A simple account of a headmaster dealing with four naughty girls
By Kenny Walters
“I’m very disappointed to say the least, girls. You’ve let the school down, you’ve let me down and you’ve let yourselves down.” The four looked suitably shamefaced and stared down at my plush royal blue carpet as they stood in a line that curved round the end of my desk. “Do any of you have anything to say for yourselves?”
After a few seconds of discreet exchanged glances, conducted with the protection of hair falling over faces as they all continued to look down, they managed just a combined and extremely quiet: “Sorry, sir.” Their continued study of my carpet led me to believe that was going to be the extent of their communication.
“Very well, let’s waste no more time on this sorry affair. You are all quite old enough to know there is a code of conduct that applies whenever you travel to or from school on the buses and that does not allow for pushing members of the public aside, shouting, and generally making a total nuisance of yourselves. I’m only grateful that two members of staff happened to be in the vicinity to catch you at it and were able to reassure the offended members of the public that the school would deal with you appropriately.”
My words seemed to be having little impact on the four; indeed, if anything, I think I detected a slight smirk on at least two faces. In fact, as they stood there in their grey trousers, with the exception of Susan Stoddart who wore a pleated skirt with plain box front, and white blouses with pale blue sweaters, they actually appeared a little bored with the proceedings.
“You will either take one week’s suspension or alternatively…” I hesitated, noticing there remained that faint sign of girlish impishness mixed with just a dash of curiosity as they waited to hear my second option. “You will each receive four strokes of the cane.”
They weren’t expecting that. Not surprising really as the last girl I’d caned was Juliet Somerville, some eighteen months ago, who got a single stroke on the hand for swearing at a prefect. Now their emotions appeared divided.
Gillian Davies, the tallest of the four, looked at me with suspicion, as though she reckoned I hadn’t really meant my option of the cane and was expecting to hear some more palatable choice at any moment. She would be disappointed.
Susan Stoddart, the second shortest, blonde, slim, normally shy and reserved, the only one of the four wearing a skirt, continued to look down but now with some anxiety.
Jane Montgomery, nearly as tall as Gillian, clamped her lips tightly together and averted her eyes as though finding these proceedings all rather tiresome.
Finally, Gail Peters, the shortest girl, collar length dark hair, bubbly and effervescent, even now seemed to have half a smile on her face as she looked straight back at me.
“Those of you wishing to take the one week suspension can leave now.” I indicated the door from my office that led directly into the corridor. “I’ll arrange for letters informing your parents to be available from the school secretary by noon tomorrow. Make sure you collect them before four o’clock. Those of you wishing to be caned may wait in the school secretary’s office now.” I pointed, rather needlessly, to the other door from my office, the one that led to the secretary’s office.
For my part, the talking was over. All the four girls needed to do now was to choose their punishment and leave by whichever door was appropriate. Resting my elbows on my desk, I quietly waited.
Gail Peters, always the leader, smiled ruefully at her companions, shrugged and headed for the secretary’s door. For a moment or two, she held the door open for any of the others who wished to join her but when no-one did she went through and closed the door behind her. Equally though, none of the three remaining girls made any move for the other door, the one leading to the corridor, the one that would indicate they were opting for suspension. I didn’t rush them.
Moments later, Jane Montgomery tossed her head, flicking her long blonde fringe out of her eyes and making her ponytail bounce. She sighed audibly and headed for the door to the secretary’s office. She went straight through without waiting or looking round for either of the remaining two.
Gillian Davies, tall and athletic, still appeared to be waiting for me to come up with some third more agreeable alternative. “Four strokes, sir?” She queried.
I nodded. “That’s correct.”
“Or a one week suspension?”
“Indeed, Gillian.” I confirmed. “And that would include any out of hours activities after school and at the weekend following your five days absence from lessons.”
Gillian was good at games, a keen hockey player, and that would mean she would have to miss the inter-school hockey match arranged for the following Saturday, not to mention at least one practice session after school. Her earlier suspicion changed to something approaching resentment.
“I’m sorry, Gillian, but if you can’t behave yourself then you’ll have to pay the consequences.”
