Pat for Short


Pat jumped out of bed and put on her new dress.

“Time for breakfast, Pat,” Mom called. “You don’t want to be late for your first day of kindergarten.”

After breakfast Pat’s father drove her to school. They met Pat’s teacher.

“Good morning, I’m Miss Ling,” the teacher said. “What’s your name?”

“Patricia Ann Gates,” Pat answered. “Pat for short.”

Miss Ling took a marker, printed Pat on a name tag, and pinned it to Pat’s dress.

Father hugged and kissed Pat. “I’m off to work. Have a good day.”

Pat sat on the rug with some other boys and girls. She looked at their name tags. I wish I could read, she thought.

Suddenly Pat saw a name tag that she could read. It said Pat too! She frowned and walked over to the other Pat, who was playing with letter blocks. “We have the same name,” Pat said.

“We can’t have the same name,” the other Pat said. “I’m a boy.”

Pat turned around and called to her teacher.

Miss Ling hurried over. “What’s the matter?”

Pat pointed. “He has my name. How can a boy have a girl’s name?”

“I don’t have a girl’s name,” the other Pat said. “You have a boy’s name.”

“I’m Patricia Ann Gates,” Pat said. “Pat for short.”

“My name is Patrick John Miller,” the other Pat said. “But my mom and dad call me Pat.”

“Pat is short for Patricia and Patrick,” Miss Ling explained. “Both of you can be called Pat.” She took her marker out of her pocket and printed a G. on Patricia’s name tag. “G is for Gates, so we shall call you Pat G.”

Pat G. smiled.

Then Miss Ling printed an M. on Patrick’s name tag. “M is for Miller, so we shall call you Pat M.”

“I like Pat M,” he said.

“Good,” Miss Ling said. “I am glad you will share your first name.”

“It’s like sharing toys,” Pat G. said.

“Yes,” Pat M. said, “and I’ll share these blocks with you.”

They built a tower with blocks P, A, and T on the very top.

[illustration] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney