. She “oohed” and “awwed” in excitement over the freebies. I didn’t see what was so great about it. Not like we’d be able to use any of that crap. She caught me looking several times; each time I quickly looked away.

“Wanna see? There’s some really great stuff in here.” She offered, holding the open bag out to me.

Happy sappy baby lions and giraffes smiled up at me. I immediately jerked my head away, nose up in the air. “No, thank you. I don’t see how any of that stuff would be useful for us. It’s just for kids and families, right?”

“Oh, Gavi-poo, you’re thinking inside the box. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Oooh! Coupons! Yay!” As carefree and careless as a lucrative stripper could be, Skye had also been raised by a family on a tight budget. She knew to appreciate a good coupon when she saw one. “Free drinks!” She elbowed me with a good-natured grin. “And you thought there’d be nothing in here for us.”

“Well…maybe it’s not that useless after all.” I half-heartedly grumbled. Her smiles and cheer were infectious; this was how she’d gotten me to agree to come here in the first place.

“That’s the spirit, my Gavi-poo.” Skye said in a perky sing-song.

“So,” I shuffled my feet, looking at the ground, “where do we go from here?”

“HURR-EEE, HURR-EEE!” Another diapered clown- this one with a curly yellow wig and a beer gut hanging out over his diaper- blared into a megaphone. “Ladies and gentle-boys,” he hollered among the throngs of couples only now just beginning to spread out after the ticket counter and gift bag handout, “step right up!”

“Look Gavi!” Skye pointed him out as if I couldn’t see him not even fifty feet away. It seems my question was being answered.
“Step right up, folks!” he bellowed, “Take the safari tram ride. Why walk, when you can take a whirlwind tour of the zoo and see the sights before you experience them?”

“Oh, Gavi,” Skye nudged me towards the clown. “Let’s do it. It’ll be fun!” I looked at the clown, his ridiculous ensemble beckoning all to stare at him, and my feet became leaden. Skye must have felt my resistance. “Oh come on, Gavi-poo, don’t be like that.” She teased. "If it’s the mean old clown that’s bothering you, I can always cover your eyes while we walk past.

On the periphery of my vision, I caught site of the guy in front of the line, with his tank-top, and denim shorts, and pierced ears; a grizzled five o’clock shadow highlighting his stupid cocky grin while his eyes wandered over every girl in the park but the one he was with.

His girlfriend finally seemed to notice, giving him a sharp elbow in the side, making him recoil. A look of pure petulance came across his smug face. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the gist of their body language seemed to communicate her annoyance and his lack of care towards her feelings. Like, “So what? Why are you gettin’ mad?”

I saw her frizzy hair turn towards and gesture towards the clown and his announcement about the tram ride. The crowd was beginning to split now. Part going for the ride, the others deciding to start walking and observing the animals right away. He shook his head and crinkled his nose before pointing towards the section of people who didn’t want to ride the tram before giving his lady friend a quick slap on the ass and a grope for good measure.

“On second thought,” I leaned over to Skye, “tram’s fine. We’re gonna be here all day, so let’s get the most out of it. Get the full experience.” Anything to get away from that douche nozzle. Prick hadn’t said one word to me yet, and already I hated him.

“Okie dokie!” Skye agreed as she practically began to skip along into the crowd going on the tram ride. I had to to break out in a half-jog just to keep up. On the bright side, as annoying as it was to play catch-up with Skye, it was very gratifying to watch her walk away.

As we got closer to the clown in the yellow fright wig, Skye stopped abruptly and pivoted around to face me. “Don’t worry, Gavi-poo, I’ll save you!” She through her hands over my face, covering my eyes. “Now, the big bad clown won’t hurt you.,” she teased in a rather convincing baby-talk voice.

“Skye…” I groaned in exasperation. “Come on. Can’t we just be normal this one time?”

“Normal’s overrated,” I could feel Skye grinning, even with her hands cupped over my eyes. “Tell ya what, Gavi-kins,” she offered. “Every ten steps you take, I’ll give you a little kiss. Deal?” I

“Deal,” I smiled. I took a deep breath and strode forward blindly, taking awkward, lumbering steps; torn between getting this ridiculous exercise in flirting over with and seeing just how many kisses I could get out of this bit.

“Wheeeeeere’s Gavin?” Skye cooed on the tenth step. Her hands fluttered open like window shutters, revealing her radiant face and beautiful eyes. “There he is!” she cried out before giving me a playful peck on the lips. Then, like a cuckoo clock, my pretty little bird drew back, and her hands slammed shut over my eyes again.

Once again, I continued walking. More confident with each step. People must have been aware of our shenanigans and were giving us plenty of room to perform. Normally, I might be averse to such public displays, but Skye always did manage to coax me out of my shell. Besides, my eyes were covered. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

“Eight…nine…ten!” Skye counted. “Wheeeeere’s Gavin?” Once again she flashed into my sight. "There he iiiiiis! I couldn’t help but chuckle a little this second time as she rewarded me with a second peck on the lips.

“Three…four…five…” Skye counted, but then I felt her push up against me. “Hold on baby, we’re out of room. Line is forming up.” She removed her hands from my eyes, and I slumped a little bit in disappointment. That third kiss would have been nice. “Oh, what the hell,” she remarked before covering my eyes again.

“Wheeeeeeere’s Gavin?” I grinned like an idiot in anticipation. “There he iiiis!” Skye sang out before leaning forward and giving me one last peck.

As we continued to shuffle along with the rest of the huddled masses, and proper lines began to form around security railings; we came to a canopied area that gave us a little break in some shade. Within the canopy there were big and tall aquariums filled with all sorts of little animals.

It was actually pretty smart, really. While a bunch of people were waiting to get on a tram to go see the big animals in reasonable facsimiles of their natural habitats, we could casually view smaller critters in their controlled underground and underwater habitats. It was nothing spectacular mind you, but it was more interesting to look at and mentally digest than the back of some guy’s head or the guard railing making us shuffle up and down like rats in a maze or something.

The first thing I could see was a decent sized aquarium. Little tropical fish swam around in it, oblivious to everything outside of the water. On the tank were the names of the different fish and a little plaque about what region they were originally from. It was a little weak, honestly. I’d seen similar tanks and nearly identical fish in restaurants and pet stores. Look. Yawn. Move on.

Next, as the line shuffled along was a rather impressive ant farm. It started at my feet and went up over my head. Hey, if you’re gonna do stuff with small animals, go big. Once again, there little placards and stickers all over the glass.

Blah-blah-blah, live in colonies, blah-blah-blah this batch from South America, blah-blah-blah, queen lays a whole bunch of eggs. They were almost like your typical picnic-invading ant. Except for their jumbo size- larger than my thumbnail- and nasty tendency to swarm and attack anything near their extensive nests. Worker-ants, guard ants, male drones for reproduction and nothing else, larvae, nurse ants, yadda-yadda-yadda.

The line lingered a bit in a spot, giving me time to fully take in the spectacle of tiny little creatures living out their tiny little lives on display; and like one of those old magic-eye pictures, the random scurrying and chaos of the giant ant colony came into focus for me. All around, ants were scurrying with purpose and activity. Something had taken place that was making it an all hands on deck situation in ant land.

I leaned over the railing a bit to get a closer look. All over the colony there were tiny little, wriggling grubs. At first I suspected these were mealworms or something put in by the staff. It was feeding time. But I immediately decided against that when I saw that the ants weren’t eating the little wriggling things.

Instead, I saw the ants carry the writhing and frankly creepy little blops through the tunnel to a single compartment. Were those larvae? Baby ants? Why were they all separated and only now being moved? Had some asshole shaken up the tank causing the nurse ants to move the larvae all around and only now they were getting reorganized? But it was just ants. What did I know? I’m not an entomologist.

“Look, Gavin!” Skye nudged me as the line for the tram kept inching along. She pointed to yet another aquarium filled with tunnel and dirt; only these tunnels didn’t have ants scurrying around them. Tiny little bald, wrinkled, pink rodents with yellowed teeth too big for their mouths dug and squirmed through the tunnels.

“Awwwwwww,” Skye cooed at the tank. “Naked mole-rats! Aren’t they cute, Gavi?” Cute? Not really. Maybe cute in a so-ugly-they’re-cute sort of way. Kind of like those troll dolls that my big sister used to collect before I was born and kept on her dresser growing up. Nah…troll dolls at least had hair.

“Kind of,” I lied. It was a harmless lie, and it kept the conversation going. I had never seen a real naked mole rat. Closest I had ever seen was a cartoon one on that o
ne Disney show about the kickass cheerleader spy and her doofus friend who was way below her league. Didn’t they hook up in the end? Was I the doofus friend with the naked mole rat in this relationship? “I didn’t know they lived in colonies,” I said blandly.

“Well, obviously,” Skye smirked at me. “I mean, the evidence is right there in front of our eyes.”

“Yup,” I sighed, boredly, “those are naked mole rats alright. And they’re living in colonies.”

“And if it looks like a naked mole rat,” Skye grinned mischievously at me. “And it scurries like naked mole rat.”

“Seriously?” I smirked back at her. “You’re stretching the phrase that much?”

“What?!” Skye brought her hands up to her chest in a coy little who-me pose, her playful smile trying to be concealed by mock confusion…and failing. “There aren’t any ducks around here.” She giggled playfully. “I’m just saying, those look like naked mole rats, and they’re living in a colony, so clearly…” she let the thought drop off.

“Naked mole rats live in a colony,” I finished the sentence for her. Skye was being so weird, today. But then again that wasn’t much different from any other day. I liked her weird.

Once again, my eye caught a little scene of drama in the tank. A tiny little mole rat, it’s eyes barely open, stumbled alone through one of the dirt chambers. It’s whiskers twitched and probed as it’s head swayed slightly in the cramped corridor, like it was looking for something.

From behind, a bigger, adult mole rat came and grabbed the little one by the scruff of the neck and began dragging it around. The little one started thrashing about trying to escape the big one’s grasp while it was being dragged through a tunnel.

“Oh shit!” I whispered to Skye, pointing out what I was seeing. “I think the big one is an angry male and it’s about to eat that baby!” I told her. “A friend of mine with hamsters growing up saw this happen.”

Skye took in the sight, and then shook her head slightly.

“Uh-uh,” she said. “That’s not what’s happening. I’m betting that’s a mama rat. Look.” The big mole rat dragged the kicking and flailing baby one into a more spacious chamber and then released it. Then it gave the little thing a nudge and a lick. After a few seconds, the little one started peeing out little squirts into the chamber. When it was done, the big rat started dragging the little rat back out. This time, the little rat didn’t resist.

“How’d you know?” I turned to Skye.

“Because I can read, silly.” Skye indicated a sign on the tank right above the chamber the rat just urinated into.

“It’s rat potty training!” Skye gushed, and brought her hand up to her mouth, suppressing another smile.

“Huh,” I shrugged. “Guess so.” Then I saw the baby rat deposited by the adult into another chamber filled with more pups, all squirming and feeding on their mothers. Then the adult rat picked another pup and began to drag it back to the rat latrine.

“That’s weird,” I mentioned to Skye.

“What’s weird?” Skye responded, her eyebrow arched.

“That little rat we just saw made it an awful long way away from the other baby rats. I can’t tell. Do you think that one’s older than the others?”

“I dunno,” Skye shrugged. “Maybe that rat was just a little too big for it’s britches.”

“Yeah, but it was almost there, too, before it got snatched up and dragged the rest of the way,” I offered.

“Maybe baby rat just needed a little help getting to the potty,” Skye offered. “It’s cute.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” I conceded. “Animals are just weird, sometimes.”

“Yeah,” Skye agreed. “I try not to think about it too much. Come on, Gavi-kins. The line is moving. It’s almost our turn.”

The procession inched along; more the crowd getting restless than there being anywhere to go. Then, the rumbling, squeaking and clanking of a giant machine bore into our collective ears as a jeep pulling along a nearly leviathan trail of carts. The carts were mostly open sides; bench style seats with metal siding and metal canopy to provide shade. It was painted a dull brown and green with the Zoo’s logo on it, giving the impression it was ready to blend into the wild African savannah.

