Out of Africa

One evening in the early 60s, when I was about nine years old, I was watching TV in the den with my mom. I can only remember that it was the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and a segment came on where a group of school-aged children somewhere in Africa were lined up in a field and each had to step forward, bare their bottoms and lie down to receive about three to five lashes of a strap, administered by someone looking like a police officer.

As mom was a widow, she did all my disciplining and while mom occasionally spanked me she had never pulled my pants down. Not really knowing any better, I asked my mom why those kids had to bare their bottoms and of course mom explained that it hurt more that way.

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