It Won't Be Over by Christmas

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When his mother dreams that the war won't be over by Christmas, and that he and all the other boys from school will be killed in the trenches, John changes his name to Joan and everything else flows from that.

Author's Note: This story contains non-violent rape, under-age sex, and cross dressing.

IT WON'T BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS
by Lin Dale

It's not often I think back to the start of it all. Strangely enough, it was that book by Charles Darwin that I came across in the library the other day, which started me thinking, back to when I was fourteen. I lived just with my mother, then, my father having died of consumption a few years previously.

I was generally considered a bit of a weed. The other boys at school despised me and called me a sissy or a pansy. The girls in the class all doted on the biggest and strongest boys such as George, Charley and Tom Shepherd, who lived next door to me and made my life hell. No girls, it seemed, wanted to walk out with me.

I had left school a few months previously and gotten a job as a delivery boy for the local butcher. Not much of a job but it was better than nothing. I really didn't seem to have much future in those days.

One night, I heard Mum screaming and I knew she was having one of her dreams again.

"No! No! No!" She was yelling at the top of her voice.

I slipped out of bed, lit a candle and went next door to my mum's bedroom.

"Mum."

She was thrashing around, punching the air and arching her back; the sweat was pouring from her.

"Mum. It's me, John. It's just one of your dreams. Wake up, Mum, Wake up."

Mum had these terrifying nightmares from time to time, which totally devastated her. I pulled the bedclothes off her, then hurriedly looked away as I realised her nightdress was around her waist and her hairy bush was in full view.

"John?" My mum grabbed me and hugged me to her. "Oh John, you're safe. Thank God! I thought you were dead."

"It's all right, Mum. I'm here with you."

"But not for long," she sobbed.

That brought me up short. Several of Mum's past dreams have been suspiciously like premonitions. Not exactly right, but close enough to make you wonder. Last year she'd dreamt of a terrible train accident and three months later there was that collision between two trains travelling from Carlisle to London, leaving over fifty people dead or injured. The point was that Carlisle is not that far away from our village and we'd travelled there only the week before Mum's premonition, using that same train line.

Then, just after Christmas, she had this dream that some posh bloke called Frank would be shot dead. Six months later, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated somewhere abroad, which got us into the skirmish we're in now.

I couldn't decide about it. I mean, maybe when we'd gone on that railway, Mum had noticed how sloppy the operations had been, put two and two together and had a dream about it. And when she dreamt about the shooting, everyone thought it was the local squire who was going to be shot, rather than some bloke in a country I'd never heard of. Our squire's name was Frances Williams and he was always hunting and shooting. You could say these things were just coincidence, but I really, really wanted to know why she thought I was dead.

"What is it, Mum? What was the dream about?"

"It's not going to be over by Christmas," she said.

"What? This little scuffle with Kaiser Bill, you mean?"

"It's going to go on and on for years. All the men will have to go and fight in horrible conditions, and thousands and thousands will be killed." She looked at me and hugged me closer. "You were there, and all your friends were with you, walking with your guns towards the enemy looking so brave. But the Bosch had machine guns. You were shot in the leg… and you lay in a muddy heap with all your friends… Most were dead but some, like you, were terribly wounded. You kept crying out for help for days, but no one came until eventually everyone stopped moaning, and your body..."

The banging on our front door startled us both. "Everything all right, there, Mrs Walker?"

It was Mr Shepherd, from next door. It wasn't the first time he'd been awoken by one of Mum's dreams and come to investigate.

I went over to the window, but just before I opened it, Mum whispered to me. "Don't tell him what the dream was about."

I threw open the window and called down. "Hello, Mr Shepherd. I'm sorry we've woken you. It's just Mum having another of her silly dreams."

"Oh aye? What was it about?"

The news of Mum's premonitions was well known. I looked at her and she shook her head.

"It's all a bit confused at the moment, Mr Shepherd. It may be nothing. Thanks for coming round." I closed the window and turned back to Mum. "Why didn't you want me to tell Mr Shepherd about it?"

"Because his three boys were all with you. And they all died with you."

"Oh." I thought for a little. "Look, Mum, it's only a dream. It's not for real."

"It was real enough to me. I know it's going to happen and we can't do anything to stop it."

"Mum, it really might be over by Christmas."

"It will be a great war which will go down in history books. All the men will go and fight, and many will never return, or they'll come back terribly injured. Britain will be depleted of men. We've got to stop it happening."

"I don't think Mr Asquith is going to take much notice of us, Mum."

"Nothing will prevent the great war," Mum said. "We have to stop you being sent to the trenches."

"I'm only fourteen, Mum. I'm too young."

"I've told you, this will go on for years and years. At first, they'll rely on volunteers, and there'll be tremendous pressure on everyone to go. Even boys as young as you will be volunteering. Later on, they'll conscript all men."

I said it to lighten the tension a little – and maybe, if I'm being honest, because it was one of those little dreams I'd had which normally, wild horses wouldn't drag out of me. "Perhaps I should dress up as a girl. They'll never send girls to war."

Mum gasped a little and stared at me, looking me up and down. "Oh, John. Would you be prepared to do that?"

I tried not to shout out in excitement. I made my voice casual and unconcerned. "S'pose so. Do you really think it would work?"

More looking up and down. "You have a very slender body and a pretty face."

"I know." That's the reason I'd always been bullied at school, but thankfully, that was over now.

"We'd need to pad you out in places."

I blushed bright red. "You mean, boobies?"

Mum smiled. "If you're going to be a girl, it's no good getting embarrassed every time you mention them."

"No, Mum."

"Let's go back to sleep now and think over what we're talking about. If you want to change your mind in the morning, I'll quite understand. But if we go ahead, we'll need to prepare carefully. And it will mean moving away from here. Somewhere far away, so we're never likely to meet anyone who knows you as John Walker rather than Joan Walker."

"Joan Walker?"

"Just one letter different, so hardly any change at all." We both knew the change we were considering was enormous. "Remember, not a word to anyone about our special project. Simply tell them I said the war won't be over by Christmas and it will be very horrible.

"Yes, Mum."

***

"Morning, John. You look as though you've hardly slept all night. Have you decided to change your mind?"

I'd decided that all her talk about a great war and all the men being killed in the trenches was all poppycock. But the idea of having a brilliant reason to dress up and live the life of a girl was incredibly exhilarating. She was right that I'd hardly slept a wink all night but that was because of the excitement soaring through me.

