The following is an extract from Shirley Temple-Black’s out-of-print autobiography, Child Star.
That afternoon, Mother had summoned me into the front hall, where I was confronted by a clot of self-conscious strangers. When she asked me to give them a little song-and-dance routine, I stuck out both my chin and lower lip and shook my head.
Apologising profusely, Mother bid them good-bye and steered me into another room, one stiff finger between my shoulder blades.
“Take down your pants,” she commanded, and produced a wooden yardstick from her cupboard of sewing materials. “Bend over!” She was not fooling.
So far as I knew, few people had inspected my bottom bare. It was not my most impressive feature, and my instinct always was to hide it. I was mortified to be hunched over, staring at a wooden floor with my nude bottom upended.
Her yardstick fell with a sharp thwack. It really didn’t sting, but I didn’t laugh and didn’t straighten up. It was an ineffective punishment; my bottom, then and now, made me the original dead-end kid. The second time her stick cracked in two, sending the broken end clattering across the floor. I turned and peered up. Mother was staring at the shattered stub still clutched in her hand, her eyes glistening.
Slowly I eased off her lap and pulled up my panties. She had started crying silently, so I put my arms around her and nestled one cheek close against her chin. In a moment she dropped the broken stub to the floor and put her arms around me, tears dampening both her face and mine. The moment was a watershed, in more ways than one. We remained in our embrace a long time, silent symbolism of the love and sense of partnership which would characterize our lifelong relationship. It was my first spanking from her, but not the last.