Next illustrated story here
Vanessa should have been suspicious when mum and dad were so furtive about opening the strange-shaped package which had arrived in the post.
She'd had her warnings: both her parents had told her that she was getting too old for the slipperings they had traditionally given her when she stepped out of line, but she'd misunderstood the message. She had taken it that they meant she was now too grown up to be spanked at all. It was a bad mistake.
Like so many teenagers, Vanessa had an attitude problem, best summed up by the phrase 'I'm right; you're wrong - OK?' Actually, it wasn't OK with mum and dad. Their daughter was now almost grown up, and certainly putting her across their knees for a good smacking was becoming less and less viable. Something had to be done.
They'd discussed obtaining a cane, but that seemed a bit drastic and anyway neither of them was too sure that they'd be able to wield it properly. It was her father who'd suggested a tawse, and when the two of them had investigated the issue, it seemed that the most effective of these implements came from a manufacturer in Scotland: the 'Lochgelly tawse' was apparently standard issue to most Scottish schools. They wrote off and ordered one. It had arrived in the post one breakfast time, at an hour when Vanessa was normally still sleeping in. They'd had to hastily conceal it when she suddenly appeared in the dining room.
They practised whacking a pillow laid over he back of a chair until they felt they were comfortable with the long, heavy, leather strap. Then they waited to see who would be called upon to use it first. It fell to mum.
Exasperated by Vanessa's refusal to tidy up her room or help around the house, mum snapped when she found an empty vodka bottle in the dustbin. Neither she nor her husband drank spirits. She summoned Vanessa and the girl didn't help her situation by telling her mother to 'get real' amongst several other sarcastic remarks. Somewhat to her mother's surprise, a sharp maternal order to her daughter to bare her bottom and bend over had been obeyed.
Mum fetched the tawse. Vanessa - expecting the usual slipper - realised too late that this might not be quite as inconsequential an experience as she had expected.