Doing Their Duty

by Naughteboy <>

I grew up at a time when boys were kept in order with corporal punishment. My Dad was the kindest man imaginable. He had to steel himself to give me well-deserved hidings. He hated the thought of causing pain but knew society back then expected it of him. So, Dad got to work with the strap. The timid whacks were very light and did not hurt at all. In fact, the sensation was very agreeable. It felt as if my small bare bottom was being licked by a big, friendly dog. After half a dozen taps, Dad paused and asked hopefully if I was sorry yet? I shook my head mutinously and the non-hiding continued. After some time though the sensation of the leather repeatedly landing on my bottom became most disagreeable. I started wriggling and bawling much to Dad's dismay. When it finally started hurting I graciously told my much loved father that I was sorry and could he please stop? Dad threw down the strap and hugged me, vastly relieved HIS ordeal was over. He had done his duty.

At the age of 12 I was sent to a Commonwealth Boys' Boarding School. The junior dorm was supervised by Mr Butcher. He seemed old but was probably only in his early thirties. He excelled at sports and had a large muscular body. My second week there he declared I had not made my bed properly for which he proposed to beat me. One other lad had received 'the stick' and didn't think it was much. "My Pop knows HOW to hurt" he said.

School beatings were administered in the evening. All day I had difficulty concentrating on my lessons. At 7.30pm, wearing dressing gown and pyjamas I waited outside Mr Butcher's study. He beckoned me inside. The first thing I saw was the junior cane on top of his desk. I was instructed to remove my dressing gown and bend over the side of a chair. There was a swish! as the cane landed twice on its small target. It stung for a second or so before subsiding into a plesant tingling sensation. I was told to get up.

Now curiosity was a fault and I made the fatal mistake of asking Mr Butcher: 'Sir, Isn't a beating supposed to hurt?' The housemaster who had been kind enough to whack me lightly was affronted by my impertinence. "Drop your pants and bend!" he shouted. I did as I was told and presented my quivering pink bum. He must have put all his considerable strength into the next stroke because my backside went up in flames. I bawled and tears stained my face. The housemaster administered another three scorchers at 20 second intervals, each one compounding the hurt. I wriggled and tried to get up so he gave me another one.

Mr Butcher told me to stand and asked if that had been sufficient? I sobbed, 'Yes!', and said it had hurt 'most awfully'. Satisfied, the housemaster put the cane back in his cupboard. Slowly I pulled my pyjama pants up and put my dressing gown back on. Then I was permitted to return to the dorm. My mates were very impressed by the vivid weals which Mr Butcher had slashed across my tiny buttocks.

I think the housemaster saw me as a challenge because hardly a fortnight went by without my being summoned to his study for another thrashing. Never less than six and always on the bare buttocks. Once I was beaten twice in 24 hours, the second dose rekindled flames still smouldering in my backside. The pain was frightful. Those sessions were the only time I was separated from the herd of small boys and had Mr Butcher's undivided attention. Afterwards, he always asked if the beating had come up to my expectations?

The housemaster was a stern, authoritarian man who liked to say "You'll thank me for this one day". I stared at the impression his own large rump had left in the chair I was bending over. Heaven only knows what went through his mind while he was laying into me. My classmates had been brought up by strict parents and were able to take their beatings without betraying any emotion. I think Mr Butcher was delighted to have a boy who bawled and wriggled his rear, the way I did. Hence he caned me hard and often. If he'd been asked why he beat me I'm sure he'd have replied 'just doing my duty'.

For readers from countries not familiar with schoolboy caning, it was very minor league compared with the harsh judicial whipping which the Singaporean authorities meted out to Michael Fay. The stick which the housemaster used was a light junior cane. It did hurt and left impressive welts which faded after one or two weeks. At the age of 12 a boy's flesh is tender but Mr Butcher, restricted by the light cane, never quite managed to draw blood.

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