"Morning, Mum. The idea's certainly weird but I'm willing to have a go if you think it's really necessary. That it's the only way of saving my life."

She looked lovingly me and said, "I do, Joan."

It took a second for me to notice that last word. "Mu-um."

"We have time to plan this carefully. I'll start looking for another job down south, somewhere." Mum was a nurse to a rich old man called Mr Farrow, who she said was senile, but to me he sounded crazy. He needed continual looking after, even his bottom wiping. Yuk!

"Just a temporary job, I think," she continued, "whilst you're changing from being a boy to a girl, so if there are any slip ups, we can move on after a few months somewhere else."

"Why will it take so long to change from a boy to a girl?" I asked. "Surely, it's just a matter of putting on a dress."

"I think you'll find it more complicated than that," she said. "But first you need to try on some clothes. Mr Farrow's granddaughter, Joyce, is a few years older than you and she's always calling round to see him. I'll ask her if she has any cast offs for my niece who's coming to see me."

I tried to be brusque with my, "Sounds a good idea," but in reality, my heart was pounding. I'd seen Joyce occasionally walking through the village and she was so beautiful and wore the prettiest dresses you ever did see. The idea of getting into her clothes was almost making me explode with excitement.

***

When Mum arrived home the following evening, I wanted to charge out and shout, "Have you got me some pretty dresses?" but I knew that would be fatal, so I sat nervously waiting for her to come in and tell me.

Even after she'd entered the kitchen, and sat down, she still didn't talk about it. Eventually, I had to venture a, "Did you speak to Joyce about the dresses?"

"She's bringing some in tomorrow," Mum said.

And with that, I had to be content.

***

The following day I had to go through almost the same rigmarole, but this time Mum said, "She brought in some lovely clothes, actually. The problem is they're so pretty, I don't even think you'll want to try them on. I was hoping she'd give me a plain dress that wasn't that much different from the clothes you currently wear, but I could hardly refuse these."

"It's good of you to think about me, Mum," I said. "But if they are pretty clothes, aren't they likely to make me seem more like a girl than a boy."

Mum looked at me and I thought she'd realised how I was feeling. "Do you know, John?" she said. "And I mean John and not Joan, I'm very proud of the way you're hiding your true feelings in order to indulge me and my fantastic dreams. But I do believe what I dreamt is really going to happen, you know?"

"Of course I know that, Mum, which is why I'm happy to go along with it. And if the war is over by Christmas we can have a good laugh about it and properly celebrate."

"Well, you'll certainly have some lovely dresses to wear for the celebrations," Mum said. "I'll go and get them." She smiled at my blush, but she couldn't know that my heart was beating like crazy.

***

There were five dresses along with some underwear, and my heart almost burst as I looked at everything. But Mum made me take a bath before trying anything on, which always takes so long as we have to drag the bath in from the outhouse and then fill it, bucket by bucket from the boiler behind the kitchen fire. Mum went and fetched her soap which she used for special occasions, so I came out smelling not of Lifebuoy, but of an unimaginable sweetness.

Fortunately, it was freezing cold in the kitchen by the time I'd finished and I was shivering, with my jewels shrivelled up so small there was no chance of my Percy getting stiff. When I'd first clapped eyes on the dresses, I'd had an immediate boner, something I was terrified of showing in front of my mum.

Mum pulled a slip over my head and down my body, and then was fastening something around my stomach with lots of strings to it.

"Mum, it's a corset," I gasped. Never mind, the cold, I could feel my boner starting to reappear, but Mum was already tightening the strings, and the bottom of the corset cut sharply across the top of Percy.

"Ouch," I gasped as it shrivelled up again.

"Stop being a namby pamby," Mum said. "It just shows that girls are much tougher than boys."

"Yes, Mum." Phew, she hadn't noticed anything.

Then we were trying on the pretty dresses. They were all so beautiful but none of them quite fitted me. Of course, Joyce had much bigger boobies than me, and also a much bigger bum and hips, and we tried various ways of improvising padding. For my boobies, we found that socks filled with flour made the right kind of shape but they were hard and unyielding.

"Go on, squeeze my breast, just to see what they should feel like," Mum ordered.

"Mu-um."

"You're a girl now so it's completely all right," Mum said. "Go on, give them a squeeze."

So I gave them a squeeze and they were soft and… yummy. I had an immediate boner. I mean, how weird is that? Squeezing my mum's titties and Percy getting ideas of… I blushed red.

"We really need to find a way of giving you boobies like that," Mum said, "then you'll be able to squeeze them over and over until you stop getting embarrassed about them.

"And that's something else we'll have to take care of," she said, nodding downwards where Percy was tenting out the front of my dress.

"I'm sorry, Mum," I whimpered.

"Better for us to see these problems now than when you're at a meeting of the Ladies' Circle," she said.

"Mum, what are we going to do?" I asked. "All these beautiful clothes and I'm still going to look like a boy."

"I'm just wondering," Mum said, "if there's a way in which we might get your chest to grow boobies, but I need to talk to a doctor about it."

"Grow boobies?" Had Mum gone as crazy as Mr Farrow?

"It's just an idea. Dr Bradford is coming to see Mr Farrow tomorrow so I'll talk to him about it. I won't mention your name, of course. I'll simply say a pigeon-chested woman was asking me about it. We'll talk about it tomorrow."

***

"It's only an idea, Joan, but we're going to have a try at making your boobies grow."

"You're teasing me, Mum, aren't you?"

"It's a bit of an experiment at the moment, but I'm going to inject your breast tissue with salt water. That should temporarily increase your breast size."

"But if it's only temporary…"

"I've brought some needles home, so let's give it a try and see what happens."

"All right." Thankfully, Mum being a nurse meant I'd quickly got used to injections. "When do you want to do it?"

"Let's eat first, then you can have a good wash of your chest area and we'll make a start."

***

"You want to stick that in me? It's enormous. It's like one of things you use in cooking."

"It's big because we need to inject a reasonable amount of water to have any effect. It won't work if I inject a tiny amount."

To be honest, I was torn. The size of that needle terrified me, but on the other hand, the idea of having my very own soft, squashy boobies was irresistible. "Do your worst, Mum," I said.

***

I thought that huge needle going into my chest area was the worst pain I'd ever felt. She stuck the needle in, well over an inch below my nipple, angled sharply upwards and kept pushing upwards until it was directly behind my nipple. I relaxed, as she appeared satisfied with the position.