“I know, sir.” She replied. “I know I have to be punished, but that seems so, well, unfair.”
“I’m sorry, Gillian but my mind is made up.”
Gillian sighed long and hard, rivalling Jane for its loudness. With a glance towards the still anxious small figure of Susan Stoddart, Gillian turned and went to join her companions in the school secretary’s office.
Susan clearly felt quite uncomfortable finding herself alone in the present circumstances. A deep frown suggested she was giving the matter a great deal of thought. I kept silent, allowing her to take as much time a she needed.
“If I were to take the…. the caning….. ”
“Yes, Susan.” I encouraged.
“Well, who would know?”
“Do you mean, would your parents have to be told?”
“Well, yes that too sir.” Meaning that wasn’t what she meant. “And, well, who else?
I thought for a moment. “We don’t actually need to tell your parents, Susan, although the punishment would be recorded in the school punishment book and it would be available to them to look at if they chose to at the next open day. Otherwise, the school secretary will be aware of what’s going on and that’s about it unless you or your friends decide to tell anyone. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, nothing sir. I was just wondering whether the other girls in my form would know.”
“Well, I won’t be making any announcement, Susan, but realistically I think you’d have to expect them to find out sooner or later.”
Susan nodded, my answer apparently giving her more cause for thought.
“Why do you ask, Susan?”
“It’s just that I was wondering if I took the suspension, would the other girls in my form know that I’d, well, chickened out.”
“Oh I see.” Now I realised what Susan was worried about but that didn’t make my response any easier. “I suppose the honest answer is, yes, they would find out.”
Susan nodded again, looking quite tearful.
“You’re suggesting that if all things were equal you’d opt for the suspension, Susan. Is that correct?”
“Yes, sir. Probably.”
“For what reason?”
“The cane will hurt, sir.”
I struggled to avoid a chuckle at the simplicity of the girl’s answer. “Well yes, but it does get the whole affair over with very quickly. I imagine that’s why the others have opted to take corporal punishment.”
“Yes, sir.” I could see Susan wasn’t convinced by my argument. On the one hand, I didn’t want to stand accused of pressurising the girl into taking a punishment she didn’t find acceptable but equally I was feeling this conversation could go on for a very long time, and the other girls were in the secretary’s office, still waiting.
“Look Susan, we’re talking about four quick whacks soon delivered and soon over and done with. I appreciate your reservations but you know the score; if the other girls find out you’ve taken a suspension while the others got whacked, well, as you’ve said yourself, you have to expect a certain amount of teasing to say the least, and you and I both know that, don’t we?”
Susan looked glum, but her quick nod confirmed she agreed.
“So what do you want to do?”
Susan hesitated while she gave the matter her final consideration then nodded again with at least a little more vigour. “Okay sir, I’ll take the caning.”
“Very well, Susan, go and wait with the others please.”
Once Susan had left the room, I began my preparations. The area in front of my desk was already clear of any obstruction so I placed a small chair about three feet away and sideways on to the front edge of my desk. I fetched a suitable cane from my small collection of five such implements in the corner cupboard and placed it, and the punishment book, on my desk. Finally, I took my favourite fountain pen, unscrewed the top and place it next to the punishment book in readiness.
Time now for my first victim. Caning four girls was a rare experience for me, and I could feel my heart beating faster as the moment neared. I took a quick look round, making sure everything was in order. Then, with just a few short steps, my hand was on the handle of the door leading to the secretary’s office. After taking a deep breath, I opened the door and cast my eyes around the four girls. Gillian Davies and Gail Peters were seated, Jane Montgomery and Susan Stoddart stood. I don’t think they’d found much to talk about, but now they all looked back at me anxiously and in startled silence.
“Gillian Davies, please.” I don’t think any of the girls noticed the slight tremor in my voice. I even wondered whether I sounded a little too, well, pleasant, as though I was inviting the girl in for a pleasant chat and perhaps a cup of tea. Whatever, Gillian looked hastily around her friends and stood up. As I held the door open for her, the tall girl walked unsteadily through then waited a couple of paces inside my office while I closed the door behind us. I motioned for her to continue forward and saw her eyes were fixed on the pale yellow cane resting on my desk.
