The slowness of the approach of darkness gave their eyes time to adjust to the light of the emerging stars and the partial moon.

Propped up against a tree, Elena pondered, “I wonder why in those stories it’s the women who disguise themselves as men and not the other way around, except in naughty, cabaret stories.

“I only have a sense that it is more unseemly for a man to dress as a woman for some reason,” Pavel said after a pause.

“Yes, it is more demeaning for a man to do it. Maybe it’s because he’s reaching down. A woman is reaching up. He would be taking a weaker position, her a stronger one.”

“I don’t suppose you think that’s fair.”

“I don’t know about fair, but it is weird to place yourself below someone you feel at least equal to. Not the same as, because there are obvious differences in functions and abilities, but to be designated to a lower place for either those abilities or some sense of order when one feels equally human seems kind of negative.”

“But like you said earlier, the higher place, such as property ownership, demands greater responsibility.”

“That’s true. But I think it feels weird to be in a lower place if the woman seems better at being responsible than a particular man.”

“Yes, that seems wrong. But should the order be switched, or should a better man be found?”

“The second would be better, but he’s not always around.”

“I don’t think new rules should be created in that case, even if exceptions are made as a last, and hopefully temporary resort.”

“That sounds right.” Elena unwound her dress which she had been carrying over her scarecrow clothes around her waist, spread it over herself, and fell asleep.

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