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Shifting Hands

I recall being summoned before the class to be strapped by Mr MacDonald for talking.

2 on each hand was the sentence

A class of thirty boys and girls watched on as I stood with hands outstretched and one hand resting on top of the other.in true caledonian fashion.

Mr MacDonald was a weedy man who had a lot to prove so used to grunt worse than the players at a wimbledon ladies final when he swung the strap and had a reputation for breaking the hardest of miscreants.

His style hadnt changed , each stroke would be administered with a three step run up and an over the shoulder swing that would have put Geoff Boycott to shame.

I bottled it and couldnt even accept the first stroke on the left hand, I parted my hands just as he had swung the strap and it hit him on the thigh.This only served to get his gander up and a further two strokes was verbally added to my tarriff.

Again my hands came apart and the puny sod was doubled up in agony as the strap caught him on the thigh again, a ripple of laughter circulated the room.

"Headmaster Now Boy!!!!" he boomed.

Off I went knowing I was in for a fate worse than hell but it was worth it to see the **** buckle.

At least the head would thrash me in private and I could cry like a baby and compose myself before gracing my public.

He bloody did too, if you refused the strap it was a metre long flat ruler across the seat and I took my eight with reasonable dignity. somewhere between an air raid siren and a butchered pig would be an accurate description.
deleted deleted 26-30 2 Responses Oct 15, 2012

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While I never complained about getting the tawse I do recall one particularly sadistic French teacher who would have you stand ,hands outstretched as he paraded around lecturing you and the class on the reason for the punishment , delivering the stroke(s) at uneven intervals and adding more on if you dropped or pulled away, it wasn't uncommon for four (2 on each crossed hand) to take up to five minutes to administer.

Pulling away was never a good idea, an extra stroke was almost certain to be added. The English lads bending over for the cane across their backside were lucky, they didn't see the rod coming and a bit of padding was there to offer a little protection. Meanwhile in Scotland pupils had eye to eye contact with their teacher as they were being strapped. Not easy to keep the hands still when standing there watching a big thick and heavy tawse approaching your outstreached hands at speed, particularly so if it was about a leather a hand that had just received a previous stroke, and there was no protection. Some struggled bravely against their natural reaction to move their hands while others tried to overcome the problem by closing their eyes as the tawse did its evil work.

In a number of ways I agree with your remarks RobertPhilp. I'm in Australia and can say I have had the experience of both the cane and the strap. What my Headmaster had wasn't technically a tawse - I believe it was an Irish school strap (thick leather reinforced with either wire or whalebone).

I was unlucky enough to experience both implements on backside and hands (on separate occasions of course). I have to say that with both, on the hands was the worst and I was terrified if I was to get them on the hand. I simply don't agree with that kind of punishment on the hand as it risks causing permanent damage (delicate bones, tendons, etc).

On the backside wasn't exactly pleasant either. Even though you may not see each stroke coming, you can hear it. And with the cane, it was common practice for the Master to give a few taps before landing the stroke. Not seeing it coming for me at least, increased the tension - a bit like being afraid of the dark.

Pulling away was the way I got the full six!