As we reached the small chair in front of my desk, I touched Gillian on the back of her pale blue sweater and said: “Bend over the back of the chair, please.”
Gillian stood bolt upright, emphasising her five feet ten inch height, and looked back at me in bewilderment. I ignored her and picked up the cane. With just a brief hesitation to compose myself, I went and stood behind the tall girl, my face level with the short blonde ponytail held in place by a black ribbon.
“Whenever you’re ready, Gillian.”
My voice was not as calm, firm and authoritative as I would have wished and I was expecting Gillian to stand firm and protest at being asked to bend over when, I presume, she had expected to be asked to hold her hand out. I’m sure it was on her mind to do just that but, perhaps feeling it was best to get the punishment over with as quickly as possible, she suddenly leaned forward and gripped the sides of the small chair.
Being such a tall girl, Gillian was able to hold the sides of the chair without bending right down and stretching her light grey trousers especially tightly across her bottom. I therefore placed my hand again on the back of her pale blue sweater and pressed her down lower. She offered no resistance.
With Gillian in position, I held the cane in readiness. “Four strokes, Gillian.” I reminded as I tapped the cane twice against the tightened seat of the girl’s light grey trousers. She didn’t answer.
I quickly drew the cane back and rapped it down against Gillian’s trouser clad bottom with a resounding thwack. She flinched. Within moments, I sent a second stroke whipping down where it landed with another loud thwack and again Gillian flinched noticeably. The third stroke followed rapidly with another distinct thwacking sound and this time Gillian did exclaim a muffled: “Ouch!” Finally, the fourth stroke struck firmly home and Gillian grunted as the effect of the stroke was clearly felt.
“Thank you, Gillian.” I returned the cane to my desk and by the time I turned back to the tall girl she had stood up and was tenderly exploring the damage caused to her bottom through her light grey trousers, and looking at me with something less than delight.
“You may leave, Gillian.” I indicated the door leading to the corridor. “And I do not want to see you appearing here again for similar punishment. Understand?”
“Yes, sir.” The tall girl headed a little unsteadily for the door, glad at least her ordeal was over and pleased to be getting away from my office. I watched the door close behind her and reflected on how that girl’s caning had gone, on how she seemed hesitant about bending over rather than holding her hand out which I remained convinced had been what she expected and what would not have made her think twice.
Thus, when I approached the door to the secretary’s office again and looked out on the now three remaining girls, I called: “Gail, let’s have you next please.”
Gail, still seated, jumped to her feet and came into my office without hesitation, even smiling gently as she passed me. Closing the door behind us, I wondered whether she was simply glad that her anxious waiting was at least to be over with sooner than the other two girls. By the time I’d turned, Gail was already standing behind the small chair with one hand resting on the top rail, and still smiling rather sheepishly.
I approached my desk, noticing that Gail was wearing tight light grey trousers, tighter fitting than any of the others, as was always her way. It was always easy to get along with Gail, a highly intelligent girl with a lovely easy going, bubbly personality that made her a joy to teach. I passed by her and picked up the cane from my desk, turned, and found her looking at me as she half leaned over the back of the chair as though checking this was how it was to be done.
“Head nice and low, please Gail.” I confirmed.
Gail grinned coyly and bent right down over the back of the chair. Her firm round bottom looked particularly enticing in her now very tight light grey trousers, a point I was careful to observe as I positioned myself behind her.
“Ready, sir.” She called back.
I tapped the cane three or four times across the inviting backside, then swiftly delivered a stinging stroke across Gail’s bottom. She flinched noticeably and I detected a minor grunt. I wondered whether Gail was still smiling now, but she kept her head down, covered by her mop of dark hair, and I couldn’t see.
After a few seconds, I quickly applied a second stroke and again the girl flinched. The third stroke was a little harder and brought about a distinct “ouch” as it struck home. The fourth and final stroke was received in silence, though, notwithstanding the most visible flinch to date.