A woman who appeared to be in her mid thirties hopped out of a middle section of the carts. She wore a khaki button up shirt with the zoo’s logo on it, with matching shorts, and a pith helmet to complete the ensemble. She looked every part the cheesy theme park’s idea of “jungle explorer.”

“WHOOOOOOO’S READY FOR A SAFARI RIDE?!” She screamed out into a megaphone of her own.

The crowd, including myself, hooted and hollered with the cheap pop she was clearly expecting. I had decided that I really was here to have fun, so I might as well let myself get caught up in all this cheesiness.

“Then ladies and gentlemen, hop on in! We’ve got some exploring to do!”, our tour guide announced. Excitedly, we all bounded for the tram and crammed ourselves in, four to a cart, two on each side.

Across from us, another couple sat, a man with long, almost hippie like hair, kept back in a ponytail, and what I assumed was his short, pixie cut girlfriend. Both of their skins were bronzed from hours of prior sun exposure. Their mutually laid back demeanor made me think they were both surfers or skaters. The type of people that did “extreme” sports but were otherwise laid back. The kind of people I honestly pictured Skye hanging with…and dating…before we met. They could have been related, honestly. As a couple they were nearly identical in attitude, while Skye and I felt…complimentary?

The dude-bro smiled lazily at me and gave me a polite nod.

“You two hear for the special event, too?”, the short little chick with the shorter hair asked Skye.

“You know it,” Skye beamed, as she wrapped an arm around my shoulder, pulling me closer to her and giving me a quick squeeze. The other woman reciprocated, and did the same to her boyfriend, adding in a quick little peck on the cheek.

“This is gonna be so fun, today!” she said, grinning giddily to Skye.

“I know, right?” Skye agreed.

I shot surfer-dude a questioning look. What was so cool about “Mother and Cub Day”? What did that even me? Was I the only one not in on the joke? He just gave me a slight shrug, moved his eyes towards his own girl, and then smiled as if to say “Who cares, she’s happy, I’m happy. Why not just go with it?”

Damnit…surfer-dude was right! Who cared what was going on as long as Skye and me were happy?

“Everyone loaded up?” The tour guide’s voice boomed out of speakers connected to the carts. “Okay, good. Here we go. Thank you folks,” the tour guide began what sounded like a prepared spiel, “for coming to our very special Mother and Cub Day. I’m your tour guide for this ride, Rhonda. Can everybody say ‘Hi Rhonda!’ ?”

“HI RHONDA!” We all yelled in chorus.

“Good,” Rhonda said in a nasally and stilted accent reminiscent of Mr. Rogers. “I knew you could.” We all chuckled at the terrible impression, probably first written back when more people knew who Mr. Rogers was.

The tram started to move and wind it’s way on the zoo pavement, doing a long U-turn like a snake coiling around it’s prey. I shuddered just thinking about that.

“Now,” Rhonda went on, twirling her pith helmet on her finger. "I bet that at least half of you are probably wondering: “Why Mother and Cub Day?” I saw plenty of heads attentively nod in the carts in front of me.

“Well, the answer is very simple,” Rhonda continued, still sounding like a spiel. “We’ve actually had what could be a breakthrough recently.”

“Dinosaurs?” I snarked to Skye. “Is this the part where they show us the dinosaurs?”

“Hush, Gavi-poo,” Skye ordered. “I wanna hear this.”

“As you may be aware,” Rhonda kept doing her prepared speech while the tram slowly chugged along, “it’s actually very difficult to get some animals to breed in captivity. But now, thanks to the magic of modern medicine, fortuitous timing, and some generous contributions by various corporations and philanthropic groups, we have made it so that there are new baby animals popping up in the zoo.”

A collective “Awwwwwwww” came from what seemed like every girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother and sister, on the tram.

“That’s right. Thanks to some new medical breakthroughs including a combination of experimental immune boosters, fertility enhancements, and natural aphrodisiacs, we have a whole heap of proud new mamas in the zoo today and they are ready to show off their little ones to you all today!”

The applause was almost deafening as over half the train-mostly the women exploded into cheering and squees of joy. About half a second later, a lot of their dates were smart enough to clap along and hoot and holler with their spouses, but it was definitely the female half of the population that started the cheering.
Oh shit. A tiny neurotic thought burrowed out of nowhere deep into my brain. Was Skye pregnant? Was that why we were moving in together? Was that why I was being taken to “Mother and Cub Day” at the zoo? Was this how I found out.

“Hey,” I leaned in and whispered to Skye when there was a break in the applause. “Are you pregnant?”

Skye snorted derisively.

“No,” she whispered back. “Do you know what pregnancy would do to my figure?” That’s true. Pregnant strippers weren’t exactly a commonly sought after commodity. “'Sides, Gavi,” she whispered lovingly in my ear, “you’re all I need to take care of.” I shouldn’t have smiled a that. It was a little condescending. But I was all she needed. I liked that.

“But wait,” Rhonda the tour guide kept talking, “it get’s better! As a part of our marketing synergy, we’re going to pass on some of the magic to you!” Once again, more cheering broke out. This time though, not nearly as many guys cheered along. They all heard the bit about the fertility drugs, too.

“Don’t worry, boys,” Rhonda broke in through the cheering. “Don’t worry, we’re not including the fertility drugs. The FDA would have a field day with us if we did that. No one’s gonna be a daddy because of us.” Laughter greeted that pronouncement, this time more guys than girls. Girls laughed too, though. Skye looked like milk would have squirted out of her nose had she been drinking some.

“BUT…” Rhonda clarified once the laughter had died down, “we will be selling our very own energy drinks with nutritional and immune system boosting properties for men and women. Energy supplements and what not. Nothing you wouldn’t add to an after workout smoothie or chug after a game of basketball. We’re gonna give the gatorade and powerade a run for their money!” There was some appreciative clapping, but it was clear we were losing enthusiasm for this sales pitch.

“Well enough about that though,” Rhonda finished. “Let’s go see what we really all came here to see. We’re approaching the animal habitats.” There was another around of genuine, but less enthusiastic clapping. The kind of clapping that announced “about time.”

The tram went off the pavement and onto a dirty path through some bushes. The path was wide and rutted, well worn from the tram tires. The ride went from smooth to jostling as the carts rumbled onto the uneven dirt trail. The bushes were thick and lush, their branches allowed to grow untrimmed and tangled to enhance the illusion of wilderness. As we drew closer to the animal enclosures, the musky, sweaty smell of animals and dung filled my nostrils.

“Let me begin by telling everyone,” Rhonda’s voice echoed through the tram speakers, “that we will effectively be taking the backroads around and through the different animal habitats we have here today. If you see or hear about anything that catches your eye on our little trip, feel free to hoof it on back through the zoo and take a closer gander for yourself.”

Landscaped fauna brushed by us and we went on a slight incline up a hill.

“Over to my right,” Rhonda gestured, “we have our giraffe enclosure. We sell treats to feed the giraffes up close and personal. The giraffe habitat is home to George, Georgina, and most recently little George junior.” I looked over and saw two giraffes, an adult and a baby. The giraffe enclosure was mostly sandy dirt and grass sprinkled with a few tall trees for shade. Mixed in with the giraffes were a few zebras in an attempt to recreate what the herbivores would look like on an actual safari. On the other side of the huge pen was a big, raised wooden deck with roof for shade; people stood on the deck to feed the giraffes.

“Now some of you may be wondering where George is,” Rhonda spoke up. “Fun fact, baby giraffes are capable of walking within an hour after their birth. Adult giraffes, meanwhile are very cautious and fear intrusion, even by other, unfamiliar giraffes. So when little George was born three days ago, Daddy George ran and hid in his barn and hasn’t come back out yet.” The little fact was met with quiet chuckles, mostly from the women, likely imagining their dates doing the same thing at seeing a baby.

The tram went down the incline and slithered a bit to the left. “Next to the giraffes we have our elephants, with proud new mama, Jumbo and baby Gumbo.” Sure enough, among all of the elephants there was a large baby elephant floundering about in the dust of the elephant habitat while it’s mother stood placidly nearby. Their size and huge flapping ears distinguished them as African savannah elephants, different from their short-eared Indian cousins. The only difference from the giraffe enclosure was a watering hole for the elephants to play in. “Baby elephants can spend hours flailing about as they figure out what to do with their trunks, and elephant mothers have the longest gestation period of any animal pregnancy of roughly two years.” There was a lot of “ewwwing” and wincing as the women on the tram collectively imagined being pregnant for that long. I even caught Skye rubbing her tummy and flinching in pain.

Then another strange, intrusive thought occurred to me: How did the zoo manage to have all of these baby animals and new mothers with the different pregnancy terms? Did they start this project two years ago with an elephant, or did they just get lucky and happen to come across one that was already pregnant?

The tram rumbled back onto pavement, and horns honked warning pedestrians.

“Up here to either side of us are our wolf and lion enclosures,” Rhonda explained, “or as we call them the Starks and Lannisters.” More polite chuckle for an HBO reference. At least it wasn’t Mr. Rogers. “And coincidentally, each pack and pride has a new little addition that we lovingly refer to as Bran and Tyrion.”

Almost on cue, a wolf cub could be heard howling in mock ferocity. I turned my head just in time to watch an adorable little pup, its paws too big for its body, baying as it’s mother came up to start giving it a tongue bath. Everyone who saw it, pointed and “awwed” at the sight. That was Bran, no doubt. I couldn’t see little Tyrion among the lions on the other side.

The tram went back onto a dirt path. “Sadly, there isn’t much to see right now in the gorilla habitat,” the tour guide droned on, “the gorillas seem to be shy this morning. But be sure to stop by later if you want to see Queen Konga and her new bundle of joy Prince Darwin.”

“You can’t see it from here,” the lady with the mic kept talking, “but a ways beyond the gorilla habitat, we have our play area for the young…and the young at heart, complete with petting zoo, and pony rides.”

“Oooooh,” Skye eyed me, hopefully. “We are totally checking that out.”

“Seriously,” I asked her.

“What?” Skye shrugged innocently enough. “She said for the young at heart. I’m young at heart. Aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” I agreed, not sounding at all convincing but wanting to make my girlfriend happy. “Sure. Totally young at heart. Love petting zoos. Love 'em.”

“And, throughout the day,” Rhonda perked up for one last sales pitch, “we have all sorts of shows going on for your entertainment at our Animal Amphitheatre.”

The tram began to slow down. We were coming to the end of the ride.

“Now most places would dump you off where you started,” Rhonda went back into prepared speech mode, it seemed, “or drop you off at some gift shop. But not us. We’re in the very back of the park now, and all there’s left to do is wander around and enjoy your day. Do whatever you wish, but if I may suggest, why don’t you all take a nice leisurely stroll through our synthetic rainforest over yonder?” she pointed to a large building on the horizon surrounded by trees and painted up with pictures of monkeys and parrots and tropical frogs, and butterflies.

“I’ve been Rhonda,” she concluded, “unless you didn’t like me, in which case, I’ve been Wilma. Now have a great day at the zoo!”

Skye and I piled out of the the tram. Almost instinctively, I stopped and stretched my back and legs, feeling cramped from the ride. Skye walked right by me, as if I wasn’t there, expecting me to catch up

1 Like

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Fascinating. You two work well together; the transition between narrative voices is seamless.

Little slip, CK: “floundering about in the dust of the elephant habitat while it’s mother.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

@WBDaddy. You have no idea how seamless it is. CK and I aren’t posting it based on any order of “I wrote this, you wrote that”. We’re just alternating cuz reasons. That last chunk was about 50/50 and to be fair, I think I had the slip up with the elephant grammar typo.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Thank you for pointing that out. :slight_smile: Went back and fixed it. ^^ I don’t remember whose slip up that was lol. It’s fixed, so it’s all good now 8D. We’re just taking turns posting parts, but no correlation as to who wrote what. We individually wrote the bulk and rough draft of the scenes, but then each of us went back in and tweaked and trimmed and spruced and expanded the scenes.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

No doubt. :wink:

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

“The Rainforest Room is just up here, let’s go!” Skye skipped, her long breezy skirt swishing.
She caught my hand and tugged me along. I blushed with pleasure.

