I suppose the spanking that made the greatest impression on me during my childhood happened when I was around fourteen years old and it didn’t happen to me. In those days, back in the 1970s, there was nothing unusual in being spanked at home or in school. I had the odd smack myself and had seen or heard a few of my friends and schoolmates being punished. Nothing particularly severe although of course I heard stories in the playground about terrible beatings inflicted on other children. It had never been anyone I knew well.

The punishment I am about to describe was not particularly severe either but was memorable for other reasons. My friend, Alison, lived just across the park from me and every day we walked home from school together. We would part at my gate and she would cut across the park and be home less than a minute later.

On this particular Wednesday everything was as usual. It had been a perfectly ordinary school day with nothing out of the ordinary occurring. Walking home, Alison was her normal happy self, laughing and joking and making plans to meet up for a game of football in the park after tea. There was certainly no sign she was apprehensive about going home. She was definitely no quieter than usual and she didn’t dawdle. We reached my house and we said our goodbyes and off she went.

On Wednesdays I had a paper round delivering the local free newspaper to around 200 houses in our village. The bag of newspapers would be left in the porch at my house and when I got home from school I would put away my school bags, get on my bike and do the round straight away. Alison’s house was the first on my round and I came out of the park on my bike just as she was entering the house. I got off my bike with the bag of papers over my shoulder and started up the path when suddenly I heard a loud Whack!

I stopped in my tracks and looked up sharply. Through the front room window I saw an arm rise up high in the air holding a slipper. The arm went down again and I heard another loud Whack!

I was shocked and confused. It could only be Alison getting the slippering, she was an only child, but she had just walked in the house, she hadn’t had time to do anything wrong. Her mother must have been waiting with the slipper to spank her the moment she arrived home, but I was sure Alison had not been expecting it or she would surely have shown some anxiety about going home.

Whack! The slipper came down a third time, followed by a howl of pain. I stood there not moving. I knew that if I went further up the path I would see my friend getting the slipper and I didn’t want to see it. If she looked up and saw me there she would feel humiliated and I didn’t want that either.

I suddenly felt very angry at Alison’s mother. Surely she knew that I brought the paper at this time every Wednesday. Why couldn’t she have waited until I had been and gone before spanking my friend? Why couldn’t she have spanked her in the kitchen or upstairs where no-one would see her?

Could it be that she wanted me to witness her daughter’s punishment? Could she really be that cruel?

The most puzzling thing was that I had been in Alison’s house many times and I had never seen her mother show any signs of bad temper. I had never even heard her tell her daughter off. She was a cheerful, funny woman, much like Alison herself and I had thought that if Alison were ever to get a spanking it would be from her dad who we were all a little afraid of.

Whack! Another howl and I realized that although I had not meant to move closer, my feet had carried me forward a few yards so that I could now see the whole picture. Thankfully Alison’s mother had her back to the window and couldn’t see me watching. Alison was across her lap and her head was almost on the floor so she probably couldn’t see me either. I was relieved to see that Alison had not had her pants pulled down but her skirt had been pulled up and her knickers would not offer much protection. I was glad, though, that her mother had stopped short of that final act of humiliation.

Whack! I looked on in fascination, not wanting to enjoy it but unable to look away. It surprised me that Alison was not trying to wriggle free. If this was her first spanking and she hadn’t been expecting it, I would have thought she would have put up some kind of a fight. It occurred to me that she must know that resistance would be futile and she could only know that from personal experience. Maybe Alison’s mum was not the easy going, liberal minded, fun loving woman we all thought she was.

Another whack, another howl. Six of the best was a standard measure for spankings in those days, so it seemed likely that it would be over. I hurried up the path to the front door and pushed the newspaper into the letterbox as quietly as I could. I hoped Alison would not go straight to her bedroom. If she saw the paper she would know it had been delivered during her spanking and that I must have seen some part of it. I walked off down the path without looking back. Hopefully they would see me walking away and think I had only just come, missing all the action. This didn’t happen, though, because before I reached the gate there was another whack and then another two as I was on the path to the house next door.

After that I was out of earshot so I don’t know how many more whacks she got. After tea Alison turned up in the park to play football as arranged. I never asked her about her spanking and she never mentioned it or asked me if I had seen anything. The next day at school she never mentioned it and was her normal cheery self. I tried not to make it obvious that I was watching her every time she sat down for signs of discomfort. There were none but I knew she must still be feeling it. Her mother had really laid into her and turned what I could see of her bottom cherry red.

She never did talk about it and I never did find out what she had done to deserve it.