“Thank you, Gail.” I said after a few moments set aside to allow the girl to feel the full effects of the caning, and before I’d replaced the cane back on my desk.
Gail stood gently upright, unashamedly rubbing her sore bottom.
“I hope we don’t have to go through that again in a hurry, Gail.” I said as we both turned to face each other.
Gail smiled weakly, a sheepishness combined with a hint of her usual good-natured cheekiness. “No, sir.”
“Off you go, then.” I waved her towards the door to the corridor and Gail left the room.
Time now for my third victim. When I opened the door to the secretary’s office, I found both Susan and Jane sitting in silence.
Jane Montgomery looked horrified. I gave her a good few moments and then, when she had made no effort to get up, I spoke again. “Come along, Jane. Let’s get this over with.”
Realising there was no escape, Jane reluctantly stood up and walked past me into the inner confines of my office. Closing the door behind us, I soon caught Jane up and pressed my hand against the small of her back to help propel her towards my desk and the little chair.
“I know this isn’t easy, Jane.” I told her. “But you did the crime and now you have to endure the consequences.” I took my hand away from the small of her back and she stopped right by the small chair.
“Yes, sir.” She whispered, ignoring the presence of the chair as though it was something that was always there and of no significance.
I picked up the cane and went round to stand by her left side. “It’s four strokes, Jane. You’ll be receiving them across your bottom, so please bend over the back of the chair. Head nice and low, and let’s get this over with.”
Jane was already looking extremely apprehensive and now her jaw dropped and her mouth fell open as the true reality of what I was intending to do to her sank in. She jerked her head to one side, away from me, and I watched her blonde ponytail bounce. Then it bounced the other way as she snatched her head back again to look me directly in the eye, as though checking I really meant what I had said. Clearly, my expression left her in no doubt for she looked down at the small chair, fingered the top rail for several contemplative moments and then lowered herself gently down over the back until her small round compact bottom strained against the seat of her light grey trousers.
I tapped the cane gently across Jane’s bottom a couple of times, then sent a cutting stroke swiftly down until it thwacked against the waiting target. Jane gasped and swayed just slightly, then immediately held steady for the next stroke. This was an equally sharp stroke a little lower down than the first, and it struck home with another sharp thwacking sound bringing another gasp and a slight sway from the tall bending girl. I delivered the third stroke back in the centre of Jane’s tightly stretched trousers seat and she “ouched” and jerked her body rather more noticeably. I barely hesitated before administering the final stroke fractionally higher than the others and Jane remained virtually silent albeit arching her back somewhat.
“Okay, Jane. You’re done.” I said, in a relatively gentle and sympathetic tone as I put the cane back on my desk. Jane leapt up from her bending position and immediately put both hands on the seat of her light grey trousers, giving me a look like thunder.
“I’m sorry, Jane, but that’s what happens if you behave in such a disgraceful manner and bring shame on the school, not to mention yourself. Let’s hope we never have to repeat this sorry procedure.”
Jane didn’t answer, her hands gently massaging her bottom and her face still quite hostile.
“Okay, Jane, you may leave.” I pointed to the door to the corridor.
It was as though I hadn’t spoken, though, for Jane remained standing there as before, except that her hands now simply held her bottom through the seat of those light grey trousers. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, then finally turned to face the door. As she began walking, she said: “Thank you sir. I know I deserved it.” In moments she’d closed the door behind her, leaving me somewhat perplexed.
I soon recovered, though, and went to collect the final girl.
“In you come, Susan.” I held the door open as Susan nervously rose from her chair and went past me into my office looking anxiously at me out of the corner of her eye as she went. The small blonde haired girl continued until she neared my desk, her eyes now looking suspiciously at the small chair that waited by the front of my desk.
“We’ll get this over with as quickly as we can, Susan.” I don’t think my words gave Susan much comfort, for she looked even more worried as I picked the cane up and went round to her left side.
“When you’re ready, Susan, I’d like you to bend over the back of the chair. Get your head down as low as you can. This won’t take long.”