Opening the door to the Rainforest Room was like stepping into a steamy, animal-musk filled sauna: Hot. Moist. Pungent. Noisy. Somewhere, Macaws cawed, monkeys screeched, and humans chattered, their voices echoing off the walls and high ceiling in the huge building. In between the vast and various animal enclosures, the building was stuffed to the brim with realistic, plastic recreations of rainforest trees, bushes, and other plants. It felt like we were actually in a rainforest. Immediately to the left of the doors was a display of panels with pictures, explaining why the rainforest was so important, why it was endangered, and ways we could help save it.

At the end of the panel display stood two mobile carts. One was a small refreshment stand filled with ice and chilled drinks. Behind it sat a young, dark skinned woman on a stool. Her whole being just radiated pure Rasta. Dreadlocks have never appealed to me; I cringed a little behind Skye. The young woman wore a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it and khaki uniform shorts and shoes. The other cart was piled high with merchandise on display, mostly stuffed animals and t-shirts with cartoon zoo animals on them. Most of the shirts were small, kid-sized, but some underneath those lurked some larger ones; maybe for older siblings or matching parent-child outfits. Stuff that would appeal to little kids, who in turn would beg their parents for the goodies; smart advertising.

Skye’s eyes lit up when she saw the female worker. “Kadija!” She hollered, rushing over. She held my hand, so I was dragged along. The worker immediately perked up from her bored, half asleep slouch.

“Skye!” She waved back, all bright white smiles. I groaned softly; one of Skye’s on-campus pot head friends. Figures, just my luck one of them would have a job out here. "Got that bag I told you about? Good! Save your coupons, these ones are on the house. I still owe you for letting me copy on that test. "

She plucked two plastic bottled beverages from the ice, handing both to Skye, who passed one to me. Skye opened hers and drank while she chatted with her friend. I just held the cold bottle in my hand, staring. Part of me was appalled at them for cheating on a test, but another part was just resigned. Of course, Skye would not see it as cheating on a test; she was just helping a friend out. And now that friend was paying her back by giving her free drinks without taking the coupon. Nothing shady going on here. Sure.

“Gavin, try it. It’s really good.” Skye reached over and opened up my bottle, deftly twisting the cap off.

“So this is Gavi-poo?” Kadija leaned forward on the cart to get a better look at me. “Skye, you’re right. He is a little cutie.”

I blushed at her assessment, looking down and quickly raised the bottle to my lips. I froze when I read the label. “Baby Formula?” I quickly held it as far away from me as I could, as if it had morphed into a venomous snake. I glanced at Skye’s; hers read “Mother’s Milk”. “Is this some kind of sick joke? It’s not funny!” My cheeks burned and I glared at the two girls.

Skye laughed but Kadija snorted, rolling her eyes like she thought I was over reacting. That made me feel like a small child throwing a tantrum. “It’s a marketing ploy. Goes with the whole “Mom and Cub Day” thing. It’s a new product some company paid the zoo big wigs to test drive or something. I don’t know; I’m just paid to sell it. The Mother’s Milk is good, I’ve had it. Dumb name, but tasty stuff. Also healthy. It has….” Kadija looked down at a little plastic card. “Nutrients, vitamins. Probiotics? Lactotics? Whatever that science-y shit is. It’s healthy and tastes good. That’s all you really need to know.”

Skye already had her milk half gone. “It’s kinda creamy, like a vanilla milkshake. Forget the name; it’s probably still in beta phase.” I rolled my eyes at her use of gaming terminology. I still wouldn’t drink something called ‘Baby Formula’. That was way too humiliating to even contemplate.

“It’s just a name. Get over it, Gavi-poo.” Kadija rolled her eyes at me again. I glared at her, my cheeks red. I hated how she took Skye’s lovey-dovey nickname and turned it into a degrading insult.

“Umm…I’m not crazy about the name, either. But it is really, really tasty.” A second vendor spoke up. “Once you umm… try it, you won’t even worry about the… uhhh… name… anymore.” he stuttered on nervously. “It really is that good. Even better than those fancy drinks at Starbucks.” My eyes widened at the sight of him. He was young, about my age. He, like Kadija, wore a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it. He, unlike Kadija, wore a big white diaper plastered with colorful cartoon zoo animals. I thought only the poor clowns were diapered. My eyes shot to the kid oriented merchandise. Maybe that was just part of the promotional package? Poor bastard. He shifted shyly on the stool, the huge diaper crinkling and rustling noisily like a flock of plastic grocery bags.

“Come on, Gavi. Just one tiny sip?” Skye wheedled, taking the bottle out of my hand and holding it up to my lips while staring at me with puppy-dog eyes. Maybe just one sip wouldn’t hurt…and it would get everybody off my back….

“Fine.” I acquiesced. Skye smiled and without waiting for me take hold of the bottle- maybe she thought I would chicken out again- she raised it to my mouth, tilting it. I hurriedly parted my lips as cool, creamy milk rushed in. I had to swallow or it would come out my mouth and dribble all over me like a baby covered in spit up. I had chugged almost half the bottle before she relented.

“Well?” Skye smiled. “I knew you’d like it. I can tell by your face.” She purred in satisfaction. Both vendors stared at me, smiling just as Skye did.

“It….it’s not…that bad…” I grumbled, looking down at my sandals. It was a flavorful explosion of creamy dairy delight. My tastebuds tingled and even my stomach rejoiced. Already, I wanted more. They were right. Make an ice cream flavor out of it and stores would sell out.

“What does yours taste like?” I asked, reaching out to steal a sip. Skye raised her bottle up out of my reach. I lowered my hand, blushing. Even standing on tippy toes, I wouldn’t be able to reach that high up. I pouted up at her.

"No, no Gavi. This is mine. You still have some of yours left. They taste just the same " Skye added hastily after a pointed look from Kadija.

“You don’t want that stuff, boy,” Kadija said pointing to Skye’s pink bottle of Mother’s Milk. “That stuff is specifically formulated to benefit a woman’s body.”

“Yeah,” Skye hastily added. “Kadija told me it’s supposed to give me easier periods and stuff.”

“And,” Kadija chimed in, “helps with older women going through menopause.” I immediately withdrew my hand from reaching for Skye’s bottle.

“Yours is more like uh…an…an energy drink, if you know what I mean” Kadija grinned and winked at me conspiratorially. Then she smiled big. “It…it really makes you….ahem… get up and go!” she chuckled under her breath. “You crazy kids have fun with that stuff,”

“Wait,” the guy in the diaper said, smiling like an idiot and blushing “do you…do you…uh…do you mean?”

“Kadija,” Skye hissed under breath. I saw her throwing her friend a serious case of side-eye.
The diapered man and I just threw each other unknowing, uncomprehending looks. Holy shit, was I drinking liquid Viagra just now?

“Drink yours all gone and we’ll get some more.” Skye turned to me. “We’ve got all day to enjoy them.”

“Baby Formula….” I muttered, mulling it over with this new information then smiling a little. “It’s like it helps with making babies. So, Baby Formula! I get it now.”

“Yeah, it really helps with making babies” Kadija bit her lip as if trying to hold back laughter.

More people came into the Rainforest Room, forming a line behind us. I tugged on Skye’s hand. She turned and looked. “We’d better get going.” She waved by to Kadija and the diapered vendor boy.fc

“Call me later and let me know how it goes!” Kadija waved as we walked off towards the first Rainforest exhibit.

We rounded a corner, stepping deeper into the jungle. Plastic trees- lifelike, detailed replicas of the many varieties found in the Rainforest- stretched high overhead, their shiny, broad green leaves intertwining to form a canopy. They blocked the harsh artificial light, creating dappled shadows on the cement floor, which had been painted to look like jungle ground. A fresco of brown dirt, twigs, and green grasses paved our way to the first exhibit. Shiny metal plaques told the common name, scientific name and a brief blurb about each rainforest plant represented.

“Feels like we’re in the Jungle Book.” Skye said as soft, plastic fronds gave way to the heavy, smudged glass of a big tank. The walls were painted with jungle scenery. Rocks, dirt, grasses and a small but deep pool of green tinged water filled the bottom of the enclosure. Twisted, heavy barren brown branches and logs took up the rest of the space. Whatever was in here liked to climb; a tree dweller. I glanced down at the information plaque. Green Anaconda, dwells in the tops of trees. One of the largest and heaviest snakes in the world.

Didn’t those kind of snakes eat people? I shivered, stepping back quickly from the glass. I hated snakes. Especially ones large enough to eat people. I recalled horror movies with snakes that did just that. Oh, I really, really hated snakes. I took another step back, eyes wide and glued to the glass, pinging around the thick barren trunks in desperate search of a reptilian body. Where was it? It couldn’t have escaped, could it? My body was stiff, pulse starting to pound. My stomach tightened with nervousness. I suddenly felt the need to pee from my tense bladder.

A flash of movement at the back of the tank, just behind some rocks rimming the small pool, caught my eye. Greenish-brown coils blended in perfectly with the brown branches, dirt, rocks and vegetation. The snake was coiled up at the back of the big tank, it’s body thicker and wider than my thigh. Nature’s deadly camouflage at its finest. I shivered again, slumping against a sturdy, decorative plastic tree trunk as my body went slack with relief. I blushed, feeling ridiculous. Okay, so I was a little anxiety prone. So what? Skye still liked me despite it. My bladder relaxed, the urgency to urinate receding.

“BOO! I’M KAA, AND I’M GONNA EAT YOU!” Skye hollered behind me, fingers jabbing into my sides. I jumped and screamed, a high pitched little EEP. My slack bladder tensed; I had to go again, bad. Like a little kid who pees their pants when frightened. I clamped down hard, slamming the gate on the potential flood. Skye’s laughter echoed in my ears.

“Skye! It’s NOT funny!” I glared at her, huffing in annoyance. She can be so juvenile sometimes. She knows about my herpetophobia, my fear of reptiles and amphibians. Hey, if you grew up with a stepdad who thought it hilarious to wake you up by throwing a rubber snake in your bed you’d have a few mental scars from the experience, too. I never told her about that; I was too ashamed. But she knew about my deep fear.

“I’m-hah-s-haha-sorry.” She sputtered, choking on suppressed laughter. “I….ahha…you were just…hehe…so damn cute. I…haha…couldn’t resist…heh…”. Her arms slipped around me, pulling my shorter, tense body to hers as she enfolded me in a warm embrace. My face pressed into her bony shoulder. The soft, feminine musk of her perfume enveloped me in a sensual cloud mingling with the apple scent from her shampoo. She rubbed my back, kissing the top of my head. Her body shook with amusement; slowly her laughter died down to quiet chuckles. I stayed stiff and unyielding as she smothered me like a python. I shivered, then shifted my weight to my other foot as my bladder protested the movement. I didn’t really have to pee, not yet; but I would have to find a bathroom soon. It had been a long drive, and I hadn’t gone since we left my place.

“Gavin. Baby. I’m sorry. I got carried away.” That was part of the problem; Skye always got carried away, drifting on the winds of life. Live in the moment. Consequences be damned. That attitude was what had, in part, attracted me to her in the first place. And she really was sorry; I could hear the apology in her voice, in her soft caresses and tender kisses. I relaxed a little but kept quiet, basking in the attention. Hey, if she could have fun at the expense of my phobia, then I could milk this moment.

“I’m really sorry. I won’t do it again. Gavi-poo. My sweet baby.” Skye cooed, voice soft as a lullabye. A warm feeling blossomed in my stomach and I relaxed even more. She began to sway side to side, rocking me gently. I relaxed even more, leaning against her and letting her support some of my weight. She took it willingly, easily, as if I weighed no more than a bird. I wasn’t a heavy guy, but I wasn’t that light, was I? Maybe she was just that strong?

Her hand slipped under my shirt and a jolt of pleasure shot through me at the contact of skin on skin. Her hand was warm, slightly calloused from pole dancing as it skimmed over my back, rubbing soothing circles and drawing little designs. She felt me relax, her touch light as a hummingbird’s wing. I sighed happily, my resistance fully crumbling. I hid my face against her shoulder to hide my little, contented smile. “It’s….it’s alright…” I mumbled out, voice muffled by her shoulder. Her skin was warm and soft under my cheek; I could feel her muscles and bones shifting with every small movement.

