It was the end of July, during the school holidays, and I was staying with my aunt Sheila on her smallholding about 20 miles from home. It was officially to give her some company. However, I think mum just needed a week off from my 14-year-old comments and tomboy-like fooling about.

It was quite warm and pleasant, lots of sunshine and all was well with the world.

Aunty had asked me to put the hens in their runs for the night to keep the foxes at bay. I closed up the enclosure, double-checked it was secure, and headed back to the cottage which involved going through 2 gates. I saw a girl called Mary, who lived further down the track. I hadn’t spoken to anyone my own age all day and I ran down and just caught her. We chatted about this and that, but she had to get in for her dinner. We arranged to meet up the next day, Wednesday. I walked back to the cottages, took off my wellington books and slipped on my flip-flops which I had left by the door.

“Hi aunty, I’m back. Two dozen chucks all fast asleep and fox-proofed for the night,” I boomed into the large lounge.

“I can’t see a fox coming around with all that racket,” aunty responded from the kitchen. “Talk about a fog horn!” she said cheerily. “Get yourself washed up. Dinner is ready.”

I went to my room, changed into a clean pair of tight jeans and a tee shirt and put the pair I had been wearing in the laundry. I returned to the kitchen which is next to the lounge. I was greeted by a simple cheese and ham salad, home-made pickles and still warm fresh bread.

‘Brilliant stuff,’ I thought as I grinned from ear to ear.

“I saw Mary from down the track just now. I have arranged to go out for a walk tomorrow, hope that was alright?” I asked.

“Of course, dear. I know you two get on well. It would be good for you to spend a bit of time with someone your own age,” she smiled. “Come on, tuck in.”

I didn’t need telling twice. Aunty Sheila’s bread was legendary and she made her own butter too from her cow’s milk. We chatted as we ate, about nothing really, just chit chat. We sat for about 15 or 20 minutes as we finished our meal.

All of a sudden, there was a loud crashing noise. Not like a car or van, but just metal on stone or concrete. We both jumped at the sudden noise and went to investigate. Peering out of the small window in the corner of the lounge, I could see the two old milk churns that aunty kept by the front door were laid on their side and their lids were just coming to a stand-still after rolling away.

We looked at each other. I shrugged my shoulders as to the cause. Molly came into view. Molly was aunty’s Jersey cow, about 4 years old and a great milker that gave her plenty of butter and cheese to both eat and sell at the local farmer’s market every month.

“How the heck has she gotten loose?” aunty screeched as she shot through the door, grabbing a small length of rope which she formed into a loop. She was able to get it around the cow’s neck before leading it back into the field beside the lane.

“Oh sugar!” I exclaimed as aunty shut the gate behind Molly.

When I dashed after Mary, I had pushed the gate closed but clearly not hard enough for the catch to fall and hold. I could see aunty coming back towards the house. She looked very cross.

“Who left that bloody gate open?” she shouted as she came in the door.

“I’m so, so sorry. I think I must have been me, aunty. When I saw Mary, I swung it closed but the catch mustn’t have caught,” I explained. “I am really sorry, aunty. It won’t happen again.”

I was close to tears. I loved aunty Sheila and I hated seeing her angry at me like this.

“Do you have any idea what could have happened? Thank goodness she knocked the old milk churns over. If she had made it to the road, she could have been hit by a speeding driver and killed. Goodness knows what would happen to the vehicle and its driver. I have told you enough times; always close the gates, make sure you have closed the gates. Check!”

“I’m so sorry, aunty. I really will be more careful, I promise. Here, let me clear the table and I’ll make us a nice cup of tea to calm you down,” I offered.

“You can do that presently. Before you do, I think I need to teach you a lesson in gate closing, young lady!” aunty announced.

“I do know how to do it, aunty. You don’t have to show me again. I just, er, forgot,” I explained.

“Oh, don’t worry. I am not going to be demonstrating the procedure for closing a farm gate, young lady. I will be demonstrating what happens when you don’t!”

Aunty Sheila was now very calm but very deliberate. She took hold of one of the dining chairs and put it deliberately in the centre of the lounge. Then sat herself down.

“You, young lady, are going to get a good old-fashioned spanking for your negligence. I hope the pain from your bottom will serve a s a reminder of what you need to do on a working farm or smallholding. These are not playgrounds, they are dangerous places. Now, come here!” she ordered.

Aunty Sheila’s hand and my bottom had met a number of times over the years, but very rarely since I had started senior school. I knew there was no point protesting, but it was worth seeing if she would compromise.

“Maybe I could do some extra chores around the place instead of a spanking, please aunty?” I suggested meekly.

“No chance! Now, come here this instant, or do I need to pop upstairs and get my flat-headed hairbrush to spank you with?”

What could I do? I had been stupid, I know that, and I suppose a spanking was richly deserved. I love aunty Sheila to bits and so it was likely to hurt as much emotionally that she needed, at the age of 14, to spank me like a little girl across her lap.

I walked the 3 or 4 yards to get to her side, looked at her with ‘puppy dog’ sad eyes and leant forwards.

“Before you get too comfortable, I think we’ll have these off, please!” she said, tugging at a belt loop of my jeans.

She must have thought they would offer too much protection from her hand. I stood upright again and unfastened the button of the jeans. I lowered the zip and worked the jeans down over my bottom and onto my upper thighs. For a moment, I thought my panties were going as well. Thankfully, they were allowed to remain place. I started to lean in once more.

“No, right off, please,” she repeated.

Once more, I straightened and felt totally humiliated at having to take my trousers off to be spanked at my age. Once the jeans were down, I stepped out of them and put them on the back of one of the other dining chairs. I walked back to aunty Sheila’s side, running my fingers though the elastic of my yellow panties to make sure they covered as much of my backside as they could.

“Now, get over my knee!” Aunty said tersely.

I obeyed, and a few seconds later I was laid face-down with my light yellow panties giving me scant protection from the impending punishment. Aunty wasted little time. The first smack landed within 5 seconds and without another word or warning. Boy, did it sting! More spanks landed within seconds of each other and my bottom erupted heat and pain. Aunty adopted a rhythm of 3 spanks on one buttock, then 3 on the other. I was soon crying my eyes out, but the spanks continued to fall. I felt so sad and so ashamed. Soon, however, her hand hit home for the last time and stayed on my bottom for a few seconds.

“I hope the memory of this spanking will remind you every time you open a gate on any farm, how important it is to make sure you have closed it again,” she said firmly, but much more kindly now. “Come on, hop off now, let’s have that cup of tea.”

I slowly eased myself up from across her lap and stood crying for a second or two. We both felt an overwhelming urge to hug and did so tightly for a minute or two whilst my sobbing subsided, my tears wetting her shoulder quite badly.

“I am sorry I had to do that. Go on, get yourself dressed and I’ll put the kettle on. We’ve got fresh cream cake with strawberry jam for afters.” Her warm smile had returned, now the spanking was out of the way.

“If it’s all the same to you, aunty, I’ll pop along and put a loose skirt on,” I said, trying to smile and holding my bottom with both hands.

By the next day, the effects of the spanking were all but gone. When I left to see Mary, aunty did pointedly remind me, “Don’t forget to close any gates whilst you are out. Are you going to remember, or shall I get the dining chair back out ready?”

Needless to say, I double, double-checked every single one for the rest of my stay