"All right, Joan. I think you need to prepare yourself for the painful part," she said.

"Painful part?" I gasped. "I thought we'd just done that."

"Of course not," she said. "I'm going to force water into an area where there is no room for it. I think it will probably sting quite a lot. Just remember, this pain is nothing compared to that you'd get in childbirth if you really were a girl."

I gritted my teeth. "Yes, Mum. Do your worst."

***

It was nothing like the pain you'd get in childbirth; it was far worse! But at the end, instead of a screaming brat, I had two gorgeous breasts.

Not that big, you understand, but very, very beautiful.

"What do you think?" Mum asked trying to read the expression on my face.

"It feels really strange, Mum." I was very pleased with myself over that under statement.

"You'll get used to it," she said. "Girls always do."

No way was I going to get used to these beauties. I'd be playing with them for evermore. "But how am I going to work tomorrow with breasts like these?"

"As I said, they're only temporary so maybe we'll have to bandage your chest for a few days to hide them."

"But Mum," I asked, "if they're only temporary, what was the point of doing this tonight? Are you going to have to do this every night from now on?"

"I wanted to get the measure of how difficult it was," she said, "and how much liquid it would take for reasonably sized breasts. Each of your breasts have one cupful of water inside them. We'll see how quickly they reduce in size, but in answer to your question, I'm hopeful that we won't have to keep injecting more liquid. I have some ideas for that which I'll tell you about later."

***

By morning, my beautiful breasts had reduced to almost half their size. Mum had warned me, of course, but it was still a terrible loss. I'd woken throughout the night and played with my titties, and another part of my anatomy as well until I'd fallen into a deep sleep. It seemed just a few minutes after my most recent playing that Mum was shaking me awake.

"Let me see them," she said. After inspecting them carefully, she said, "Well, I think the experiment worked well. They have reduced rather more quickly than I expected, but that does mean you can go to work without any bandage to conceal them."

"But what about doing it properly, Mum," I asked. "Are we going to have to do that every morning before the day starts?"

"Now we know it works," she said, "I'm going to find something better to inject you with, so you won't have any more pain or the inconvenience of having breasts until just before we leave here."

"That's great, Mum," I said, but inside I knew I was going to miss my lovely breasts like crazy.

***

The postman called that morning, an unusual event in our household. Mum opened the letter and gasped in delight.

"I've got a new job," she said. "It's a lady called Mrs Rollington-ffrench, who lives in Buckinghamshire. She's looking after her elderly mother but wants to travel to France to meet her husband who's on leave from the army for a few days. I'll have to give a week's notice to Mr Farrow's daughter but hopefully we'll be able to leave on Saturday week.

"The really good part is that apart from cook and housemaid, we'll be on our own. I suggested that you could be the maid assisting me with Mrs Rollington-ffrench's mother."

"You want me to be a maid?" Heck, I'd seen maids up at the squire's house and they looked so pretty. What I wouldn't give to wear one of their smart uniforms.

"I know you'll think being a maid demeaning, Joan, but you'll have to get used to doing a girl's job now. I'm sorry."

"I agreed to do this, Mum, and I have to take the rough with the smooth." Yes! Yes! Yes! Life was getting better and better.

"Good girl." She hesitated a little and then added, "There's something else I need to sort out and that's the problem you have down below. We can't keep having that thing sticking out of your dress."

I blushed. "I'm sorry, Mum. I'll make certain it doesn't happen again."

"You can't," she said. "Male erections are entirely involuntary. There's nothing you can do about them. But I can."

I thought of all the sharp knives she had in her medical bag and said, "Mum, no. It's one thing to give me breasts; quite another to cut off my Percy."

She laughed. "You silly girl. I don't want you to be a girl forever. I want you to have lots of children when this is all over. There'll be so many boys who don't come back from the war, the girls will be queuing up for a pretty boy like you. Anyway, the important thing is that we stop those nasty erections from exposing our whole charade. And too much masturbation can cause problems. It will make you blind and infertile and all kinds of horrible things. I think a chastity belt is the answer."

"Oh." I didn't actually know what a chastity belt was; presumably something you tie around your waist and it conceals your Percy better. And I certainly didn't like the idea of that masturbation thing. Presumably, it was some kind of infection you could catch if you weren't careful. I always washed my hands after a piss or a wank, but I knew some of my mates at school never did. "I don't know much about that, Mum, but if you think that's best I'm happy to go along with it."

"That's so good of you, Joan. Of course, girls never masturbate, anyway. They simply have no capabilities in that respect, and it's important we make you as girl-like as possible. I'll get one made for you."

"Right, Mum." What the heck was she talking about? But I knew she had totally flipped with her final words.

"I'll go and see the blacksmith today."

***

The next week was spent in preparing for our move to Buckinghamshire. It was a funny sounding name and I thought they must all be very funny people to live there. But Mum got some packing cases and we filled them with all our things. As it got closer to our final day, it became more and more difficult to live our daily lives because so often we'd packed things away which we needed. All except for my dresses, that is. Mum and I had agreed the dress I was going to travel in to Buckinghamshire and all the other dresses were packed away. I used to gloat over that one dress hanging on a peg in my room.

Finally, it was the Friday before our departure day. I had already left my job so I could wait in for the carrier who was collecting the packing cases. Mum was hoping to leave work early but in fact, she was later than ever, which was a pain as she'd said we had lots of things to do when she came home.

We were catching a very early train in the morning and since we were unlikely to be seen by many people, we'd agreed that I should have my breasts and buttocks enhanced before we set out. When we departed, I'd be wearing my normal clothes over Joyce's shift and corset. As soon as we were on the train, we'd hopefully find it deserted and I could remove my clothes and slip on Joyce's beautiful dress.

Dah-dah! Suddenly, I would be Joan.

The hours dragged by uintil Mum arrived, then everything was rush, rush, rush.

"Firstly," she said, "I've collected your chastity belt from the blacksmiths. It's a very fine device. Come to the kitchen and we'll put it on you straightaway."

"Why the kitchen, Mum?"

"It's cold in there so we won't get any of those nasty erections."

I felt myself blushing. She was right. We both went to the kitchen and she made me strip off. I held a towel around my middle. She rummaged in her bag. "It's in two parts. The first is the belt." She pulled a metal strap from her bag. It looked like a normal waist belt with holes punched in the one end, only it was made of metal and had a rivet protruding from the other end. Fixed to the middle of the belt, another short length of strap hung down. Mum slipped the belt around my waist and then pushed the rivet through one of the holes so it was a comfortable fit around my waist, with the other bit of strap hanging down towards my bum.

