First Caning

When I was in the third year of secondary school I was picked on, bullied really, by two boys in the year above me who lived on the same way home as me. If they caught up with me as we were walking home they would push me about and hit me and take my cap and throw it over the walls of fences and houses along the way. They were both bigger than me as well as older and there wasn’t much I could do when they were both together.

One day, though, just as I was getting my jacket from the hangers outside my formroom, one of the boys – Stringer (that was his surname, at my school boys were always called by surname and girls by Christian name – I don’t think I ever knew his first name) walked by, by himself.

I wanted to try to get my revenge in one on one fight and, without thinking about it, I just jumped on him and started hitting him as hard as I could. I had taken him by surprise and got the better at first but he was stronger than me and was beginning to take charge when the fight was interrupted by my form teacher, Mr Peters.

He separated us and told us to go with him into the form room where he would slipper us. He wasn’t interested in who had started it or why, he had caught us fighting and that meant we should both get the slipper.

I’m really not sure why I argued with him. It was never going to do me any good. But I protested and said that that wasn’t fair and that that I wanted to go to the headmaster. Partly it was because I wanted to get Stringer the cane but I must have known I would probably be caned too. I think I must have hoped that if I explained to the head how Stringer and the other boy had been picking on me he might let me off and just cane Stringer.

Mr Peters told me that wasn’t a very good idea. And I’m sure, looking back, that he didn’t particularly like the idea of someone from his form appealing over his head. But I really wasn’t thinking very sensibly at the time. Stringer obviously would have preferred the slippering option too, so that made me all the more insistent.

So in the end, after we had tidied up a little he took us down the stairs and along the corridor to the head’s office. Mr Peters knocked and went in and told us to stand still outside. I was smiling at Stringer as if I’d won somehow. We couldn’t hear what was being said inside.

After a bit Mr Peters opened the door and we went in and the head questioned us in front of Mr Peters about what had happened. Once the basic facts had been confirmed Mr Peters left.

I owned up that I had started the fight and tried to explain the background but the head said he was not interested in history but only in this fight where it seemed I was the aggressor. He also blamed me for not accepting the punishment from Mr Peters and for getting him involved.

He said he was going to cane both of us as fighting was a serious matter regardless of who started it. There was something about the headmaster that made me disinclined to argue with him as I had with my form teacher.

He stood up and got a cane out from the cupboard and pulled a stool into the middle of the room. He told me to stand by the wall and Stringer to go and bend right over the stool. He flipped up the flap at the bottom of his jacket.

Then he tapped the cane across his trousers a couple of times and whacked it down really hard. I’d never seen a can used before then. Stringer’s whole body shuddered but I didn’t hear a sound from him. Almost straight away, he lifted the cane again and delivered a second stroke. This time I heard Stringer gasp and I was glad that the headmaster was hurting him more than I had been able to.

The head moved back and told Stringer to stand up. He told him to go where I was standing by the wall and me to come and bend over the stool – it was my turn.

I think it was only then, for the first time that I realised what I’d let myself in for and started to be scared. Up till then I’d probably been fuelled by adrenalin. But I suddenly felt very vulnerable as I bent over the stool.

I felt still worse when the headmaster said that he was going to cane me more severely than Stringer as I had started the fight. He didn’t say how many strokes it would be but flipped my jacket back up and began tapping the cane across my bottom. This seemed to take longer than it had with Stringer but my wait was over soon enough and I heard the sound of the can and almost at the same time the thud as it hit hard denting into my trousers.

And then, just following the impact a pain much worse than I’d expected even after seeing Stringer get it. I didn’t actually see stars like the comics showed boys doing but it was like a sudden bright light, maybe because of how tightly I closed my eyes. I forced myself to keep my mouth tight closed, I knew Stringer was watching, but it was very hard. I didn’t lose hold of the stool but I was aware of the head telling me to stay still.

I gripped the stool tightly and tilted it backwards and forwards as the second stroke landed. I think I couldn’t help it that time and I yelped loudly. But the head had no mercy and I felt the cane tapping on my sore bottom again before the third and hardest stroke which seemed to land exactly where my bum was sorest. This time I really did yell and I remember rocking backwards and forwards over the stool. The head tapped my bum with the cane again and I tried to prepare myself for yet another stroke as I realised I had started to cry but thankfully he then told me that I could stand up.

He made me put the stool back where it had come from and then got me and Stringer to stand in front of his desk for another lecture. Then he turned to me and said that in addition to the caning he was going to put me on report for a week for not accepting my form teacher’s authority.

He made me go and stand by the wall and told Stringer to go. This time I had to stand facing the wall.

He made me wait there for a long time, until he thought we wouldn’t bump into each other on the way back and then let me go.

I was very late home and mum was angry with me but by then, although my bottom still hurt a lot, I was able to hide it and I made some excuse and she never knew I’d been caned.

Being on report led to two further whackings – but those are other stories!

John3853 John3853
56-60, M
May 6, 2012