I remember the awful day I first got the cane at school when I was about 13. We had a very ineffective teacher who could not keep discipline, and four of us were passing round rude notes written in French about her; for example  “Elle est stupide, n’est pas?” during the lesson. Unfortunately the teacher discovered this and, being able to read French, at least at our level, she was most understandably upset.

She looked at us with real shock and then venom, and said, “Go to the headmistress immediately!”

We went to the dreaded office, trembling, and knocked on the door. Sadly the head was there and she asked us what we were there for, to which we gave a stuttering explanation. Now, she was very strict but a very fair lady and she told us to face the wall outside the office while she went to see the teacher.

We waited with our legs trembling and knees knocking. When she returned, she got us into her office and tore a strip off us while we trembled. She then looked at us severely and said, “I have talked to your teacher and I have no alternative but to cane all four of you. Your impertinence is disgraceful! If you were seniors I would give you six of the best each but I will reduce that to four as you are juniors.”

She went to the cupboard and got a cane out, much to our horror. She swished it in front of us and we were terrified.

“You first, Catherine,” she said. “Bend over the desk. The rest of you stand outside and face the wall.”

We trouped out and did as we were told. From inside we heard the swish of the cane and a frantic yell from Catherine. Another swish and bitter cries and tears which continued for the other two strokes of the cane. Catherine then came out very red in the face and in floods of tears, holding her bottom.

I was next and went in with great trepidation to see the head holding her cane.

“Bend over the desk and hold the sides!” she said.

I complied, holding back the tears, as she folded back my skirt. I felt the cane tap my bum and took a deep breath and held tightly to the desk. A short pause, then the first swipe. Momentarily, I felt nothing, to my surprise, but then a sudden horrid burning sensation as if I’d been branded with a hot iron. I didn’t yell only because I couldn’t get my breath but when the second landed I started the waterworks. The third stroke hurt so much I yelled out loud and by the fourth stroke I was hollering and in floods of tears. Our head was a very fair lady, but she wasn’t afraid of hurting naughty girls’ bottoms when necessary.

“Now let that be a lesson to you, young lady,” said the head as I danced up and down holding my bum. Boy, did it hurt! “Go and wash your face then return to class.”

I went, out frantically rubbing my bottom, and was replaced by one of my companions whom I heard yell as I got to the end of the corridor. I went to the toilet where Catherine was washing her face. We didn’t speak as we were too busy sobbing. I went into a cubicle and stared with horror at the four red lines across my bum. Eventually the other two arrived in equally bad shape and did the same. When we finally made it back to class, every eye was upon us but we could do nothing but sit very uncomfortably and sob throughout the lesson.

After the lesson, of course, there were lots of questions from our classmates, like the daft, ‘Did it hurt?’ which we did not want to answer.

When I got home Mum examined the marks on my bottom which were quite spectacular. She was not pleased I had misbehaved but didn’t make too much of it and told me that I was to look on it as a lesson in life that misbehaviour brings consequences. I realise now she’d had a few such lessons herself at school! She didn’t spank me again, thankfully, but I was put to bed early that night. Needless to say my sisters were extremely interested in seeing my bum and gasped at the effect of the cane.

Rather naturally, the teacher found discipline less of a problem after that. On the instructions of the head, we wrote her an apology which she graciously accepted and bore us no malice. I think she felt that we had been well dealt with for our crime, which was true. She really was quite a nice lady and I think she felt a bit bad at what had happened to us. Not, of course, as bad as we felt!

Looking back, the punishment was severe but it was well deserved and I don’t bear any grudges. We got caught and paid the price. Or at least our youthful bottoms did! Now you might think that after such an experience I would have made sure I avoided getting caned again. Unfortunately, teenage hormones being what they are, I made the dreaded trip to the head’s office several more times in my school career.