"The second part keeps you chaste."

I wondered who was going to chase me as she pulled another metal strap out of her bag. This piece was flat at either end but it domed in the middle and with some holes cut into it. Mum slid the buckle at the one end over the rivet fastening on the waistband and it hung down past Percy and my jewels.

"Remove the towel and open your legs a little," she ordered and I did as she said. No prizes for guessing where the strap was going. But she took me totally by surprise by grasping Percy and my jewels.

"Mum!" I gasped, shocked to the core. "What are you doing?"

"It won't hurt," she said, then squeezed my shaft in a strange way which made my jewels go in a place they clearly were never meant to go. Then she thrust the strap between my legs, pulled it from behind, and secured it to the strap hanging down my rear. There was the sound of a ratchet clicking and suddenly Percy was pointing unnaturally downwards, trapped behind the metal strap, the curve in it providing barely enough room for Percy in his current status, never mind when he got hard. Heavens knew where my jewels had disappeared. The very thought of being constrained like that made Percy want to get hard, but it was so tight, there was nowhere for him to go.

"No one's going to know you're not a girl now, even if they pull up your skirt."

"Mum, they're not likely to do that."

She smirked at me. "What a sweet girl you are. You will find there are plenty of young men who will try that. You will also occasionally find evil men who will try to force sex upon you. The chastity belt will prevent that happening. "

That made me sit up and think. Did men really behave like that? Exactly what was I letting myself in for? I decided to get back onto more comfortable ground. "Can you show me how to take it off, Mum?"

Another smirk. "You will keep this on for the time being – certainly until we have settled into our new home."

"Don't be silly, Mum. I'll need to remove it in order to take a leak."

"Only men stand up to pee," she said. "Girls squat down over the chamber pot. You'll find the holes in the belt will allow you to pee as a girl would."

My mouth sagged open a little at that. This seemed to be taking being a girl to an unnecessary level of detail. "But it'll get quite smelly, Mum. I need to take it off." You've probably realised I was more concerned about the ease with which I could have a wank, but could hardly say so.

"I have bought you a sponge," Mum said. "Fill it with water and then squeeze it against the holes in your belt where the pee comes out."

"But Mum," I said, in desperation forced to speak the words. "I'll need to wank."

"Absolutely not," she said. "Girls don't masturbate and I don't want you to. Is that understood?"

"Mum," I shouted in desperation. "I don't care about the masturbation but I really need to wank."

She looked at me, a strange look on her face, and then she roared with laughter. "Oh, you silly girl. Wanking is another word for masturbation. I'm afraid you're not going to wank for several weeks."

"Not wank for several weeks? Mum, you're kidding me, right? I must wank."

"Girls don't wank and neither will you," Mum said. "Now, let's give you some breasts."

***

I thought it would be fun being a girl. I never imagined the consequences would be like this. I was so engrossed in my thoughts I barely noticed her pulling that huge syringe out of her bag and getting it ready to stick in me.

"Anyway, Mum, what's the point of injecting my breasts now when they'll have deflated by the morning?"

"I've given it a lot of thought," she said, "and I realise the problem is that your body absorbs the water and deals with it. So this evening, I'm going to inject you with something the body won't absorb, so you'll keep your beautiful girl breasts.

"It's all right," she continued, "it's not anything harmful. We'll use one of nature's products, olive oil." She took a large bottle of olive oil off the kitchen shelf. "I prepared this earlier this week by heating it up to the boiling point of water so it's sterilised."

"Is that all right, Mum? It sounds a bit funny, squirting oil inside me."

"I've already tried it on Mr Farrow. His testicles," she paused when she saw I didn't understand, "his jewels, as you call them, had shrivelled up to almost nothing in later years. He now has a pair which are quite a lot larger than yours. And they've stayed like that for over a week."

"You injected his jewels." I cringed. "Oh, Mum, that's horrible. Did he ask you to?"

"Mr Farrow is hardly capable of asking for anything," she said. "But I knocked him out with a little ether so it didn't hurt. I think the next nurse will have quite a shock when she comes to bathe him."

"Are you going to give me ether?" I asked.

"Heavens, no. We're not touching your jewels and you're a brave girl. You're prepared to suffer a little for your beauty. Most girls are."

"Yes Mum."

It was just as painful as before, except that instead of limiting it to my breasts alone, she did my bum and hips. In the end, I had one cup of olive oil in each of my breasts, and I have to admit, they looked gorgeous – small, firm breasts that demonstrated my sex beyond doubt. But Mum also injected each of my buttocks with two cups of olive oil, and each hip with one cup. Heat me up a bit and I could fry in my own oil.

I hadn't really understood her insistence on the hips and buttocks, until I tried on the dress at the end. Wow! The way the dress flowed over my hips and bum shouted, "Girl!" in a way that a huge pair of knockers never would.

"I think we can go to bed now," she said, "knowing we can get straight off in the morning."

"Yes, Mum."

***

"Mum! Mum! I'm in agony," I cried, staggering into her bedroom in the middle of the night.

"What is it?" she asked, coming instantly awake. "Your breasts?"

"No," I shrieked. "It's my Percy. It's trying to get hard but it can't. You've got to release me from this belt."

"Don't be such a stupid baby," she said. "Let's go downstairs and put some cold water into the bath. You can sit in that until your little problem has subsided."

Suddenly, Percy didn't seem so keen on getting out. "Perhaps I'll be all right, Mum," I muttered.

"No," she commanded. "You have to learn the consequences of nasty erections. Every time you get one which becomes unbearable, you'll sit in a cold bath."

She made me do it, as well. I had to fill it with ice cold water from outside, and then sit in it. Percy had long since hidden as far as he could, but I still had to sit shivering for ten minutes in the bath. That's when Mum made the observation.

"Your breasts have got larger."

"Well, of course they have…" I started to say, after all, we'd inflated them the previous evening. But then I looked down and stared. They must have been at least twice the size they were last night. I hadn't realised that in my preoccupation with Percy they were tingling painfully, as they tried to burst out of my skin. "Mum, how can that be? It's hardly as though I've been injecting myself all night."

"I'm not certain," she said.

That knocked me out. I have never known Mum uncertain about anything medical.