“I love you, Gavi-poo! My sweet baby.” She hugged me tight at my whispered words. Her small breasts pressed into my chest and I blushed even more as blood rushed south and something stirred in my pants. She either didn’t notice or chose to ignore it; this was not sexy time, this was comfort time. Still, I’d take whatever I could get.

“I love you too.” I whispered back, my voice softer, more demure than her happy squeal. I forgave her, so all was right in her world again. I sighed, wishing my life could be so simple.

“Aww, how cute! I wish you’d be that cuddly.” I cracked my eyes open at the unfamiliar female voice. A woman with mousy brown hair slopped up in a stylishly scruffy bun and limbs long and pale, built like a gazelle, watched us with what looked like envy in her eyes. She pretended to look at the Anaconda, but I felt her gaze on me and Skye as she talked down to the little Asian boy tugging on the hem of her sunny yellow sundress. An apple red balloon was tied to the boy’s’ thin wrist; it bounced in the air with his tugging motions.

Huh, that’s weird. Maybe the little boy was adopted? She was cracker white, Caucasian through and through; he was Asian. Chinese? Japanese? I couldn’t tell, but definitely Asian and not from her womb. I studied them through the veil of Skye’s colorful braids covering most of my face. She was still occupied with rocking me and rubbing my back. So warm and comforting; I felt so loved, and after the scare I’d had, I was in no rush to relinquish this moment.

“But, I gotta go potty.” The Asian boy whined, then frowned. He spoke plain English; no Asian accent. Just a toddler’s cute lisp. “Potty.” His lips puckered some more, as if he didn’t like the sound of the word. “Baffwoom! I gotta go baffwoom!” He tugged pleadingly on his mom’s skirt, a desperate little boy trying hard to sound grown up while insisting he has a potty emergency.

“Shh. We just got here. A moment ago you were whining to see the froggies. Now you wanna potty.” She sighed, shaking her head and taking his hand firmly in hers. “You can hold it until we’re done in here. Then I’ll take you potty.” She held a gift bag just like Skye’s. Two bottles, just like the drinks we’d been given, poked out of the bag’s top. She pulled him along, vanishing behind some thick, leafy bushes that jutted out between animal displays. The boy grabbed his pants with his free hand, doing the potty dance. “Baffwoom!” he whined as she dragged him along, his pleas falling on deaf ears.

“We should get going, too.” Skye stepped back, the warmth of her body melting into the warmth of the humid air as she pulled away from me. I sighed a little in disappointment. She took my hand in hers once more and tugged gently while I followed. She gave me a reassuring smile and a peck on the cheek. “Don’t worry, baby. I won’t let any more snakes scare you.” She teased with a wink and I pouted, blushing and looking away.

“Here, you look kinda thirsty.” Skye handed me my partially drunk bottle of Baby Formula. I still blushed at the name, but now that I knew what it was for, it wasn’t that bad. And the drink really was so good I didn’t care much about some stupid product name. She had already taken the cap off before she passed it to me. I drank, distracted, while she led the way, tugging me along by my hand. I let her go first; that way, if there were any more snakes lurking about, we could avoid a full-blown panic attack.

A huge case of preserved butterflies hung from the wall, framed by information plaques and more imitation-jungle plants. We stood, doing more staring than reading. Some of the butterflies were huge; I didn’t know they could get so big. Giant snakes, giant butterflies; was there Miracle Grow in the rainforest or something? There was the beautiful cerulean blue Morpho butterfly, the pretty black and yellow Swallowtail, the pale pinkish-purple Saturn, and the bright green Goliath Birdwing. It was the second largest butterfly in the world. The largest was also there; the Queen Alexandra Birdwing, with a wingspan of up to a foot. Can you imagine something that huge fluttering past? They were pretty, but I think I liked them better preserved and under glass.

Skye oohed and ahhed over the pretty colors and wing patterns, occasionally sipping from her own bottle, while I quietly drank from mine and read the different plaques.

After that came more reptiles like the giant green iguana. I didn’t mind those so much; one of my friends has a pet iguana named Daenerys, who likes to ride around on his shoulder, and she’s never bitten him, even when he feeds her lettuce right out of his hand. I’ve never been able to work up the nerve to hold her, or even pet her, but thinking of Daenerys made this iguana seem not so bad. It was actually kinda cool.

The chameleon was an odd little critter; Skye thought it was cute. I thought it was just weird. Then again, Skye was weird, too. I just shook my head as we moved on. More snakes; those Skye quickly pulled me past before I could give anything more than a quick glance. Next came the small rainforest mammals. Several species of bats were on display, their exhibits mimicking caves and other natural environments. They were numerous, noisy, and extra smelly. Skye exclaimed she wanted one for a pet. I pointed out their smell; she just waved a dismissive hand. “When babies make poo-poos, it’s always smelly, no matter the species.” She smiled at me as she said it, like she knew some secret that I didn’t. I frowned, getting ready to argue the stink wasn’t just from baby-bat guano. Bats stunk, period.

I was much more relaxed in the mammal section, but Skye still kept tugging me close whenever I’d try to drift off to examine some new animal, like the weird, bug-eyed furry little Tarsier. Walking in the rampant humidity took its toll on us. We were barely through the huge exhibit, our bottles were empty, and we were thirsty again. After the small mammals, we came to the aviary section. At the entrance to this was another drink vendor. The zoo sure made their money on beverages in the Rainforest Room. Skye redeemed her coupon for free drinks here.

“Sure, little lady. What strength?” The smiling vendor said. He had glasses, a trimmed black goatee, a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it, and a big safari animal themed diaper. I blushed at that, edging behind Skye.

“Oh, toddler for him.” Skye casually said as she handed over the coupon. I barely listened to what she said. My eyes were wide, glued to the smiling cartoon animals on the diaper. He seemed way too comfortable in it for my taste. I knew it was rude to stare, that the poor bastard was just doing his humiliating job. I tried to look away, really I did, but my eyes kept straying back to it. What did it feel like? I heard it crinkle with every move the vendor made. It looked so thick. How many wettings could it take? Did all that thirsty padding make it comfortable? It looked comfortable……a small, curious part of me wanted to ask about it. I bit my lip. I couldn’t stop staring, but I could stop myself from opening up my big, fat, secret-exposing mouth. Still, the questions lingered on my tongue and brain, prodding me to open up.

The vendor caught me staring; he just smiled in an all-too knowing way. Could he read my mind? Did he know what I was thinking? Shame washed over me and I hid behind Skye, again grateful for her tall height. “So, are you two enjoying your visit?” He asked casually as he handed the drinks over to Skye since she was in front of me. She opened mine yet again then passed me the opened bottle while she thanked the vendor and drank from hers.

“We just got here not too long ago. I’m looking forward to this afternoon.” Skye smiled, anticipation in her voice, her eyes lighting up. I drank deeply; walking in the humid, almost suffocatingly damp air made me very thirsty. A small glimmer of suspicion curdled in my stomach. Skye was up to something….she wanted to take our relationship to the next level…she wanted me to move in with her…. Did she want me to marry her? Was she going to propose? My heart skipped a beat and I felt light headed and dizzy. Wasn’t the guy supposed to propose to the girl? Leave it to Skye to chuck the status-quo out the window. I felt rushed, nervous, my guts churning. Was this too fast? Too soon? Would I say yes? Of course I would. Marry Skye. Ride the wild wind, Gavin.

“Ah, the fun’s just starting then. Enjoy your day here!” The vendor called, looking right at me as he chuckled. Lost in my own thoughts and swirling emotions, I ignored him.

I took a deep, steadying breath as Skye tugged me along through the open doors into the Rainforest Aviary. The noise level exploded through the roof with the chatter and shrill cries of colorful birds as they hopped around their vast cages. As we watched the brightly billed Toucans and neon and teal Quetzals, a growing need filled my bladder, aching for release. Was there a bathroom somewhere in this manufactured jungle?

“Skye?” I tugged on her hand. “I need to go the bathroom.”

She didn’t respond right away, too busy staring at a beautiful tropical bird. “Hm? You gotta potty?”

I let go of her fingers. “I’m going to find a bathroom.” She didn’t let go of mine, tugging me back to her side. My bladder ached; I bend over slightly to relieve the pressure, my legs pressing together.

“Skye!” I cried desperately.

“Okay, okay sweetie. I’ll take you potty.” I barely registered what she said, too focused on my bladder ready to burst.

For once, I led the way, taking charge; my only goal was the nearest toilet. Skye lagged behind, tugging on my arm and slowing me down. My bladder twinged; my free hand grabbed at my crotch, trying to hold back the inevitable flood. I didn’t expect the drinks to catch up with me that fast.

“Skye?!” I whined, tugging on her hand, trying to make her hurry up. Why was she going so slow?

“Gavi-kins, slow down, baby. You’re going to fall, and I can’t read the signs when you keep tugging like that.” She said, so calm and matter of fact, like she thought I could hold it until she found the bathrooms.

“Skye!” I cried, shaking her hand off. I couldn’t deal with this now. I had to urinate, badly. What part of that didn’t she understand?

“We have to find the potty so you can go, honey.” Skye explained in the patient tone you’d use with a toddler. She snagged my fingers, tugging me back to her again, forcing me to go at her pace. Slowing me down.

The need to go grew with every step. This was now a bathroom emergency. My stomach ached with my need for release. “Skye!” I tried to break away again, but she gripped me tightly, forcing me to slow down. Her words made sense, but I didn’t have time for that. I needed a potty NOW. "“I REALLY gotta go!”

“I know, baby. Hush. Ah, here we go. This way.” She made an immediate left into the amphibian room, suddenly in front of me and taking control. She tugged me along, forcing me to slow down. I paid no attention to the people or displays we hurriedly past. They were just tall and small blurs, the displays and decorative plants green blurs. She still didn’t move fast enough. I tried to surge ahead as my bladder twitched and spasmed painfully. I gripped my crotch tighter and bit my lip with my effort to hold back the yellow tide bearing down on my poor bladder.

“Skye! Hurry!” I pleaded. Her grip was iron; she practically crushed my fingers as I tried once more to pull away. I winced. I couldn’t break away from her, but I needed to rush. As we left the amphibian room, we heard the sound of running water. A small spurt almost squeezed out; I squeezed my pants hard, whimpering. It took all I had to clamp down on the leak. “Skye.” I whined, voice squeaking in desperate fear and pleading.

“Gavi-kins, shush. We’re almost there.” Skye slowed, forcing me to slow as well. We passed a jungle themed seating area with yet another group of vendors. There was a drink cart and a snack cart. Plastic tropical flowers in bright pinks , oranges, and reds bloomed all around us. Broad, shiny green plastic leaves swayed in the moist air, stirred by the small fountain that merrily splashed down into a pond full of bright orange and white koi fish.

I could’ve peed myself right there. My knees buckled as my bladder twitched painfully. I whimpered loudly. I bit hard on my lower lip, teeth pressing into the soft flesh and sending waves of pain out in contrast with the pain and urgency of my bladder. It distracted me, just a little, from my need to pee. Gave me the edge I needed to keep from wetting myself.

“Here’s the potty, baby. We made it just in- oh.” Skye’s reassuring coo fell flat. Her hand tightened around mine; she helped me stand up. If it wasn’t for her hold on me, I’d have collapsed to the floor in a yellow puddle. Something in her tone brought me up short. I was almost trembling in anticipated relief but the abrupt cut off of her words jerked my head up.

Just ahead were the restrooms. Closed for repairs. CLOSED. All three bathrooms- men’s, women’s and family. Yes, I was so damn desperate I’d have pissed in the women’s toilet. Better there than in my pants. Sadly though, it looked as though I was running out of options.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

I can’t find any kind of shift in tone to signify where one author ends and the author begins. The two of you work well together.

As for content, I’m beginning to think I know how they managed to get all those baby animals wink.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots


Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and making predictions.

