She's a witch, and talks about proving it to him by shape-changing into a cat or dog. He doesn't believe it, and is preparing to go swimming. She does whatever preparation is necessary for a shape-change, and apparently only has to state what she wants to change into, but at his suggestion she changes into

a swimsuit, literally.

I thought it might have been a Fredric Brown story, as he wrote several humorous stories involving shape-changing (e.g., "Abominable", "Bear Possibility", "Too Far"), but it doesn't appear in From These Ashes, so I'm probably wrong.

  • I can't claim to have read or remember accurately everything F. Brown has written, but I have read quite a few of his stories and that description doesn't ring a bell for any of his works (I might be wrong, of course).
    – Kreann
    Oct 22, 2014 at 14:38
  • 2
    I think this is in one of the Asimov-Cronkin collection of 100 Great Short-Short Science Fiction or Fantasy stories.
    – Oldcat
    Oct 22, 2014 at 17:26
  • Thanks, @Oldcat! The collection title(s) you suggested put me on the right track, though it wasn't Cronkin.
    – Eric Smith
    Oct 23, 2014 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


The story is "Maid to Measure" by Damon Knight, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Vol. 27 No. 4 October 1964, and reprinted in 1966 Knight's collection Turning On as well as in the 1978 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph D Olander.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.