"I think the important thing at the moment is to make certain you don't get any stretch marks. I'd hoped to avoid them by keeping them quite small, but I've never known anything like this. Get out of the bath and dry yourself. We can rub some cream into them to prevent the stretch marks."

As Mum rubbed in the cream, the pain I was feeling disappeared and the rubbing started to feel… well, yummy. Like really, really nice. I noticed my nipples were starting to poke out and down below, I could feel Percy starting to take an interest again. As Mum continued to rub in the cream, so he got harder and harder, but I was scared to say something to Mum because I knew she'd have me back in the icy bath without a moment's hesitation.

Eventually, I was allowed back to bed. Percy was screaming to be let out, but I ignored him; I wanted to continue squeezing my breasts.

***

"Wake up," Mum said. "It's time to get dressed and leave this place. Let me look at your breasts."

"Yes Mum," and I pulled back the sheets and sat up.

"Mmm. I think they may have increased a little, but not so quickly as before. Let me see your buttocks."

I got out of bed and twisted my head to see myself. "Blimey!" I said. "They're enormous."

"Yes," Mum said. "They are. We'll just have to get on as best we can. Rub some cream over everything before you get dressed. I'm not certain your boy clothes will even fit over that bottom but you'll have to do your best. I'll get everything else packed."

***

Fortunately, there was no one else around at that time of the day. Mum had already bought the tickets and there was no one on duty in the station, other than the signalman, who waved down at Mum from his signal box. The train arrived exactly on time, we got into an empty carriage and it set off again. And by the time it arrived at the next station, I was a fully-fledged girl.

***

The next two weeks were a maze of new experiences, too many to recall in detail, except for the overriding ones: meeting Dawn, the housemaid and the continuing growth of my lovely breasts.

Mum had a good look at them as soon as we were on the train. "I think what's probably happening is that your body is reacting to the olive oil by swelling up."

"What can we do about it, Mum?"

"I'm not certain." Those words again. "I suppose really you should see a doctor, but under the circumstances that's impossible. I'd never get a job as a nurse again if it came out that I'd done this. We'll just have to manage as best we can. Keep rubbing in the cream."

And with that, I had to be content.

***

Our journey that day consisted of many hours on trains, many hours waiting for connections and finally, a long cold ride in a pony and trap. What was so amazing was people's difference in attitude towards me. Previously, people just ignored me if I was lucky, or if not, they openly scorned or derided my puny appearance. Now, all the blokes gave me big smiles and all the women kind of sympathetic smiles as I did my best to conceal the bulges on my chest.

It was gone eight o'clock in the evening when we finally arrived at a house in deepest Buckinghamshire. Mrs Rollington-ffrench, who I immediately renamed Mrs Rolly-Poly, because of her shape, worriedly greeted us, clearly concerned we weren't going to show. She immediately took us up to see her mother who was as alert and perky as Mr Farrow had been comatose.

"Glad you could be bothered to arrive," she said, as though we hadn't spent all day travelling to this place in the middle of nowhere. I mean, if people want to live in places like that, they shouldn't moan when others take the time to go to see them! She was to be called Mrs ffrench and I was to be her personal maid, whilst Mum was to take care of her medical needs. That wasn't quite how Mum had described it but who was I to complain? Especially when Mrs Roly-Poly introduced us to Mrs Crawley, the cook, who was an amiable chubby woman, and Dawn, the housemaid who, in her black uniform with white apron, was the most beautiful vision I had ever seen.

"Come on," she said, "I'll take you up to the room we're going to share and you can change into your new uniform."

"We're going to share a room?" I nervously glanced at my mum. "I thought that we'd..."

"Don't be silly, Joan," Mum said. "Obviously housemaids will share a room together and I'm sure you'd much prefer it to sharing with me."

I stared at Dawn with her slim waist and pretty face and said, "Er, yes of course I would, but I was just a bit surprised." No wonder Mum had forced me to wear this chastity belt, thing. But even with Percy concealed, would Dawn not realise I was really a boy?

As Dawn led me upstairs, she chatted about how pleased she'd been to hear that I was coming to take care of Mrs ffrench as she was a right so-and-so, always demanding things instantly, regardless of the time of day or night.

Our room was tiny, with two narrow beds separated by about six inches, with two wardrobes on either side of the door.

"Your uniforms are in here," Dawn said, opening the wardrobe to the left of the door.

Oh my God! They were just like Dawn's and I was going to be wearing them.

"They should be all right for size," she added, "as long as you properly tighten your corset. But there's plenty of room up top. You're very rounded for your age, aren't you? How old are you?"

I admitted that I was fourteen and, indeed yes, I was quite rounded for my years. "I was quite flat until recently," I said, "and then they just started growing." Mum had suggested these words on the train. "They're very sensitive at the moment. I have to rub cream on them regularly." I got out the pot of cream Mum had given me and went to rub some on.

"Could I do it," Dawn asked. "I've never seen such beautiful breasts."

I handed her my pot of cream and she started to rub it in. Oh my God! If Mum rubbing it in was fantastic, this was the most exquisite pleasure I'd ever had. It was like...

"Aagh!" I yelled bending over with crippling pain. Percy wanted to join in the fun with a suddenness which I'd never experienced before. Needless to say, he was horribly constrained by my chastity belt, causing me excruciating pain.

"I'm sorry," Dawn said. "I didn't realise they were so sensitive."

It was, I realised, going to be a continual challenge to avoid erections, sharing a room with the beautiful Dawn.

"What's that between your legs?" Dawn asked.

Mum and I had discussed this eventually and decided the best thing was to come clean, as far as we could, anyway. "My mum insists on me wearing a chastity belt," I said.

"A chastity belt!" Dawn sounded as though she couldn't believe her ears. "What's that?"

I pulled up my corset to show her more clearly. "Mum was worried that coming down south I might be raped," I said.

"Raped? In Buckinghamshire?" She made it sound as though the south was more civilised than the north of England. "What's to stop a rapist pulling that bit of metal off?"

"It's fixed in place. There's a kind of lock at the rear."

"So how do you remove it?"

"I can't without the key which Mum holds," I said. "Obviously if I carried a key around, the rapist could take it off me and remove the belt."

"So you have to piss through those holes?" Dawn asked.

I nodded. I have to keep it quite clean otherwise it would get smelly."

"I'd never have allowed my Mum to do that to me," she said. "Mind, I hardly knew her so I can hardly talk."

***

Mrs Roly-Poly departed next morning, heading to France to meet up with her husband who was on leave, leaving us four servants together, with Mrs ffrench in charge. She was virtually bedridden, and had to be helped to take a leak or a crap. Needless to say, that was one of my duties, as was virtually everything else to do with her, including washing her.

I recalled it had only been a few weeks ago that I'd accidentally seen Mum's bush, and been incredibly embarrassed about it. Little did I realise that I'd be washing one a few weeks later, together with every other part of her body. Thankfully, Percy had become much more cautious about instant erections, although my morning woodies were always incredibly painful.

Still, I got used to it and to be honest, the pleasure I got at simply being a girl was enormous. Combine that with sharing a room with the most beautiful girl in the world and you can see I was in ecstasy.

There were, of course, two other aspects of becoming a girl that loomed large in my life and they were stuck on the front of my chest. That rapid growth of the first night slowed down, which was a good job, as otherwise they'd have burst apart. I kept applying the cream and managed to avoid any stretch marks. But day by day, they got bigger and bigger. Dawn and Mrs Crawley marvelled at their growth and said I was a very lucky girl to have such beauties and that I'd attract all the boys. When my back started aching, Mrs Crawley gave me one of her cast off corsets, which not only supported my breasts but stopped them wobbling about.

By the end of the two weeks, they had pretty well stopped growing, but by that time, they were the size of footballs; well, perhaps not the very large ones which men play with, but certainly the kind the boys at school used to kick about. And I only had to go on an errand to the shops in the village to realise they drew men's attention like magnets, which was a real pain. The last thing I wanted was the boys to wolf-whistle me; if only I could have swapped them with Dawn, whose breasts I thought were perfect, the size of apples, just as mine had been on that first evening Mum had inflated them. Still, I suppose a woman's breasts are never the right size for her. And the shopkeepers always made a point of giving me extra attention, as well as a little extra produce to encourage Mrs Crawley to use me again.

It was only towards the end of the two weeks that I realised that Mum was unhappy about something.

"What is it, Mum?" I asked. "What's worrying you? I think I'm managing the girl thing just great and my breasts are not growing so quickly, now."

"Mrs Rollington-ffrench is back tomorrow and I haven't yet managed to get another job. We'll be homeless. We'll have to throw ourselves on Mrs Rollington-ffrench's mercy and hope she doesn't throw us onto the streets."

***

So, the following evening, Mrs Rolly-Poly came back and it's immediately obvious that she's very upset about something. Mrs Crawley said she'd never seen her looking so unhappy. It really didn't bode well for us throwing ourselves on her mercy. But what choice did we have?

Dawn had taken a pot of tea to her bedroom as a prelude to an early night, but Mum decided we had to speak to her that evening, so we went up to her bedroom and Mum knocked on the door. "Come in," she bade.

"Ah, Mary," she said as we walked into her bedroom. She had plainly been crying. "It seems you've both done a very creditable job in looking after mother. She even said that Joan was: 'not too bad,' which is glowing praise from mother."

I was amazed at that. She'd spent the last two weeks perpetually moaning, although Dawn had told me not to worry about it. "Thank you, madam," I said

"Are you all right, madam?" Mum asked her.

Mrs Rolly-Poly's face crumpled into tears. "It's not going to be over by Christmas," she said.

I gasped. Those words so closely reflected Mum's dream that I was brought up sharp.

"I've suspected that for some time," my mum said. "Is that what your husband told you?"

She nodded. "But not just that," she added. "It's what he wouldn't tell me that is so alarming. It seems the conditions are appalling and thousands of men are dying under terrible circumstances."

Mum nodded. "I feared this would happen," she said. "We must all be brave and do what we can to help."

"I decided I would give Mr Rollington-ffrench issue," she said. "We took no precautions and I gave myself to him."

"I see," Mum said. I certainly didn't. What on earth was she talking about?

"But I had my event on the way home," Mrs Rolly-Poly said, and burst into tears again. What kind of event was she talking about?

"I see," Mum repeated.

"There is still hope," Mum said.

That shut up Mrs Rolly-Poly. "There is?" she asked, wonderment in her voice. "But how can there be?"

"The doctors don't like to admit it," Mum said. "But a man's seed can remain in the womb for many days, even through an event."

"It can? But surely that's impossible."

"There are precautions we can take to preserve the seed," Mum said. "We must do that straight away. Then I will write to my colleagues who have assisted in this way before and ask their advice. Do you desire me to do that madam?"

"Oh, yes please," she said. "Is it really possible?"

"It's certainly possible," Mum said. "But we must make it probable. First we must make a tamping pad to keep the seed safe."

Mum threw me out then, telling me not to breathe a word to anyone about what I had just heard. Most important, I knew that whatever she had said had given us more time living here. I breathed a sigh of relief.

***

You can imagine I hadn't a clue about what was going on but I knew better than to ask. It was obvious to everyone over the next few weeks that Mum and Mrs Rolly-Poly were up to something and Dawn and Mrs Crawford kept pressing me, but I was as ignorant as they were.

"My event's come at last," Dawn said a few days later.

Oh, blimey, I thought. Someone else talking about an event. "It has?" I queried.

"Mmm," she confirmed. "When's yours due?"

"Mine?" I felt myself flushing at my ignorance.

Dawn looked quizzically at me. "You do have them, don't you? I mean, you're fourteen. You should be having them by now."

"Should I?"

"You mean you're not. Does your Mum know?"

"Oh, yes," I said. "Mum knows everything, but I'm not really…"

"She hasn't told you about your events? When you have an event, it means you're not having a baby. So maybe you're having one."

"A baby? I don't think that…" I stopped myself in time from saying that boys don't have babies.

"I'm only teasing," she said. "You have to have sex with a boy first and with that thing you're wearing, you obviously haven't done that, have you?"

"Well, erm…"

"Has no one told you about sex?" she asked.

I shook my head and she leaned in, conspiratorially. "Boys have cocks," she said, and she held her hands to indicate the size and shape of one, considerably larger than my Percy. "And balls," she added, this time indicating a size which must surely be larger than Mr Farrow's after Mum had inflated them with olive oil At least, I knew what she was talking about.

"Yes," I said.

"And they put their cock in your special place and that makes babies."

"It does?" I asked, still none the wiser. Where was my special place? "Is it nice?" I asked.

"Oh, no, it's very painful," Dawn said. "At least, that's what my sister says."

