My family always believed in corporal punishment but the most memorable punishment I ever received occurred at my Aunt Mary’s house when I had just turned 16.
Aunt Mary had a large family of seven girls and three boys. I was visiting them for several weeks one summer when I was invited to attend the county fair.
While at the fair, I found an unattended glass of beer and on a dare, I drank it down. I became rather tipsy and on the way home, Aunt Mary could smell the beer on my breath. She didn’t say anything that evening and I thought I had got away with it, as I went to bed.
The next morning, when the family gathered for breakfast, Aunt Mary dropped the bombshell. She asked how I felt and then rhetorically answered that I should have quite a drunkard’s headache. At first I denied everything but when Susan, who was sitting next to me, gave me a kick under the table, I finally admitted it and told her the whole story.
Aunt Mary remained calm as she announced for my punishment of drinking the beer and lying at first to her, I should experience a triple switching. The table went silent and I looked puzzled, as I didn’t have any concept of what she was talking about.
Aunt Mary asked who I wanted to assist me during my punishment and without knowing what was involved, I just blurted out the name of Susan, who was 17. Susan’s face turned white when I mentioned her name and Aunt Mary announced that she would see the both of us at 8pm that evening.
At home, I was usually spanked with a hairbrush or belt and had no idea what the switch would feel like, but during the day after talking to the other children, I learned that it was viewed as quite a severe implement.
As the day wore on, I became more and more afraid and at dinner that night, I hardly touched my food as my stomach was filled with butterflies.
At about 7.45, Susan found me sitting on the back porch sniffling in anticipation of what was to come. She helped me change into my pyjamas and at 8pm, we walked into Aunt Mary’s room, where the arm of a small couch was draped with a towel.
Susan told me that she had only received a single switching and couldn’t begin to imagine what a triple switch would feel like. After about 10 minutes, we could hear Aunt Mary’s footsteps approaching. I began to cry and my legs started to wobble as she entered the room.
In her hand was a bundle of three freshly cut willow switches from the tree outside. I pleaded with her that I would be good and was sorry – but it had no effect. She directed me to lie over the end of the couch, on the towel.
Susan sat on the couch and took hold of my hands. Aunt Mary pulled my pyjama bottoms completely off, leaving my bare bottom sticking up in the air. Then she announced that I would receive 18 strokes.
Susan let out a little cry and said that was ‘too many’ – but when Aunt Mary asked her if she would like to share them with me, she became quiet.
Aunt Mary whipped the switches through the air and the whooshing sound made me shiver. Then I felt the branches rest against my bottom before I heard another swoosh and then a ‘twithck’ sound as they hit my backside.
It took a second for the stroke to register but when it did, I howled as it felt like my whole backside had been doused with boiling water. My legs kicked high into the air as tears filled my eyes and Susan had to fight to hold my hands from shooting back to rub my sore backside. Susan counted out loud ‘one’ as she gripped my wrists tighter.
The next five strokes left me howling and crying, and I gasped as each stroke landed. My stomach was tied in knots and was sure I was going to die but Aunt Mary just kept administering the strokes, about one a minute.
I really lost count of the next few strokes as each one made my bottom feel like it had exploded. I was crying and drooling and saw why the towel had been placed over the arm of the couch to protect it. The 15th stroke hit right across the top of my thighs and bottom. My legs shot straight out and then I felt a warm feeling under my hips as I realised I had wet myself.
Aunt Mary remarked that the lesson seemed to be sinking in as she gave me the three final strokes in a very rapid series that left me howling and gasping for air. Aunt Mary ran her hand over my fiery bottom and told Susan to take me to my room.
Susan released my hands. I got up and began to dance from one foot to another, rubbing my backside. I didn’t even bother to put my pyjama bottoms back on as we walked down the hall to my room.
Looking in the mirror at my backside, it was covered with deep red stripes. I crawled face down on my bed and Susan gently rubbed some sunburn ointment on my backside. Aunt Mary called Susan and she quickly left my room, closing my door. I sobbed for what seemed like hours before I fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke and my bottom was still throbbing sore. I looked in the mirror and while it was still very pink, the stripe marks had gone but a few welts were still visible. When I showered, my backside really burned like fire as the water hit it and I slowly got dressed and walked to breakfast.
I winced as I sat on the hard chair at the breakfast table and everyone else noticed my discomfort, but didn’t say anything.
We ate breakfast and finally Aunt Mary remarked that what happened to me would happen to anyone else – only twice the number of strokes – if she every caught them drinking. That was all she had to say, as I know no-one else in that family ever took a drink until they were of legal age.