If there was any shifting of writing style, I gotta say CK must’ve done most of the work on that end, because I felt like I was writing naturally for the most part. It could have also had something to do with the fact that we pre-planned heavily and developed Gavin and Skye’s signature quirks as fall backs together. We also read everything the other wrote and edited it practically as the other was writing it. (I wrote this, come see. Neat! I wrote this come check it out.) Also, as far as I know, this is the first time either of us had tried to write in 1st person perspective.

As for content: Whatever do you mean? It was explained how they managed to get all of those baby animals: “That’s right. Thanks to some new medical breakthroughs including a combination of experimental immune boosters, fertility enhancements, and natural aphrodisiacs…” :wink:

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Thank you for the comment. :slight_smile:

If I shifted any style, it was unintentional; I’m not used to working in 1st person pov so that may have been a contributing factor. I think we were so in sync because we talked and planned a lot of the scenes out before we wrote/ as we wrote, so we made sure we were on the same page.

“Skye.” I whined helplessly, at my breaking point. My legs trembled and my bladder spasmed. “No. No. NOOOOOO.” I squeezed my crotch, thighs shaking with the herculean effort of pushing my urine back.

“Shh. Gavi-poo. It’s okay. There’s a potty nearby; I saw it when we first came in. Come on, baby.” Skye cooed encouragingly to me. She squeezed my fingers, tugging. “We can make it if we hurry.” We? Like I couldn’t go to the potty on my own. Toilet. Well, she knew where the potty-toilet was. She was just showing me the way.

My bladder spasmed painfully again. Did my underwear feel a little damp? No, no, I’m just freaking out . Who cares? I needed to PEE! I gasped, sucking in a deep breath and tensing my bladder and groin muscles. I can do this. Just hold it, Gavin. Almost there.

“H-Hurry!” I whispered urgently, squeezing Skye’s hand back. She took off with a small smile. I was so focused on holding back the impending yellow flood I couldn’t even be annoyed at her for being amused at my predicament.

I followed along behind as we hurried out of the Rainforest Room. We squinted at the bright, warm sunlight but still Skye hurried on, tugging on my hand as if trying to hurry me up. Each little tug on my arm was like a tug on my bladder. The muscle twitched, threatening to burst. Holding on by a thread.

Skye suddenly slammed to a halt; I stumbled into her with a surprised whimper. Did a little spurt just escape? No; if it had, the dam of trembling muscle would burst in a yellow waterfall. “WHAT?” I shrieked, voice shrill and cracking with my urgency.

“We took a wrong turn-” Skye began, so calm and collected, as if this wasn’t much of an emergency.

“NO!” I roared suddenly, not caring about any onlookers or what Skye thought. Potty filled my entire being; all that mattered was rushing to a toilet. I broke free from her grip with a sharp jerk of my arm, and took off running.

Artificial landscaping, animals, and people all whizzed by me in a blur as I made one last, desperate, mad dash to find a bathroom. None of them mattered right now but my overwhelming need to relieve myself. The pain in my bladder was nearly forgotten. I was beyond pain at the moment.

I couldn’t fail. I couldn’t fail. I couldn’t fail. I was a grown-ass man. Grown men didn’t piss themselves in public without good reason. I was a big boy. Big boys used the potty. “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, gotta, go,” became my own personal “I think I can I think I can I think I can.” Then “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go,” turned into “Oh no oh no oh no!”

Just as I began to feel complete panic overwhelm me, my bladder ready to burst and my public humiliation all but assured, I felt this new sensation bubble up from inside me. I can’t say it bubbled up in my brain, or my heart; more like my soul. I was feeling this incredible, but subtle warm tingly feeling begin to blossom inside my soul.

It wasn’t overwhelming, either, to be clear. It’s not like I lost my mind or felt particularly compelled to feel this way. I’ve never done drugs or alcohol, but I’ve had pain killers from the trip to the emergency room the summer I broke my leg. I know what it’s like to feel foreign sensations and feelings whelm up inside of you and wash your rational mind away. This wasn’t like that.

It was more like an itch that you can’t quite reach. You don’t notice it at first, but as soon as you do, you pay attention. You can’t help but make your mind focus on this small, almost insignificant tingling sensation. Pretty soon, you just have to stop and scratch that itch or you are going to go crazy.

So I noticed this little itch; this little itch of warm and tingly happiness inside of myself, sticking out like a sore thumb in the midst of a sea of panic and anxiety, and I did the only thing I could think. I stopped.

The world stopped shaking as my feet stopped moving, the pounding in my head lessened as my sandals ceased pounding against the ground. I found myself taking a deep breath and the stitch in my side groaned in relief as I inhaled through my nostrils and exhaled through my mouth.

I closed my eyes, and felt a warm smile of contentment come to my lips. There was no reason to panic. All would be well. This was so zen.

My zen was suddenly and rudely interrupted by an ear splitting piercing scream that measured somewhere between dog whistle and nails on chalkboard on the uncomfortably annoying scale. My eyes shot open and my head whipped around towards the source of the sound.

A little boy, who couldn’t have been older than two was standing off in the distance; maybe fifty yards away. He was hunched over with his hands covering his crotch, his head turned skyward as tears slid from his eyes. It was a sound loud enough to spook the animals, it was so bad. Nearby, clydesdale horses and their foals scurried away to the far side of their holding pen, away from the little boy’s crying.

Even as far away as I was, I could tell what was wrong. The tell tale pose, the crying, the dark spot in the kid’s khaki’s and the puddle at his feet. Poor little guy had just peed his pants. Next to him, a dark haired woman, his mother no doubt, did her best to gently shush him and pat him on the shoulder. She was smiling, too, I saw. Was she enjoying this? Nah, couldn’t be. She was just smiling to try and make him calm down. It wasn’t working.

“That’s weird,” I whispered to myself, the warm tingling sensation having now abated. I squinted my eyes, examining the little boy’s mom. The lady didn’t have a diaper bag on her, or a backpack, or any sort of kid kit. The only thing she had was one of those gift bags that the park employees were handing out.

Kid didn’t look old enough to be out of diapers, yet. He should have at least been in Pull-Ups. If he was potty trained, it had to have been recently, a skill not yet completely mastered. A more experienced mother, I thought, would have come prepared. She should have made the kid wear a pull-up just in case, or something; at least have a spare change of clothes. And now the kid had had an accident and was freaking out in public, and all this woman did was try to impotently calm him with words when clearly some kind of action was in order.

Not that I thought about those kind of things mind you; babies and mommies. Not often, anyways. Maybe she was just the kid’s sitter, though then why didn’t the little tyke’s parents pack him something. The point was, anyways, that this lady should have been taking charge and dragging that kid to the nearest bathroom. Poor kid’s day was probably ruined. With wet pants and no change of clothes, best case scenario, he’d have a towel wrapped around his waist and then have to leave the zoo early and under the worst circumstances. The bathroom!

That’s when I realized that the worst case scenario for me had happened: I looked down at my jeans. To my horror they were soaking wet, my urine pooling in the crotch briefly and then running down my legs to the ground. You could see my pee’s journey from bladder to pants to ground like reading a map. Just trace the lines and follow the river from its source to destination.

I felt a hotness in my groin as more piss spurted into my already oversaturated jeans, before dripping down from my taint and freefalling through the air to the rapidly expanding puddle at my feet. Holy crap, not only had I peed my pants in public, but I was still peeing!

My breath became short, rapid, and shallow as I gazed down in horror at myself. My throat clenched up and my eyes widened. My tongue felt heavy, and my eyes felt blurry. Why the heck had I stopped! Zen? How stupid could I be? If I hadn’t stopped, I would have made it to the bathroom in time, and now I was looking and feeling just as stupefied and overwhelmed as that one little ki-

“There you are, Gavin!” Skye called out to me, interrupting my impending panic attack. She approached me from behind, sounding a little bit out of breath. “Why did you…?” she looked me in the eyes, seeing the obvious look of terror on my face. “…What’s wrong ba-” her eyes darted down towards my crotch. I wasn’t even aware enough to attempt to hide my humiliation with my bare hands.

“Oh…oooooooh!” Skye gasped a little bit in recognition in what I’d done to myself. I was ready to start bawling at that. I was even less of a man now in her eyes than the night I had emoted all over her about our relationship.

“Come on,” Skye calmly but firmly said to me, urgency in her tone as she took me by my forearm. “Let’s go, honey.” Then without another word, without even looking back at me, Skye started walking towards the bathroom. Numbly, stupidly, like a little child or a chimp, I followed her; her hand firmly latched onto my forearm.

She made a bee-line for the restrooms. I’d say “we” made a bee-line, but to be honest, I didn’t have much agency at the time. Skye was leading. I was just blindly following with my head on a swivel, my panicked eyes scanning the crowd for laughing onlookers, pointing at my shame. As Skye flung open the door to the restroom marked “Family”, I found none. Either no one noticed my accident, as unlikely as that was, no one cared, or they were all pointing and laughing at me behind my back.

I stumbled into the single toilet restroom, my legs feeling as unsteady as my bladder, as Skye turned around and locked the door.

“Skye,” I started to stutter out an embarrassed apology, “I…I…I’m sor-”

“Shhhh,” she put a finger to my lips, cutting me off. “Not right now, baby. Just move with me,” she grabbed a hold of me by the shoulders and positioned me backwards. I moved with her, searching her cool blue eyes for some sign of disgust or mockery. I found none.

“Just hold still,” Skye whispered before she bent down and unbuttoned my pants and yanking down the zipper in one fluid motion. I stood there paralyzed as she grunted and shimmied my pants and soaking boxers down my legs.

“Shouldn’t have let you wear jeans today,” Skye muttered to herself, her voice echoing off of the tiled walls. “Now sit back, baby,” she spoke up, gently pushing me back onto the waiting toilet.

My butt cheeks touched the seat, and I instinctively readied a shiver that never came. The seat was still warm. Looked like we just got in here on the heels of someone else. Thank God for small mercies.

Skye continued to work quickly and efficiently while I sat there, numb to the world. She unbuckled my sandals and tossed them haphazardly across the room with an empty flop that bounced off the bathroom walls. As soon as my shoes were off, she Skye went back for my pants and underwear.

“Skye, what are you…?” I managed to spit out as she freed one of my legs from my pee soaked clothes.

“I’m…hrrrn,” she grunted, “helping. Now help me help you and wiggle your leg a little big sweetie. Help me slide it out. These things don’t slide off easy when they’re wet.” I felt my face flush from embarrassment, knowing that I had made my pants wet; but I obeyed and helped her get the pants the rest of the way off.

“There we go,” Skye smiled genuinely as the bottom half of my clothes came free with a wet plop. Then she just regarded me, looking me down from head to toe. She smiled again, almost stupidly. Was she… glowing? She was glowing. She was glowing like a girl in the middle of her first kiss. Why? Skye had seen me naked before, and under much less embarrassing circumstances.

The door to the bathroom jiggled as someone from the outside tried to open the door. The lock stopped them cold.

“Occupied!” Skye called out. “Be out in just a minute.”

“What do we do now?” I asked, dumbly.

“Do you have to go potty anymore?” she replied, almost ignoring my question.


“Do you have anymore pee-pee in your bladder?”


“Before we do anything, Gavi, let’s take care of that.” I folded my arms in protest. I know I had literally just had an accident in my pants like a toddler, but I deserved more dignity than that. Skye must have seen the look in my face.

Still on her knees on the floor, she pleaded, “Pleeeeeease, Gavi-poo. Just try. For me?” I rolled my eyes a little bit and flexed my bladder. Much to my chagrin, a little bit more did tinkle out of me into the waiting toilet. Skye practically beamed, I’d never seen her look so relieved.

“Now what?” I asked. “Where do we go from here? I’m half naked, and my pants are on the floor, covered in…well…you know.”

“It’s okay, Gavin,” Skye placed her hand comfortingly on my knee. “You can say it. You had an accident. That’s okay. It happens to everyone every now and then.” On what planet?! Still, she was trying to give me comfort, and it would have been wrong of me to snap at her. Also, I was in no position to be snide.

“Okay,” I mumbled. “Ihadanaccident.”

“What was that?” she leaned in a little closer.

“I…had…anaccident” I slurred the last two words together.

“Alright,” Skye nodded in approval. “Now let’s talk about where we go from here.” Finally!

“Let’s go home,” I sighed in defeat.

“What? Gavi…no.” Skye whined a little bit. “Then our day will be ruined, honey.”

“What choice do we have?” I asked. “Only rational option is for me to put those pants back on, we do the walk of shame out of here, and then go back to your…our place.”

“Ewww…” Skye wrinkled her nose a little. “You’d want to put those nasty, icky old wet pants back on after all the trouble we just went through getting them off of you so you could sit on the potty?” More blood rushed to my face. Why did she keep referring to it as a potty? It was damn near infuriating. Damn near, but not quite. God it was a good thing she was hot, sometimes.

“And,” she added, “the movers are probably still unloading your stuff over at our place. Do you want to show up in front of a bunch of big, strong, tough, and rugged men wearing pee-pee pants?” I did not. I shook my head.

“But what else are we supposed to do?” I wondered out loud, praying for some kind of solution to this predicament.

“Well….” Skye licked her lips thoughtfully. She had come up with something. Worse, she had thought of something and liked the idea. There would be a fight, likely, in the works. But Skye was gonna do what Skye was gonna do.

“What?” I sighed, ready for anything. Skye didn’t say anything. She just reached into the her gift bag and pulled out an adult diaper. Only it wasn’t just an adult diaper. It was an adult baby diaper.

It was a Rearz Safari diaper, with a plastic backed design, big strong tapes and soft inner lining, along with cartoon zoo animals; lions, parrots, hippos, zebras, and giraffes all decorating the diaper’s cover. I’m not an adult baby…I just…I just know things.

Skye held up the safari diaper and didn’t say a word. She just pointed to it and let me connect the dots.

“No.” I said, plainly and with certainty. “No way.”

“Oh come on, Gavi-poo!” Skye caressed my face with her free hand. “It won’t be so bad. It’s dry right now, at least. And if you have another accident, there’s always mor-”

“I am not going out in a diaper,” I said emphatically. This is a line I would not cross. I wasn’t some overgrown baby.

“Honey, you don’t need to be embarrassed,” Skye reassured me in hushed tones. “Just calm down and think about it.” I calmed down. I thought about it.

“I got nothin’….so no.”

“Look,” Skye sighed. “They’re giving these things away as some kind of promotional gag gift, right?” she said. I nodded, mutely.

“And,” she continued, “we’ve already seen some zoo workers wearing diapers today already, haven’t we?” Once again, I nodded.

“But they didn’t pee their pants,” I whined.

“How are they gonna know that you peed your pants, Gavin?” Skye retorted. “They’re not. As far as anyone will know, you’re just getting in on the act. No one will look twice, I promise. Between all the babies and all of the other people sure to be getting in on the joke, you’ll be far from the only person in a diaper. So let me help you get dressed up in your little costume, and then we can go about enjoying the rest of our zoo day, as planned.”

“That…actually makes a lot of sense,” I admitted.

“Of course it does, Gavi,” Skye pinched my cheek again. “I thought of it.” She winked at me, conspiratorially.

I winked back as she reached into the gift bag and took out a large beach towel, decorated with more cartoon safari animals on it. She unfolded it and draped it on the ground. Invitingly, she patted on the towel, motioning me over “Now, come lay down, baby.”

I rose up from the toilet seat, not even bothering to flush as I obediently walked the few steps over to her and laid down as I was told. My hands twitched in my feelings of vulnerability. It took everything I had not to cover my crotch with them.

Skye, meanwhile, seemed oblivious to my bashfulness as she rooted around the gift bag and pulled out a packet of baby wipes. “Huh,” she said turning the pack over in her hands. “They thought of everything when they made this promotion, didn’t they Gavi-poo?” I chose not to respond as she opened the pack and turned to me.

“What are you doing?” I asked, looking up at her.

“Cleaning you up first, of course, silly,” Skye cooed at me. “Your legs and diaper area still smell like pee-pee. So I gotta clean you up,” she pronounced in a sing-song rhythm. “These will be a little cold, honey, so just be ready.”

Gently, she pulled the first wipe free. I shivered slightly as she caressed it up and down my right leg. Then she took another wipe and quickly bathed my left one. A third wipe came out and began to wipe my pubic area. Briefly, too briefly, she took my trembling manhood in her hand and gently wiped it down as tenderly as if she were caring for a real baby.

“Legs up,” she instructed, and my legs obeyed without me even really thinking about it. I shuddered again, as she brought a fourth wipe to mop up my balls and taint. I felt her use her forearm to shield herself and prop my legs in an upright position as she got closer to wipe my backside. A final wipe probed the folds of my behind, just in case

Expertly, with one hand, she grabbed the safari diaper and flapped it open. Then, with almost practiced efficiency she pushed my legs back farther, almost into my chest, forcing the bulk of my weight onto the back of my shoulders and sending my ass up into the air.

I didn’t feel as much as sense it as she slid the infantile adult undergarment under me, but I definitely felt the soft cushioning and heard the loud crinkle of the diaper as she backed up and my rump lowered onto the plastic backed padding.

The door jiggled again, more impatiently this time. Someone wanted in, badly.

“We’ll be out in a minute,” Skye called out at the rattling door. “Just be patient, please.” She turned her gaze back to me. “Almost done, Gavi-kins,” she reassured me. “Now just spread your legs a little.”

I spread my legs and Skye reached down for the front of the diaper and pulled it up snugly between my legs. Then, one by one, she secured the four tapes to the landing strip, securing me in my new plastic underwear.

She got up, while signaling for me to stay where I was. She threw the baby wipes she’d used onto the pile of my piss soaked pants and underwear, and balled the whole thing up before tossing it into the garbage. Then she gathered up my sandals and sashayed over to me.

“Figured it’d be easier this way,” she said to me as she slid my sandals back on my feet and buckled them for me… I frowned a little bit. Yeah, I knew it was easier to get a diaper on with help- if you tried to do it yourself you could get leaks. Not that I was going to have another accident…but if you’re going to do something you should do it right. My point being, I could have put my shoes back on by myself.

Kindly and confidently, she stood back up and held out her hand. I took it and let her help me up. Just the act of standing made the sound of the diaper crinkling thunder in my ears. Experimentally I took a step.

Left foot. Crinkle. Right foot. Crinkle. Shift weight. Crinkle Crinkle. There was absolutely no way to move about quietly in this thing!

“Come on, honey,” Skye nudged me. “We’ve got lots of things to do and see. Now let’s not let this ruin our day any more than it already has, okay?”

“Okay,” I agreed, taking a deep breath.

Skye turned the lock on the bathroom door and opened it out into the world. I squinted as fresh sunlight poured in, blinding me. I stood there, blinking, expecting the blurs to metamorph into throngs of mocking people, all pointing and laughing; knowing what I had done in my pants. Nothing. Just an animal park with people coming and going. No one looked twice at me, just like Skye promised. Well, almost no one.

Right outside the family bathroom was the little boy who’d wet his pants just before I had. His mother, or the woman who had been comforting him. The boy’s snotty nose and tear streaked red face showed that while he was no longer crying, this was a very recent development.

The little guy’s mother, was now holding a diaper and baby wipes in her crossed arms, politely but impatiently. I couldn’t help myself, and caught a glimpse of the diaper. That was odd. It was plastic back, and had decorations that clearly matched the ones on the diaper I was wearing; I refused to think of it as my diaper.

The thing is, I could tell, this was a regular sized toddler diaper. It looked exactly to me like what I was wearing, but was sized to fit the kid in the squishy trousers pouting in front of me.
Maybe I wasn’t wearing a Rearz, but some kind of off-brand that the zoo had manufactured for today. Weird promotion, but it appeared to be coming in handy for at least two customers this morning.

The boy regarded me. He glanced at me, then my diaper, and then at the diaper his mother was holding; and his lip began to tremble.

“Wait…” he squeaked, as Skye and I scooted past, letting the real family have the room, “I’m not a…”

“Oh it’s fine, Roger,” I heard his mother say. “Look at it this way,” she explained calmly, “at least you won’t be the only…” her voice trailed off, but I didn’t really need to hear the rest of the sentence. I bit my tongue, trying to tease away some of the agony I felt at being this little kid’s potty training lesson or whatever.

“Hey,” Skye got my attention away from my own inner thoughts, yet again. “Don’t worry about it. You just did a good deed.”

“How?” I asked, flabbergasted at Skye’s declaration.

“That little boy won’t be so embarrassed by his accident, now that he knows a big boy like you had an accident, too.”

I smiled a little at that for some reason. Even though I was walking around in public in a diaper, it felt good to me right then that Skye still thought of me as a big boy.

1 Like

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

Wow, just wow. This is tremendous.

I don’t often feel competitive, but this has definitely made me want to write more.



Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

@ TDAD22 Wait…you want to write against two writers?

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

“Now,” Skye hemmed and hawed. “Where to next?”

“Home?” I suggested with a little smile. I already knew going home wasn’t an option; we’d just had that conversation. Still, it never hurt to try.

“Gavi-kins, you’re so silly.” Skye fluffed me off as she looked around at the various cement paths, people, trees and greenery. Wooden signs with arrows pointed to various animal exhibits. She tilted her head to one side, indecisive. “So much to see….” Her eyes fell on me; on my waist. My diaper, in particular. I felt like she was staring at my crotch. My face burned and I ducked my head. I tried to cover my- the huge diaper with my hands.

Skye stepped close, her head bent down and forehead bumping against my own.

“Skye? What are you doing?” I shifted nervously, diaper crinkling. Would I ever get used to that noise? It was like an army of grocery bags following my every little movement. I peeked up at her, but her gaze was focused on my crotch. And the disposable underwear…diaper…covering it. Just what was going through her head?

She didn’t answer; she just grabbed my wrists and lifted them out of the way as she stared down at the colorful animal print. “Monkeys! That’s it! Good suggestion, Gavin!”

“But I didn’t say anything.” I frowned in confusion.

“You didn’t have to.” A finger darted out to poke my lower abdomen. Her finger pushed in on the diaper, plastic crinkling. Right on a picture of a grinning cartoon monkey. “See!”

“SKYE!” I jumped back, blushing furiously and smacking her hand away from the diaper. My crotch. She caught my hand, entwining our fingers while she laughed.

“Loosen up, Gavi-poo. Come one, daylight’s burning.” She quickly kissed my lips while I stood there like a stunned fish then she skipped off, her arm tugging on mine and I crinkled along at her side as we climbed the rising path to the Primate Palace. The wide cement path rose up on a hill. There were some benches along the side underneath shady trees, along with a small refreshment cart half way up. The hill leveled out into a long, wide array of enclosures. Trees and bushes dominated, almost obscuring the exhibits. Branches and foliage were well manicured and orderly trimmed, ruining the wilderness atmosphere. Cement paths branched off the main one at each outdoor enclosure, leading to small buildings at the back of each exhibit. Indoor housing and exhibit area for the various primates.

I crinkled noisily at her side, spending most of my time nervously looking more at the people than at the various primates. Monkeys, chimpanzees, orangutans I barely noticed. There were still a few couples, but now it was mostly mothers with their little boys. Where did all the couples go? Maybe they left early? It was hard to be romantic with a bunch of babies around. Leave it to Skye to decide she wanted to stay.

I looked and looked at the people, but no one noticed me. A few females smiled at me; not a ‘ha-ha look at the grown man in a diaper’ laugh, but an ‘oh isn’t he cute’ chuckle. I always blushed and looked shyly away, ducking to Skye’s other side. Females. Who knew what went on in their heads. I mean, hell, look at Skye. She talked me into wearing a diaper!

“Gavin. Sweetie. Don’t you like the monkeys? You’ve been very quiet.”


“You’ve hardly looked at the animals, and you haven’t said a word. Are you okay?” Skye tugged me off the path, down to a fence surrounding another exhibit. Her blue eyes caught mine; the concern filling them would not let me look away.

“Yeah. I’m fine. Just…getting used to …you know.” I blushed and gestured at my waist.

“Has anyone said anything?” Skye asked pointedly with a cheshire cat smile.


