When I was in the fourth grade, I became close friends with two fifth graders. We all were musical, played several instruments, and were confident around just about any instrument.
One day it was raining. The headmistress announced that we would be indoors today, and since Finals would be coming soon, we might want to use the time for study. We could also meet as clubs, if we chose. The three of us requested permission to go to the music room to sing and play the piano. Permission was granted.
We did well for a while, and then I told the others that I had heard about ‘honky tonk’ pianos. I had seen and heard one in a Saturday afternoon movie – a western. The others agreed that they loved the sound. We decided to convert this piano that afternoon. It wouldn’t take long. With a box of thumb tacks, we approached the piano, opened it and stuck a tack into each felt hammer.
When the job was complete, we tried it out. It sounded really neat! We sang old folk songs, taking turns to play. Then, the bell rang, and we had resume our classes for the day. We were so delighted with our invention, that we didn’t even take into consideration that the serious, ‘long haired’ music teacher might not enjoy the tone as much as we did.
I was in French class when the monitor came to the door. “Gigi is to report to the office, Mademoiselle Boucher” “Merci, Barbara. Gigi, depechez-vous.” “Oui, Mademoiselle Boucher.”
I left with some concern, but with no idea what was going on. The secretary greeted me, looking very stern. There were my friends seated on the bench outside the door, crying. “What is wrong?” “We forgot to take out the tacks,” they wailed. My stomach turned over.
The inner office door opened, and the headmistress came to get me. “Come in, Gigi. We have to talk.” I had totally lost my voice. What had happened, apparently, is that the other two had landed the idea squarely upon me. Well, as I recall, it had been my idea, but they had taken no responsibility for it.
Of course, the headmistress was too smart for that, so they had detention for three weeks after gym in the afternoons. That would mean that their parents would have to make special arrangements for their transportation home, which would possibly cause them further trouble. I did not know. All I knew was that for right now, I was the one in trouble.
“Gigi, bend over that bench, please.” There was a small, padded, tall foot stool that had been brought from around behind the desk. I had never seen it before. I tried to protest, but to no avail. “Over you go – immediately!”
I bent over the stool, my feet and hands dragging. I reached back to pull my plaid kilt down as far as possible, but I felt my hands stopped. “Put your hands on the floor, and don’t move them!” Then I felt my kilt and slip raised. The hems were tucked under my armpits, and I felt truly exposed. To my horror, my panties were then slid down just below my bottom.
It wasn’t long before a ruler began to whip my bare buttocks. It was a wooden one, but I don’t think there was a metal strip in it, because had there been, I would have been cut, given the force of the spanks. I didn’t count them, but I did cry a lot and tried to cover my bottom. Each time, the ruler would slap my hands and I would shake them, returning them to the floor in front of me. I had totally lost this battle.
Then, the headmistress put the ruler away, closing the drawer with a bang. I was told to get up and pull up my panties. I just kept rubbing my bottom as she talked to me about what I had done.
She then picked up the phone and called my parents. Mother was home, and daddy was due in that evening from Buffalo. I knew he would be furious, and I suspected that I would have to face his punishment as well. As a conductor, he had a deep respect for instruments. He would not tolerate this use of a fine piano. I knew I would be punished and only hoped that they would be lenient, knowing that I had already been disciplined at school.
I did not get detention – I think the headmistress knew that the response of a conductor father would suffice. I can tell you that it did.