Summer with an Afrikaans Family - the Last Part

by Winterton4 <>

There was not much incident the rest of the summer. The daily routine of morning lessons and afternoon freedom was drawing to a close. Perhaps tired of having sore bottoms, everyone had behaved rather well since the mass whacking down the road.

One afternoon the parents were out and the boys were down at the stream. Running out of time and never once having written home, I had stayed behind to write some postcards to friends and family. I sat down at the dining room table with postcards and address book and began to write. After a while I absentmindedly looked up as I tried to think what to write next, and my eye caught the cane leaning against the corner. I had never actually touched it. I got up and went over the corner and picked it up. It truly was wicked-looking: smooth and pliant and resilient and yellow. I grasped it at both ends and pushed downwards, and the cane bent. I pushed further and further at both ends until the cane was almost bent double, then released one end, and the cane whipped back and flew across the room.

I retrieved it and looked at it. I was now the only one who had not felt its sting, and with just a few days to go, the odds were good that I would not. In fact, that spanking in my wet underpants early on was the only hiding I had had. I reflected on the canings I had witnessed but escaped. No boy had ever stood up dry-eyed after feeling its bite. I gave an inward shudder - I could not imagine what it must be like - the spanking had been bad enough.

The house was silent except for the ticking of an old clock somewhere as I stood holding the cane in a reverie. I had strange, undefined and conflicting feelings.

A figure appeared in the doorway. It was Robert, one of my roommates.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Writing postcards," I replied.

He looked at the cane in my hand.

"Doesn't look like you're writing postcards," he remarked drily.

"Oh - yes, well," I began. "My eye happened to catch the cane in the corner. I'm the only one who hasn't had it, you know."

"Yes, I do know," said Robert. "You're pretty lucky."

"I wondered what it felt like."

"You don't want to know," replied Robert. "But I can show you. Pass it here and bend over."

"I don't think so," I answered.

"I'll just tap you - that way you'll no longer be the only one who hasn't felt it."

I hesitantly handed him the cane and bent over, my heart beating rather fast.

I felt a light tap and then a stronger one - just a tap, really, but it stung.

"Wow!" I said. "You hardly touched me and it hurt!"

"That's why you're lucky you never got the real thing. You can't imagine."

He put the cane down in the corner and left the room and I returned to my postcards.

The last evening arrived, a final night of Murder in the Dark, cards, board games and laughter. A drizzle had settled in, and as the evening wore on it got chilly. Mrs De Jaager suggested that everyone have their baths and then put on warm pajamas and come back down.

A little while later everyone was back down in soft warm pajamas and we lounged around in easy chairs and on our stomachs on the floor. Mrs De Jaager went upstairs and then came down with a look of exasperation on her face.

"Wet towels all over the floor! After a whole summer of being told not to do that!"

Mr De Jaager frowned.

"I think these boys need one last hiding to remember. None of them have it for a quite a while. We've been too lenient! When boys don't have a hiding for a while they start to slip. We need to do their parents a favor so they come back obedient and well-behaved."

Several mouths dropped open.

He got up and went into the dining room and emerged with the cane. Everyone was dead silent. I couldn't believe it.

"You all line up here!" he rapped.

This wasn't really fair. I knew I had hung my towel up. But with everyone else being "for it" I was not going to look like a baby by pleading for an exemption. But I was terrified.

He pointed with the cane to the first in line. The boy reluctantly stepped forward. Mrs De Jaager stood close by with a look of grim satisfaction on her face and her arms folded.

"Take down your pants and touch your toes!" he said to the boy.

Since no one wore underpants under pajama bottoms, the boy pulled down his pants to reveal a pale backside, then touched his toes. Mr De Jaager seemed to pause to contemplate the provocative target. Then the cane whipped down across the center and the boy yelped. A second and a third followed. Mr De Jaager was hitting hard. After the fourth cut, the yelps turned to sobs, and after six Mr De Jaager paused again. The boy remained bent over, six angry red stripes arranged parallel down his buttocks.

After a few seconds, Mr De Jaager told him to get up. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and as leaned back clutching his cheeks, his private parts were projected forward very visibly. I thought about Mrs De Jaager soon seeing me like that, but the fear far outweighed any potential embarrassment. Besides, she had never had any compunction about wandering in when we were getting changed or having baths, a strange anomaly given the fact that I had gotten into trouble for walking in from the hike in underpants.

The first victim pulled up his trousers and started to walk unevenly around the room.

I managed to be last in line. One by one the boys stepped forward, pulled down their pajamas, and touched their toes. When Tim bent over, he seemed to push his bum out as far as he could - I couldn't tell whether in an act of defiance or submissiveness - and as a result Mr De Jaager seemed to cane him even harder than the three who had gone before. He positively howled when he got up.

I looked around. The four already-caned boys were standing or walking around clutching and rubbing at their pajama seats. Mrs De Jaager had the faintest glimmer of a smile playing around her look of grim satisfaction. Mr De Jaager had a look of concentration.

The caning continued. There was a pistol shot with each snap of the cane and I flinched every time I heard it. It was now almost my turn and I briefly toyed with the idea of asking Mrs De Jaager to go check my towel. But the De Jaagers seemed intent on giving everyone a booster shot of obedience regardless of the specific offense, so I held my tongue while those already caned held their bums.

