Bracing for number twelve
Why the Juniors are going to have to suffer
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The receiving end
I enjoy being Head Girl at Bexhill. I like the responsibility, the respect, and - OK, I admit it - the fact that I'm allowed to carry and use a cane. The downside comes if you find yourself, as it were, 'on the wrong side of the desk'.
That happened today.
Half Term is coming up and apparently some of the juniors got a bit boisterous down in the town. I'm sure it was nothing serious, just letting off steam, but the vicar's wife saw them. The ghastly old crow has absolutely no sense of humour (well, who would if you had to spend a lifetime listening to boring sermons?) She strode into the school, the Headmistress is away on some conference, so she bearded the Deputy Headmaster. He's in awe of the old bat, because the Vicar is on the Board of Governors, and so the next thing is I'm summoned to his study, given a right roasting in front of the wretched woman, told I'm failing to instill discipline in the school, letting the side down, etc, etc. Yak, yak, yak.
Then, to my horror, the Deputy Head pauses for a moment, kind of assessing me. "OK, drop your knickers, lift up your skirt, bend over and grasp the sides of that armchair". Good grief! I knew this was going to be bad: traditionally, if the Head Girl merits the cane, it's always twelve with the Dragon. That's dreadful enough, particularly as my bum is rather out of condition - I hadn't been whacked for over a year - but with the old vulture looking on gleefully, it was even worse.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw the Deputy Head reach up and pick the Dragon from the top of his cane rack. I've only had it once before and it's far, far worse than a Senior: it's thick but bendy at the same time. He swished it up and down and the sound of it whistling through the air nearly emptied my bowels. Then he tapped it against the centre of my bare cheeks a couple of times, held it lightly against my bottom, and said 'Ready?" What a stupid question: how can you ever be ready for 12 with the Dragon?
I just nodded. I felt the cane leave my bottom, I sensed rather than saw him raise his arm high above his shoulder, and then there was a brief whistling sound and a loud 'thwack!' as it landed right across the 'Equator' of my bum.
I sucked my breath in. It felt as though a white-hot rod was branding my cheeks, but I had to keep absolutely quiet - there might have been Juniors listening outside the door. The DH paused for what seemed like ages, laid the cane gently against my behind just below where the first stroke had landed, and whacked it down again. Oh my God! Every whack seemed twice as painful as I remembered from previous canings. As each one landed I could hear the old crow uttering little exclamations: I'm sure she was enjoying the show. At one point, I lost count of how many strokes I'd been given. I was jiggling my hips up and down to try to ease the pain.
The Deputy Head tapped my bottom with the cane. "Stay still! Three more to go."
The only thing that got me through the experience was thinking up what sort of revenge I could get on those bloody Fourth Formers who'd caused all this agony. As I was gritting my teeth for the last swish, which is traditionally the hardest of all (the DH didn't disappoint), it suddenly came to me: we'd summon them for a Prefects Tanning. That would instil the fear of God in them. Actually, it would terrify anyone.
"All right, you can get up. I hope you've learned a lesson. Mrs Brown, I trust you'll tell the good vicar that I dealt with the issue appropriately harshly."
"I will, thank you Headmaster."
"Deputy Headmaster actually. We look forward to your husband's sermon on Sunday."
Speak for yourself. I won't be sitting down for it. Nor will the Juniors.