"Then why does she let them put it in her special place?" I asked.

"It's the only way of keeping a boyfriend. If you don't let them put it in, they go off with someone else."

"But that makes babies," I said. "Surely you can't do it unless you're married to them."

Dawn thought that was hilarious and burst into raucous laughter.

"Pipe down with that noise," Mrs Crawley said, and so I was left trying to make sense of a few snippets of information.

***

Halfway through the second week after Mrs Rolly-Poly's return, Mum took me to one side and said, "I shall need you this evening after Mrs Rollington-ffrench goes to bed. Say nothing to the others but I will use Mrs ffrench's bell to call you upstairs, only come to Mrs Rollington-ffrench's room instead. Do you understand?"

"I think so, Mum." Using Mrs ffrench's bell would ensure it was me that responded rather than Dawn, if she'd used Mrs Rolly-Poly's. I could understand that. "What do you want me for?"

"You'll find out tonight and remember, not a word to anyone."

"No, Mum."

***

Mrs Rolly-Poly didn't want dinner that evening and Mrs ffrench only ever had a light meal, so Mrs Crawley prepared that in advance and had a night off, leaving Dawn and me to look after things. Mum disappeared to see Mrs Rolly-Poly at about nine and Dawn and I chatted in the kitchen as we often did, mainly about a boy she was sweet on. I kept doing all I could to discourage her, as in some twisted way I hoped that somehow I would be able to change back to being a boy, and become her sweetheart. Really, I knew this was never going to happen.

The call on Mrs ffrench's bell came at about ten and, following Mum's instructions, I went to Mrs Rolly-Poly's room instead. Mum was there tending Mrs Rolly-Poly who was in bed looking quite sleepy.

"Ah, Joan," Mum said. "Come in and turn the key in the lock. This evening we're going to do a delicate process on Mrs Rollington-ffrench and I'm going to need your help."

"Of course, Mum. What do you want me to do?"

"It will be quite messy so remove your dress. We don't want to get it dirty."

That took me by surprise. "All right Mum. Do you think you could unbutton me?" I still had problems undoing the buttons on the rear of my dress.

As Mum undid the buttons, I removed my apron and then pulled the dress off my shoulders and stepped out of it. I carefully folded it and put it on a chair as I'd been instructed to do.

"Your corset as well, I think," Mum added.

"My corset!" I glanced at Mrs Rolly-Poly but she appeared to be asleep by now. I had never removed my clothes in the presence of my mistress and I was embarrassed that she might wake up.

"She's taken a sleeping pill," Mum said, so I loosened the strings and did as she said, placing it on the chair with my dress. I was now only wearing my shift (and, of course, my chastity belt).

"We are going to start the procedure now, Mrs Rollington-ffrench," Mum said in a quiet voice. She went to the bottom of the bed and pulled up the bedding, exposing Mrs Rolly-Poly's legs beneath her nightdress. "Help me pull up her nightdress," Mum said.

Blimey, I thought. This was getting weirder and weirder. But I gently pulled up her nighty until it was around her waist as Mum lifted her legs and bottom slightly. Then Mum lifted her knees and separated her legs so I could see the intimate details of her slit. How embarrassing! Well, it was of course, but also, I couldn't stop staring at it.

Mum turned to her tray of medical things, opened a bottle and held some cotton wool over it as she upturned it. I remembered she'd used that smelly stuff before; ether, she called it. Wasn't that what she'd used on Mr Farrow when she'd inflated his jewels? Perhaps she was going to inflate Mrs Rolly-Poly's breasts. Mum moved to Mrs Rolly-Poly's head and held the cotton wool under her nose for a few seconds.

"Are you still with us, Mrs Rollington-ffrench?" she asked. Stupid question, I thought. She'd hardly gone away.

But she didn't reply and Mum repeated the question more loudly. Then she gently slapped her face.

Uh-uh, I thought. This is when we have to find new jobs. But still Mrs Rolly-Poly didn't stir.

"Get up on the bed between her legs," Mum ordered, picking up a strange-shaped piece of metal from her tray.

I was going to ask if Mum was going crazy but one look at her face shut me up, so I climbed onto the bottom of the bed between Mrs Rolly-Poly's legs.

"Let's take this off now," Mum said, lifting my shift at the rear. I thought she meant she was going to remove my shift but instead I could hear her fumbling at the rear of my chastity belt with that funny bit of metal.

C-L-I-C-K. Mum pulled the belt thing from between my legs. Percy could suddenly feel fresh air. Blimey, I could hear him saying. What gives?

"You can do your business now," Mum said, and when I hesitated, asked, "Do you know what to do?"

"Er, not really, Mum," which of course meant I hadn't a clue what she was talking about. Percy, though, seemed to have a better idea than I did, for he was leaping to attention, which I found embarrassing in front of Mum.

"Move your Percy up to Mrs Rollington-ffrench's slit."

"Mu-um?" Was she serious? I looked at her. She was. I wriggled up the bed a little until I was very close to Mrs Rolly-Poly. I had to lean forward as Percy was pointing right up into the air at this time. Eventually, I'd wriggled about until Percy was touching Mrs Rolly-Poly's slit.

"Spit onto your hand and then cover the end of Percy in your spit."

Had she gone mad? I did as she said.

"Now slide him forward into her slit. Down a bit – down a bit more – there."

Percy was suddenly sliding of his own volition inside Mrs Rolly-Poly, deeper and deeper until he was completely hidden inside her, and it felt… WOW!

"Keep quiet," Mum said. "Now pull it partway out – now push it back in again – and again."

Oh – my – God! I knew what it was like to enter heaven. It was so…

"Keep going," she said, as though I could possibly stop, and she turned to examine Mrs Rolly-Poly's face and decided to use a little more ether on her.

Not that I cared. I was thrusting all my weight against her, now.

"Be gentle, Joan," Mum said. "We don't want to leave any bruising. Now slow down or I'll put the chastity belt back on."

That brought me back to reality with a jolt and I did as she bade, which I thought was a shame as I felt I was just about to explode. But then I realized that the ecstasy was going on for several more minutes until I could again feel that familiar feeling in my jewels, except that it was magnified one thousand times. It felt like I had gallons of spunk building up in them and, when I started to come, I pumped squirt after delicious squirt inside her.

Finally, I was exhausted and I pulled Percy out.