“Just like I said. No one will mind. You’re just another guy in diapers. .”

“Some women looked at me.” My cheeks burned at her smug smile.

“Because they thought you were cute!” Her smile broke into a grin.

“Really?” My eyebrow arched skeptically. I wasn’t used to girls checking me out.

“Oh, Gavi, you don’t know how cute you are!” Skye laughed and pulled me in for a quick kiss to my cheek. “But you’re all mine. My baby.” Before I could reply, she playfully slapped my padded backside. Her hand hit with a muffled thump, then she whirled, grabbed my hand and tugged me along again.

“Skye!” I scolded with a blush as we moved further down the fence until we had a good view of the animals.

“Let’s look at the-” She broke off, peering across the fence. “Gorillas. Hm. They’re closer to the other side….oh hey, they have a gorilla tunnel. Look, Gavin!” She leaned across the fence, pointing across a wide canyon to the enclosure. A plain wooden fence, more decorative than functional, low shrubs, and a higher, more secure wire fencing surrounded the outdoor part of the exhibit. Keeping the humans even further from the animals was a twenty foot deep gorge with a small waterfall and stream at the bottom; the animals could climb down, but they could not climb up the human side. The exhibit was a recreation of lowland forest; plenty of grass and dirt with several high, sturdy and solid, barren trees for places to climb and play. On the other side of the exhibit, where Skye was pointing, were big, black fuzzy lumps. The gorillas.

I squinted, following Skye’s outstretched arm and pointing finger. “Kinda hard to see them from here.” Hence on the other side, by the building for the gorillas, there was a small bridge leading to secure, thick glass in a frame of cement instead of fencing, allowing for up close encounters. The huge fuzzballs clustered around the window.

“Let’s go get a better look.” Skye took my hand, leading us along the fencing until we came to the bridge. I crinkled along, unable to stop nervously glancing around me. Surely, someone was going to look at the grown man in a diaper. Yet again, no one noticed and I began to think Skye might be right after all.

We stepped onto the bridge and the glass viewing area came into view. Mothers and small boys and babies crowded around it. One little boy with spiked brown hair and frosted blonde tips smooshed his face right up against the glass, leaving snot smear in his wake. An orange balloon tied to his wrist bobbed in the air with his jerky motions. Several female gorillas crowded around the glass, passing a little fuzzy bundle of black fur between them. The females were plump; round balls with long arms. There was no huge, hulking silver backed male; just his harem and one baby. The middle female kept snatching the baby away from the two smaller females flanking her. She swung with her long arms and the two retreated out of hitting distance. Then the mother would go back to holding the baby and staring right at the crowd as if showing off her little bundle of joy. One of the other females would dart in after the baby, and the mother would go back to slapping at them.

The little boy laughed at their antics; he stood right up by the glass and pounded his chest. With no grown, aggressive Silverback alpha around, the females just ignored the boy. So he started knocking on the glass, then smacking it with both hands. The mother slapped at another female, then raised both her long, hairy black arms and slammed her palms on the glass, right in front of the little boy. He jumped back, screaming and running behind a woman with frizzy, curly hair. The other little kids screamed and ran for the safety of their mothers’ legs, too. Mothers jumped back with surprised, scared squeals; they snatched their children up and quickly left the gorillas.

The herd of mothers and babies and toddlers came right at us. Little boys cried; some mothers laughed, finding the whole thing funny now that it was over, others talked animatedly while a few concentrated on calming their scared children. Quite a few safari themed diapers sagged, the white plastic tinged yellow.

“JUST LOOK AT YOU! YOU PEED YOUR PANTS!.” The frizzy haired female with a bad boob job thundered as she stomped along. She held the wrist of the little boy with spiked hair. He sobbed, tears streaming down his face and his orange balloon bobbing crazily as the mother yanked him along.

“BABY!” the little boy pleaded, “THIS ISN’T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! THAT STUPID GORILLA MADE ME DO IT!” he hollered back, voice scratchy, squeaky. “HONEST!”

None of them noticed us as they passed but I stepped closer to Skye anyway. The people following behind us abruptly turned away after witnessing that spectacle. It made me pause, too. But not Skye. Oh, no. Of course not. And she held my hand so I had little choice but to crinkle along behind her. We had the entire viewing area to ourselves. The glass hadn’t even cracked. We were safe. So why was my heart hammering in my chest like a gorilla playing the drums?

“Well, that was something. I knew today would be an interesting day. I feel so lucky. Don’t you just love babies, Gavi-poo?” Skye beamed at me.

“Um….yeah….sure…” I blushed, sensing she meant more than she was letting on. Then again, this was Skye. Who knew what was going on in her head? I looked at the glass; the gorillas still sat there with the mother cradling her baby. The baby squirmed, stretching then latched onto his mother’s nipple and nursed. He rolled onto his side, revealing his little white bottom. He was all black except for the white fur covering his tiny bottom.

“Aww! How cute! He looks almost like you!” Skye giggled in delight.

My brows furrowed. “How? What are you talking about?” Just how did I resemble a baby primate?

“It looks like he’s wearing a diaper. And you’re wearing a diaper!” Skye laughed.

I blushed, staring at the nursing baby. An image of me as a baby, nursing at Skye’s breast while her hand rubbed my soggy diapered bottom filled my head. I shook my head to get rid of that horrible, awful image. I abruptly turned around, storming away with a crinkling thunder. What was wrong with me?

“Gavin! I’m sorry, I was just teasing!” Skye hollered as she swiftly caught up with me, taking my hand in hers again.

“It’s fine. I’m just tired of monkeys. Let’s go do something else.” I sighed, wishing I could crawl under a rock and hide. If Skye ever knew my thoughts….I shook my head, walking faster.

Skye skipped along at my side. “Now where?”

“This way!” I called, blindly taking a path. Anywhere away from the baby gorilla with the white fur on his bum. Diaper butt. Just like me. But somehow, deep inside, that phrase didn’t sound so bad. I mean, we had passed all those clowns and workers in diapers. And all the padding around my bottom felt quite nice. Almost reassuring. It was still embarrassing and weird. But also kinda nice.

Skye glanced up at a sign. “Oooh. Petting zoo! What fun!” She chirped and loped ahead with her long stride, once more taking the lead. I blindly followed her away from the exhibits, lost in my thoughts.

Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

“Well, look at this, Gavi-poo,” Skye pointed me to the pen of animals in the distance. “This could be fun,” she offered. “Feed the safer animals. Pet them. Get a little messy. How’s that sound?”

I shrugged noncommittally “Could be fun, I guess. But what about…uh?” I gestured to my bottom half. No one might have taken note of me at the gorilla exhibit. There had been more clowns and vendors nearby the gorilla exhibits, still handing out gift bags and balloons and drinks. I wasn’t the only one my age wearing a ridiculous prop.

I didn’t think I’d have much luck of that coincidence at an exhibit targeted at actual babies. What if the parents there thought I was some kind of weirdo or something?

“What about uh?” She gestured to my bottom half. “You don’t need to be embarrassed about that.”


“Honey,” Skye cut me off and drew me close, nuzzling my forehead like a cat. “I take my clothes off for tips, and I’m not embarrassed. I just own it and nobody can embarrass me for it. Just own being a cute boy in a diaper today and no one will be able to embarrass you, either.”

“But-” I started to whine and protest.

“Own it, Gavin. Own it,” she encouraged me. “Besides, I bet you won’t be the only big boy in diapers out there. Now let’s go play in the petting zoo. It’ll be fun!”

As we came up to the pen, Skye was only half right. I wasn’t the only boy in diapers, but I was definitely the only big one. Every other diapered person in the pen was maybe three or four, at the most. All of the little boys appeared to be in scaled down versions of what I was wearing, safari print diaper included. You’d think one of them would be wearing Pampers or Huggies or Luvs. Were all the mothers just eager to use up the free diapers gifted to them?

As we drew closer to the petting zoo pen, it felt like we left the world of exotic animals and entered Old MacDonald’s Farm. The cement path gave way to dirt and grass. Sprinkled around the big interaction pen were small, bright red wooden barns, each one housing different animals for the petting zoo. Leafy trees provided sun-speckled shade. A zoo employee slouched, dozing on a stool by the gate. She wore the green zoo shirt and khaki shorts. No diaper for her.

Inside the pen was a conglomeration of common barnyard animals- baby sheep, piglets, chickens, goats, lamps, and even a llama. They all mingled together while little kids wandered about, feeding and petting them. The pen itself wasn’t mud as much as it was wet dirt, with hay sprinkled about it. I suppose what it lacked in aesthetics made for easier mucking and cleaning out.

A baby billy goat trotted up to all the toddlers and begged and bahhed for pellets of food A couple of hens, followed close behind pecking up what the greedy little goat dropped, a yellow chick close on their heels.

A little lamb followed its mother around the pen. Wherever she went, it went A sow laid in the mud in the far corner with her piglet, both taking mid morning naps.

“So,” I asked, Skye “What do we do?”

“We get some kibble from the dispensers, silly,” Skye nudged me. Not five feet from us was a clear plastic casing, with a little turn crank, like with a gumball machine. Instead of gumballs, though, there were innumerable little brown pellets. A sticker on the front read “25 cents”. I didn’t have any quarters on me, but a quick look around showed a change machine next to a few overpriced soda machines.

“Seems easy enough,” I said reaching for my wallet out of habit. Instead of my back pocket, my hand slid against the smooth, soft plastic covering my ass. My ears filled with a slight crinkle as a reward for my mistake.

“Skye!” My voice rose in a panic. “My wallet! It’s still in-”

“Right here, Gavi-kins,” Skye smirked as she dug into her purse, dangling my wallet by her thumb and forefinger. “I made sure to dig this out in the bathroom earlier when I was changing your pee-pee pants.”

“Skyyyyye!” I whined.

“Own it, Gavin. Own it. No one’s looking anyways.”

Hot faced, I held out my hand, palm up to take my wallet.

“Nope,” Skye said, dropping my wallet daintily back into her purse. “You don’t have any pockets. Besides, today’s my treat. Be right back, Gavi-poo!” She swished and skipped away to the change machine, leaving me alone by a playpen for baby animals and their mothers.

I leaned over and looked at the action going on. The children were behaving oddly. There were no squeals or shouts or giggles or crying, like I had expected. Instead, I saw a bunch of toddlers and pre-schoolers crinkling around in the mud, quietly feeding and petting the animals. They were well behaved. They were gentle. Some of them, I saw, made regular checks and looks around, blushing, like the animals were an afterthought and they were looking for something else.

They were all like little versions of me.

If anything, their mothers were rowdier than they were, cheering them on from the side lines with cooing cheers of “That’s right, sweetie!”, " You can do it!" “Enjoy yourself!” and “Go Play!”’

Something caught my eye in the dirt that threw me off a bit: Footprints. Lots of them were all over the place on the ground. Big foot prints, and shoe marks littered the mud and hay covered pen. They were too big to be women’s footprints by the looks of them, not on average anyways. Maybe Skye was right, maybe I wasn’t the only adult who had come to the petting zoo today.

Catty corner from where the two pigs slept, was a hay filled pen within the pen. Two rabbits, a mother and her kit, hopped around in their private little pen. That was odd, I realized. Bunnies didn’t typically have only one baby at a time. Neither did pigs, now that I thought about it. Same with lions and wolves. Yet each of those exhibits had only a single male cub.

Something strange was going on here. When the tour guide had mentioned that there had been a breakthrough in veterinary fertility treatments, hence the mother and cub theme, I had just thought they had found a way to make the animals mate. Maybe it wasn’t as simple as that. Maybe the animals, forced into pregnancy, had lots of miscarriages or unhealthy babies, leaving only one baby per mother, even in animals that birthed litters.

“Hey Skye,” I waved my girlfriend over as she came back with some quarters. “Something’s weird about this zoo.”

“Don’t be silly, Gavin,” Skye waved off my concerns, “you’re just imagining things.” Her body tensed for a minute.

“No, seriously,” I pressed on. “There are a lot of baby animals here.”

“Well yeah,” Skye relaxed when she realized what I was talking about.