Although I’m sure Susan already had an inkling before I’d issued my instructions, she still appeared quite stunned. She thought for a few moments, then asked: “Could I be caned on my hand, please sir?”
“I’m sorry Susan, no, that isn’t possible.”
I was tempted to explain the others had been punished across their backsides and it was only fair she got the same. In the event, I told her: “Because I regard this as an extremely serious matter and I feel a good smacked bottom is exactly what you all deserve.”
Susan grimaced, considered what I’d said, then nodded slowly. Whatever her own thoughts, it appeared Susan had accepted I was not to be deterred from punishing her in my chosen way because she looked down at the little chair and was obviously thinking only of how she would fold her small frame over the top rail. Leaning over, Susan first gripped the sides of the chair’s seat, then lowered herself down some more until her head was very near to touching the seat.
I looked down at the small blonde girl’s bottom, clothed in her light grey pleated skirt, and worried the pleats might cause some hindrance to the fall of the cane, thus lessening the effects of the punishment when it struck home. Curiously, Susan must also have been thinking along similar lines for she reached back with her left hand and bunched the skirt in front of her so the material stretched fairly tightly across her bottom.
“Thank you, Susan.” I said, then tapped the cane twice against the now quite taught seat of her skirt. “Ready?”
“Yes, sir.” Came the muffled and quite tense reply.
Without further delay, I drew the cane back and administered a sharp stroke to the seat of Susan’s skirt. She took the smack silently and with little movement. The next stroke, though, made Susan “ouch” with quite a yelp and her back lifted several inches. She soon settled back down and I immediately delivered another stroke which was received in silence and just a minor snatch of her body. After a small delay, I sent the final stroke whistling down and allowed the cane to thwack firmly against the tightened pleated skirt. This made Susan “ouch” again and arch her back a few inches too.
“Okay, Susan. Up you get.” I put the cane back down on my desk and sat on the edge of the desk as Susan eased herself up and gave her bottom a brief rub. She seemed glad her ordeal was over but at the same time appeared in no rush to leave. “You okay, Susan?” I enquired gently.
“Well, you’ve taken your punishment so that’s an end to the matter. You’re free to go.”
Susan responded by just turning to face me, but still seemed reluctant to leave.
“Was there something else, Susan?”
“Not really, sir.” Still, though, Susan lingered. There really wasn’t much else I could do other than wait and look at her, trying to appear as sympathetic as I could, in the hopes she would either leave or tell me what was on her mind.
Eventually, Susan found the words. “I’m sorry for the trouble I, or we, caused, sir. Thank you for punishing me.”
I wasn’t so surprised for the apology for misbehaving, for these were basically good, well-mannered girls, but I hadn’t expected to be thanked for caning Susan. Certainly, I don’t think the others would have had gratitude on their minds after feeling the effects of my cane. “So you think you’ve been dealt with fairly, do you Susan?”
“Oh, yes sir.”
“Even though I whacked you across your bottom?”
Susan blushed. “Yes, sir.” She answered quietly.
“You obviously weren’t expecting that?”
“Well, we had talked about it while we were waiting next door, but we couldn’t really tell from the sounds. I did wonder, though, when I saw the chair there.” Susan thought for a few moments, then added: “I expect we’ll get teased about that tomorrow.”
I nodded. “Yes, I expect you will. You think one of the others will tell?”
“Yep. I’m sure they will, sir.”
“And will you tell your parents when you get home?”
Susan shook her head quite vigorously. “No, sir.”
“I’d be too ashamed, sir.”
The pretty blonde head shook again, and she blushed. “No, sir. About being punished. I suppose I’ll have to be careful.”
“Careful? In what way?”
“By making sure my mum doesn’t see my bare bottom.” Susan’s face was now bright red. “I expect there will be some marks.”
“I expect there will, Susan. Will you be able to sit down okay?”
She giggled. “It might be a little sore, actually sir.”
“No more than you deserve, Susan.”
After a short, slightly awkward silence, neither of us having more to say, I reminded Susan she was free to go and she indeed left my office.