"That's excellent, Joan," Mum said, giving Percy a quick wipe over before slipping the chastity belt over him and cluncking it back into position. "You can go to bed, now, and not a word to anyone else about Mrs Rollington-ffrench's treatment tonight."

"No, Mum." Then I added, "Mum, was that sex?"

"Of course not," she said. "I could never allow you to have sex with Mrs Rollington-ffrench. That was a medical procedure to assist in her giving birth to her husband's child. Is that clear?"

"Yes Mum."

***

We did exactly the same for the next three nights and I was in heaven each time. But after that fourth night, Mum said, "We won't be doing this anymore, Joan. We'll have to see whether we've been successful which means waiting another two weeks."

"It does?"

"Yes, of course," Mum said.

Sometimes it was very difficult pretending to have the knowledge of a girl when you're really a boy.

***

The two weeks dragged by. After Percy's brief liberation, he hated being cooped up in the belt again. I searched Mum's room looking for the key to the belt but couldn't find it so poor old Percy had to suffer.

Finally, the two weeks were up and Mrs Rolly-Poly was announcing that she was having a baby and everyone was congratulating her. I couldn't work out how Mum knew it was her husband's baby, rather than mine, as I was now fairly sure that I had had sex with Mrs Rolly-Poly, but Mum told me not to be stupid so I shut up.

A couple of days later, Mrs Rolly-Poly summoned us to her room.

"I can't thank you enough, Mary, for the help you've given me in becoming pregnant. I was in total despair when I arrived back home a month ago, and you enabled it all to happen. I think you helped a little as well, Joan, so thank you." If only she knew!

"I have recommended your services, Mary, to a friend of mine who has three married daughters, none of whom have yet given her a grandchild. The eldest, in particular is twenty-seven years old and clearly will soon be beyond motherhood. She would like to offer the two of you positions in her household, to see if you can help her as you have helped me. What do you say?"

"Thank you very much, madam," we both chorused. Percy would have like to have given his thanks as well, but he made his presence known by trying to get excited about it, and then of course making me suffer, as he could not.

EPILOGUE

My curvy body has remained with me to this day, so I was never able to revert to the life of a normal male. Not that it bothered me very much. Like many men, those war years changed me considerably, although in a very different way to them. And after the war, there were ways of having a good life very different from getting married and having a family, as my father had once encouraged. But those are all other stories, and maybe I'll tell you about them someday. I may be getting old and Percy doesn't want to come out to play as often as he did, but my memory is still spot on

But what (you might be saying if you recall the point where this story started) has any of this got to do with Charles Darwin and evolution?

Obviously, I don't need to tell you that Mum's dream was absolutely right. All those boys in my class would go to fight in the Great War, and be killed or horribly injured. Only a few came home and they were human wrecks who couldn't earn any kind of decent living. There were eighteen boys and girls in our class in 1914 and apart from me, I think they had a total of three children between all them.

Who'd have thought that those big strong boys would father less children than me, the one they called a sissy but, of course, it was all down to the statement I made that first evening: Perhaps I should dress up as a girl. They'll never send girls to war.

As a result, I never went to war. Mum and I went onto become specialists in helping women to conceive. During the war, it was a busy and fruitful life. Afterwards there were all those ruined men who needed a little help to fertilise their wives, so we became even busier. We'd often be helping several women every month, but that's another story.

I lost count of the number of children I helped to father, but I'd guess it was well over one hundred. I've kept an eye on many of them, and most turned into very pretty boys who probably got hell at school. But I do know that several of them seemed to disappear when the next World War was starting, and hopefully they have been as resourceful and prolific as I was.

So coming back to that evolution, thing, if you assume that one tenth of my children did the same in the Second World War as I did in the Great War, then that's ten of my children each having one hundred children each – a thousand grandchildren who owe their existence to me wanting to dress like a girl.

And maybe there were hundreds of other boys like me at the start of the Great War, who avoided draft by dressing as girls. That means that today there must be hundreds of thousands of males who want to dress like females.

Strange thought, isn't it ? Obviously we have to keep quiet about it. If those blokes who were up to their necks in mud and dead bodies knew we'd been doing our duty by shagging all their women, they'd be pretty pissed, to put it mildly. They would think us cowardly and maybe we are. But evolution is no respecter of bravery; all that matters is that you produce more of the same formula that has worked for you. And I would say that dressing as a female worked pretty well for me.

So just remember:

He who dresses and runs away, lives to dress another day.

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Comments

well written

licorice's picture

it was well written, though some of it made me pretty uncomfortable. Maybe that was the point?

Very funny.

Even hilarious. At least I thought so. What was interesting is how gullible their clients were and how ignorant 'Joan' was. I was born at a time when there was zero sex education at school and I never had the 'talk' with either of my parents but somehow I knew before I left school despite its being single sex (or perhaps because it was single sex ). Presumably through a sort of sexual osmosis :)

Thanks for a unique angle on a TG theme

Robi

A Whole New Meaning

joannebarbarella's picture

To "Upstairs, Downstairs".

Mum was pretty cunning, but what I really loved was the totally ignorant innocence about sex in that era!

For mum being a nurse, she

For mum being a nurse, she either had a serious lack of knowledge about females and their sexual needs; or was simply not informing her new daughter of the real facts of life as a girl/woman. People seem to believe the men and women who lived through the Victorian era and into the early 20th century were not sexual creatures, but written proof, photos, sex toys, and stories from those eras prove otherwise.

I once found a book on child

Brooke Erickson's picture

I once found a book on child rearing my mom had. Note that she was born in 1909, and the book wasn't a lot newer.

Back then they barely acknowledged that boys masturbated.

You also might want to look up "hysteria" and the treatments for it (hint: that's what the vibrator was invented for!)

Brooke brooke at shadowgard dot com
http://brooke.shadowgard.com/
Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world
"Lola", the Kinks

The Great War

Daphne Xu's picture

Was this strange or normal then? Mom knows that John calls his thingy "Percy".

John was 14 in the year 1914, and the Archduke had recently been assassinated. How common was the belief that the "skirmish" would be over by Christmas? He had to be in hiding for several years, with his name removed from draft rolls to avoid being conscripted.

Most of human evolution occurred before humans developed agriculture. Evolution was affected by attempts to avoid war, and also developed tactics to render reproduction more likely even when in war: rage against cowards and others who avoided war, good-bye sex just before departure for war, rape of conquered women, squads of the world's oldest profession following soldiers around, and so forth.

-- Daphne Xu