I was now at the front of the line and the boy immediately before me was bending over. He must have had some kind of stiff knees or something because he couldn't get his hands lower than his knees when he bent over. Mr De Jaager tried to push him lower by pushing down on his back but it was physically impossible. Still holding the cane, the man simply lifted the boy into the air and laid him over the high arm of one of the easy chairs so that his bottom was projected straight up. Then he lashed down with the cane, just as hard as he had for poor Tim, and the boy kept yelping "oooh oooh oooh" with his face screwed up in agony. He had trouble getting off the arm after his whipping and finally rolled over onto the floor and lay on his stomach holding his bottom, his pajama pants still around his ankles.

It was now my turn. I stepped forward and quickly lowered my pants - I wanted to get this over with - and bent over, hands on toes. There seemed to be a long delay. Then I heard the dry whing of the cane rocketing through air, and then contact. A microsecond of nothing. Then an explosion of pain. I couldn't help but gasp and gave an involuntary wiggle.

"Hou stil, seun!" he barked.

But holding still was next to impossible. I don't know how I made it through all six. It was far beyond the few routine whacks I had gotten at school. Each stroke burned ferociously. When I was finally told to stand up, I could feel tears pouring down my face.

"Tears help clean the eyes," offered Mr De Jaager helpfully, "and the cane helps clear the conscience."

I was not receptive to philosophy at that particular moment, so did not pause to engage in a learned discussion on these advanced concepts of ocular health and moral order. Instead I grabbed my bum and charged up the stairs. I went into my bedroom and lay face down on the bed. I added to the sounds of boyish gasps and sobs and cries that filled the house. Eventually the sounds died down and boys strayed to their rooms.

It took a long time for anyone to get to sleep. For me the sting was unbearable for the first ten or fifteen minutes, then it became a constant painful throbbing for quite some time.

Eventually I fell asleep.

The following morning my bottom was till sore. As everyone woke and got dressed, it was clear that no one had been spared a real thrashing. Mrs. De Jaager seemed to be everywhere as lurid stripes were displayed by boys removing pajamas and putting on clothes. Everyone had parallel raised ridges across the full length of their buttocks, red and purple, and I wondered how we could all manage the long train ride back home. We'd have to do a lot of walking up and down the train or standing in the snack car. I was momentarily standing naked by my bed thinking about this when Mrs De Jaager gave me a playful slap on my rump, ostensibly to hurry me up, but more likely to feel the ridges. I may have been only 12 but I was also already 12, so I could sense her interest. I jumped and she chuckled then passed on.

It was now time to leave. Everyone was walking a bit stiffly as they picked up suitcases and came downstairs. Mr De Jaager drove us to the station. Our trains were largely at different times, but Tim and I were going to be on the same train overnight before we each had to change trains the following day. The ticketmaster was agreeable to putting us in a sleeping car to ourselves, though someone might join us later through a last-minute booking.

As we looked out the window, there were the De Jaagers smiling and waving. You would never know they had whipped us to a frenzy the previous evening. That was the kind of people they were, warm and caring but stern and dour--an odd contradiction common among Afrikaners--though I had begun to suspect there was something more to Mrs De Jaager.

As the train picked up speed, Tim and I gingerly sat down.

"Are you going to tell your parents about your canings?" I asked.

"No, but they'll find out," he replied. "I have lots of brothers and sisters and I share a room. What happened last night is bound to be noticed."

I was glad that I was an only child and had my own room. I had no intention of saying anything to my parents about the sterner aspect of my summer on the Afrikaans farm.

The train rattled on. We played lots of card games except when there was something to see. It was interesting to pass by the kraals (thatched villages) of the rural natives. And like all South African trains, ours would inexplicably stop in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly swarms of native children would appear outside the windows, having materialized out of thin air, and prattle in some unknown language, their extended palms communicating unmistakably. Being but boys ourselves, we really had nothing to give, so we would just lean out and wave and yell while they yelled back, neither party having the faintest idea what the other was saying.

Then suddenly, and equally inexplicably, the train would lurch on again through empty countryside, occasionally passing by a kraal, and sometimes pulling into a small rural station. At one of these in the late afternoon, our compartment door slid open and a pleasant-looking young man stepped in. We were a bit disappointed that we were no longer alone, but he didn't look too bad, and we soon were engaged in chatter. He introduced himself as Patrick. We told him we had been practicing our Afrikaans that summer on an Afrikaans farm. He told us his Afrikaans was rather weak and lightly remarked that he should probably do that himself sometime. I couldn't quite imagine him spending a summer with the De Jaagers, I must say.

Since three people in a small sleeping compartment was a bit awkward, we all agreed we would get ready for bed at the same time, perhaps around 10:30. Until then we spent our time chatting, the newest traveler joining us in the occasional card game, and Tim and I occasionally wandering up and down the entire length of the train.

Eventually our watches made their way to 10:30 and we started to get ready for bed. As Tim and I undressed, Patrick suddenly remarked, "What did you boys do to earn yourselves a caning like that!" We had quite forgotten, and suddenly realized that our stripes were on vivid display. I had the fleeting thought that this was rather ironic, given my earlier relief that I had my own room at home and would not have to have others see what had happened to me, other than those who had shared my painful experience.

"I left my towel on the floor," said Tim simply.

"And I didn't," I added.

Patrick took this in. "Unless I'm missing something, sounds to me that anyone on that farm was doomed no matter what the location of their towels," answered Patrick.

"Pretty much," admitted Tim.

"Still want to spend a summer on an Afrikaans farm?" I asked.

He thought for a moment.

"Only if I was in charge," he replied, and turned off the light.

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