“But there aren’t enough baby animals.” I told her. “Animals that birth litters still only have one baby a piece. Maybe this treatment their using to make mothers is a little shady.”

“Huh…” Skye seemed to mull it over. “You are too clever by half, Gavi-kins. I hadn’t thought of that. I’m impressed, big boy.” I practically exploded with pride at the compliment.

“Now detective Gavi-kins, why don’t you do the honor and get the first bit of feed?” she handed me a quarter and gestured towards the kibble machine.

“Don’t you want to do it?” I asked, trying to avoid getting in the dirt and the muck with all of those little kids.
“I do,” Skye admitted, “I really do. But when I take my turn, I’m going to take a reeeeeeally long time, so I thought you’d want to go first and get some fun in feeding the little critters.” she lazily tilted her head to the side.

“Why can’t we both go at the same time?” I asked. Skye tilted her head to the other side as she thought about it.

“We coooould,” she replied. “But then I wouldn’t get to stare at your cute little butt bending over when you feed the animals without people noticing, and then you wouldn’t get to stare at mine on my turn.” She blushed a little and licked her lips seductively.

“Oh you are bad!” I guffawed from sheer shock.

“Yeah I am,” she flirted. “Now are you gonna go out there and give me a little show, or what?”

“Yes ma’am!” I practically saluted before crinkling off to get some pellets. I speed walked over to the machine and slipped my quarter into the little slot. I grabbed the rectangular knob and gave it a twist, making the quarter vanish as a handful of kibble spilled out into the waiting chamber below.

I lifted the shiny metal flap and kibble poured into my open hand. It was time for this incredibly awkward day to start becoming enjoyable. I turned from the pellet dispenser to stare about the pen and wondered where to start. I quietly observed the little kids and the baby animals. Two kids took turns feeding a hungry and ornery baby billy goat, who practically jumped upon them in order to get to the pellets in their hands. The kids didn’t squeal or jump as I’d expected little children would. Instead, both little boys got bug eyed and quietly tried to scamper away from the energetic baby goat, who just followed them until he found another little boy who was crouched over to feed a little lamb. The goat jumped, practically crawling over the docile lamb to shove his own head into the little boy’s hand and steal the lamb’s pellets.

All these little kids in diapers. Just like me. I blushed and tried to shove that thought out of my head. Instead I concentrated more on the animals. I walked around the outskirts of the pen a little. At the other end of the pen was a little black boy standing close to his mother. He’d lured the baby llama over with the pellets and just stood there, calmly petting the fluffy, dirty coat as the animal licked pellets from his hand. He giggled and babbled at the animal, tilting his head back to grin at his mother with some drool running down his face.

I smiled at the scene. Then I giggled when something soft and wet tickled my toes. I looked down and jumped back in surprise to see a rotund little piglet grunting and snuffling about my feet. Through the thick layer of dirt and dust and drying mud, the pink skin poked through in patches. I wobbled slightly on the uneven ground then fell with a thump and a crinkle. Luckily the diaper was so thick, and the edge of the pen was more grass than dirt. Between both the grass and diaper padding, my fall was cushioned. Some pellets fell from my clenched fist and landed by my feet. I sat, stunned and just staring as the piglet quickly gobbled the dropped food up before any other animals could. Then he went back to sniffing around my feet.

The pig kept nibbling on my toes. I sat there, padded rump in the dirt, giggling as the oinker kept licking and tickling my toesies with its tongue. Heh. The little piggie was nibbling on my little piggies. That thought made me feel incredibly witty and clever. I had to tell Skye that one when I got back over to her at the edge of the pen.

Slop slammed into my left ear as a thick, pudgy finger jammed something into it from behind me.

“CRUDDY CARL!” A nasal, almost repugnant voice shouted loud enough to reverberate the gunk so rudely placed in my ear. Without thinking, I clapped the palm of my hand over my ear and rolled to the right, avoiding my attacker. I quickly scrambled to my feet. Without thinking, I scraped the mud out of my ear and wiped it on my t-shirt. I looked around, trying to lay eyes upon my assailant.

He wasn’t to my left. He wasn’t to my right. Then I looked straight down in front of me. Standing in front of me, hands on his hips and his chin held high was some obnoxious little brat. His dark brown hair was short and wet as if someone had just run water over it recently. I could make out some blonde highlights at the tips of the bedraggled mess. What kind of douche dyed a kid’s hair, anyways?

He was a fat little cuss, too. He was the kind of fat that substituted for muscle on the playground before puberty. His sleeveless top and basketball shorts did very little to hide the diaper bulge underneath. Around his wrist, an orange balloon bobbed at its tether.

He sneered at me more than smiled. His dark brown eyes twinkled with complete disdain for anyone who wasn’t him. This was a brat. The kind of brat that grew up to be a bully who grew up to be a complete and total tool.

“Get it kid?” The pudgy, pug nosed preschooler smiled up at me, his expression complete three year old arrogance. “It’s a Cruddy Carl instead of a Wet Willy, cuz I got some mud in your ear too.”

Kid? Kid? I wasn’t a kid, even if I was in a diaper with stupid looking cartoon animals. He didn’t have any right to address an adult like that. Somebody had to set this brat straight. I reared up to my full height glowering down at the little rugrat. He stared back at me defiantly, not even flinching.

“Meh,” the little punk grunted. “You’re too dumb to get it. You’re just a baby,” the brat waved me off and turned to walk away back towards the pig.

“Excuse me?!” my nostrils flared, and I put some bass in my voice. “What did you just call me, young man?” He looked back over to me, his brow raised quizzically, like he was taking me in.

“I called you a baby, punk. What about it?”

My blood turned hot. No way was I letting some little bastard talk to me like that. I dashed around and faced him, stared him down his pug nose and pudgy double chin.

“I am not a baby,” I growled.

“Then why are you wearin’ a diaper?” he asked, his arms crossed, a cocky smirk plastered on his face.

My blood froze. How did I counter that in a way a three year old would understand?

“I-I’m getting into the spirit of things here,” I lied. “Everybody is doing it. It’s like a costume.”

“Looks like a diaper to me,” he retorted.

“It’s NOT,” I spat. “It’s just a costume.”

“Did you pee your pants today?” the little brat said, still leaving his arms crossed.

“Uh…” I hesitated, “no!”

“Yeah, you did.” the punk called my bluff. “You pissed yourself and your mommy had to change your wet pants for a dry diaper, didn’t she?” He thumbed back to where Skye was waiting for me to finish playing. “All the little babies are wearing their zoo diapers today. They were being given away in the gift bags.”

I glanced around. Walking by, I saw mothers and their children walking, being carried, and pushed in strollers rolling by. The ones whose diapers were out in the open all looked identical to mine. There were even a couple kids just like that playing in the petting zoo with us.

“Skye’s not my mom,” I took the easiest defense.

“Pfft,” the preschooler snorted, “Okay, you’re babysitter, or your cousin, or big sister. Whatever. She still wiped your ass and put that diaper on you. You’re still a baby.” I was beginning to shake with rage. I’d never wanted to beat a kid before, but there was a first time for everything.

“What about your diaper?” I pointed to the obvious bulge in his pants. “You’re wearing a diaper, too!”

“Am not!” the little punk snapped at me, for the first time on the defensive. “I am not wearing a diaper, you little baby!”

“Looks like a diaper to me,”. Now it was my term to give a smug grin and cross my arms.

“It’s not!” he screamed at me. And without warning, almost as if he wasn’t even thinking about it, he yanked his basketball shorts down past his knees. I got a good gander at what he was wearing. Well, it wasn’t a safari diaper, but that’s where the differences all but stopped.

It was bulky and full of padding. It was light blue with little drawings of racecars all over it, and it had a plastic sheen. It bulged in all the right areas even though there were no tapes holding it together. They were training pants. Old fashioned non-disposable, machine washable, training pants; like the kind that people used before Pull-Ups were a thing. I think I’d even seen that exact same design on a random google search of mine the other night. You find the darndest things on Google by accident. Don’t hit “I’m Feelin’ Lucky” unless you mean it.

It was time for a little childish psychology.

“Pull your pants up, dude,” I said, shading my eyes as if he had done something obscene. Beginning to blush, the little brat shimmied his shorts back up to his waist.

“Yeah…well…” he paused, “see, I told you they’re not diapers.”

“They looked an awful lot like diapers to me,” I replied confidently.

“Nuh-uh!” he spat. “They don’t look a thing like what you’re wearin!”

“They’re big and puffy like a diaper,” I stated.

“Yeah…” the brat was an animal walking into a trap, and he knew it, yet he didn’t dare disengage. He wanted to, no needed to see where this was going.

“And I bet they crinkle like a diaper,” I kept on. It was a safe bet given the plastic.

“Yeah….” the little punk agreed, reluctantly.

“And I bet you pee in them like a diap-”

“Ha!” the kid cut me off, pointing his finger at me like he had found an error in my logic. “They’re not for going pee-pee in!”

“What are they for then?” I asked, still maintaining my smug facade.

“They’re for just in case.” he said, confidently.

“Just in case, what?” I prompted him.

“Just in case I forget to go potty…I mean to the bathroom.” Oh this was too good.

“So if you don’t go to the bathroom,” I lead him along my train of thought, “and you pee in your pants, those things soak up the pee so your pants don’t get wet?”

“Yeah…?” he agreed, still not seeing

“How is that not what a diaper is for?”

“I….I….I….” the snot nosed brat stuttered

“I’m just sayin’, dude,” I looked down at him. “If it looks like a diaper, and sounds like a diaper, and does what a diaper does…it’s a diaper.”

“But…” the kid paused.

“I mean, I just started wearing this thing today,” I gestured to the zebra and lion infested bulge around my waist. “You probably woke up in a wet diaper just like that one this morning.”

“DID NOT!” the punk screamed, shaking his head furiously. “I JUST HADDA ACCIDENT! These were just in the gift bags and I didn’t have nothin’ else to wear!”

“You had an accident, and you think I’m the baby?” I asked incredulously, ignoring my own hypocrisy. Little kid logic was so much easier than adult logic sometimes. “Wait a minute…” a lightbulb of recognition lit up over my head. “Didn’t I see you by the gorilla exhibit about fifteen minutes or so ago?”

The kid paused. “Nnn…No!” Oh this brat knew how to be an asshole, but he was a terrible liar.

“Oh my gosh!” I cried out. “Yeah you were!”

“Nuh uh!” he denied

“Uh huh!” I corrected. “You were the one who was messing with the gorillas and peed your pants when they messed back!”

“Sometimes people have accidents, you little baby!” the kid was getting red faced now. “That doesn’t mean that I’m not an adul…a grown uh…a big boy! I’m a big boy!”

“Well I hate to break it to you, ‘big boy’” I pressed on, keeping him emotionally off balance. “But those training pants didn’t come in your gift bag. My gift bag didn’t have training pants in them. Did those shorts come with the gift bag too?”

He nodded, his eyes darting around furiously as he connected dots that he hadn’t seen.

“Yeah…no they didn’t,” I asserted. “That means you’re either lying to me, or someone slipped them into the gift bag.”

“I’m not lying!” The brat stomped his foot. “Somebody tricked me! Somebody put these things in the bag!”

“So that means someone knew you were going to have an accident,” I hissed to him. “Somebody knew you were going to wet your pants and prepared for it.” The kid’s eyes widened with realization.

“They knew you were going to piss your pants and tricked you into putting on that diaper by telling you it was something big kids wore, and you fell for it. You wet your pants and put on that diaper because they knew…” I leaned in closer so I could look him dead in the eye. “You. Are. A. Baby.”


The little brat just hocked a loogie in my eyes! Mucus and saliva dripped off my face while the pudgy little punk stomped off in angry victory, his orange balloon bobbing behind him. That son of a bitch! I was fuming as I wiped the remains of his attack and smeared it on the side of my t-shirt. I wanted to hit him. Hypothetically, I’ve never supported corporal punishment, but right then, I had never wanted to beat a child’s ass more than right then.

Then I got an idea. An awful idea. I got a wonderful, awful, idea!

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Re: Of Leopards and Their Spots

I see where it’s going, but for the life of me I can’t see how it’s going to get there…