The Boys Next Door Part I

by Albert Cane

In 1980 I had as a next door neighbour a woman who had 2 sons. Thomas the eldest was 11 and Ian, his brother, was 8. Their father had been sent to prison, for what I do not know, and the local council had moved the family into the house next to mine. I learnt from Linda, their mother, that their father had been very harsh with the boys and used to thrash them with a leather belt, across their bare backsides, for even slight misdemeanours. I became quite friendly with Linda and her sons and they would help me in the garden, run errands for me and occasionally wash my car. I used to give them a small amount of money for their help and this was appreciated by the boys and Linda for her only source of income was from social security

After they had been living next to me for about 6 weeks Linda knocked on my door one morning in a very agitated state. She told me she had forbidden Thomas to go out that morning because he had not done his school homework but he had ignored her and gone out to play anyway. She said she was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with Thomas since her husband had "gone away" and also that Ian was starting to realise that discipline was a thing of the past now he had no dad to keep him in line. I sympathised with Linda but wondered why she was telling me this. Suddenly to my astonishment she said "Will you punish Thomas for me?". I asked why she would not do this herself and she said she felt it would be more effective if a man did it. She also said that both Thomas and Ian respected me, having got to know me from doing the little chores I have already mentioned and that they would take more notice of me.

I confess to being a little excited by the possibility of disciplining an 11 year old boy and I told Linda to send him round to me when he returned home. Linda, however, asked if I would go and fetch him from the playing fields where she believed him to have gone with friends. The thought of playing "father" appealed to me and so I put on my shoes and strode off to bring back the wayward child. Linda told me to be as severe with the punishment as I thought appropriate. She also told me she was going to tell Ian that he also would be sent to me for correction if he continued to misbehave.

Upon arrival at the playing field (it was only a 5 to 10 minute walk) I immediately saw Thomas sitting with three other boys who I assumed were his friends. I realised I had my camera with me (I am a professional photographer and always took it with me from habit) and, for what reason I do not know, zoomed in on Thomas and photographed him sitting in the field. If anyone is interested this photo is posted on http: myweb. tiscali. co. uk nathenworld gal3 bb9.jpg

Having done this I strode over to the seated boy and told him to stand up. He looked puzzled but obeyed. The other children presumably thought I was his father. "What did your mother say to you this morning Thomas?" I asked. Thomas mumbled that he couldn't remember. "Didn't she say something about not going out because you hadn't done your homework?" I went on. Thomas shuffled nervously and mumbled that she had told him not to go out. The other boys were watching this little scene intently and I must confess I was enjoying the role I was playing. "What happens to disobedient boys, Thomas?" I asked and he shook his head muttering that he didn't know. "I will tell you Thomas. Boys who are disobedient have to be taught a lesson. Disobedient boys are punished Thomas. You are coming home now and I will deal with you when we arrive home." I expected him to argue but he did not. He looked at me pleadingly and simply said he was sorry. The 3 other children's eyes darted between Thomas and I and I went on, largely for the benefit of my audience "You can think yourself lucky that I am not going to punish you here and now in front of your friends. Now come with me" With that I grasped him by the arm and led him away from his friends.

While we were walking home I told Thomas that his mother had asked me to deal with his misbehaviour. Thomas said nothing, expect to repeat he was very sorry, and simply trotted alongside me. After a short while we arrived home. I believe I saw Linda glancing from one of her upstairs windows as I opened my door and ushered Thomas into my house. I told him to take off his muddy footwear and leave them on the mat just inside the door. I told Thomas to accompany me upstairs to a room which, although originally a bedroom, I had converted into an office. As well as a traditional office chair and desk there was a conventional wooden chair with a hard back which I placed in the centre of the room. I had decided on the method of correction I would employ. I knew there was a long, thin bamboo cane in the loft area which had presumably been the property of a previous owner. I had discovered it when I moved in but had never got around to throwing it out. Now I was pleased I still possessed it as I intended to put it to use. I told Thomas to wait in my office and went outside the room and opened the loft hatch. I climbed the loft ladder and had little difficulty in locating the cane. I removed it and replaced the hatch. I flexed the cane to ensure it was sufficiently pliable for it's intended purpose and was delighted to discover it was delightfully springy.

I returned to the office and Thomas immediately saw the curved handled bamboo cane in my grasp. He let out a little gasp but said nothing. I went behind my desk and sat in my chair, placed the cane on my desk and stared at the now visibly worried 11 year old. "When your mother tells you to do something Thomas, you do it. Do you understand?" Thomas nodded. "And when your mother tells you not to do something you do not do it. Do you understand that as well?" Another nod and this time a little timid "yes" came from his mouth. "As I have said Thomas your mother has asked me to punish you for your disobedience this morning and I intend to do so." A little tear trickled from Thomas' left eye as he looked again at the cane on the desk.

Without a further word I picked up the cane by it's curved handle, flexed it menacingly and also gave it a swish through the air for effect. I walked over to Thomas and guided him towards the hard back chair which I had placed in the middle of the room. I stood him behind the chair. I then uttered the words I feel sure he had been expecting "Take off your shorts". He obeyed without question and I noticed two more tears, one from each eye. I noticed he was wearing a pair of tight light blue briefs. "Lower your pants Thomas" I ordered and he obediently dropped the briefs down to his ankles.

"Bend over the chair" was my next instruction and Thomas leaned forward over the hard back of the chair and placed his hands on the seat. "No, right over" I ordered and he took his hands away from the seat and grasped the front legs of the chair as low down as he was able. "You will stay in that position until I tell you to get up. If you move or try to cover your behind you'll get more. Do you understand?" I growled and he sniffled through his tears that he understood. I had decided to give him 10 strokes but decided not to tell Thomas. Let him wonder how many more was my decision.

I moved to a position behind the bare backside presented to me and delivered the first cut of the cane. Thomas gasped but, to his credit, did not cry out. The second cut. A louder intake of breath. The third brought forth a whimper but the boy was trying to be brave. The fourth stroke and a cry of AAHH. The fifth and a louder AAAHHH. Number six (the traditional schoolboy maximum) and a further yell of AAAHHH. Also the tears were now flowing freely. Seven and the first OWW, PLEEEZ NO MORE. I noticed Thomas was moving his legs slightly and having no wish to have to administer more than the intended 10 strokes decided to issue a stern rebuke "Keep STILL" was all I needed to say. Stroke 8---OWWWWW, AAAHHHH. Number 9---AAAHHHH, PLEEEEEEZ! DADDD! I was astonished at the use of the word Dad, presumably his thrashing had brought back memories of his father. The 10th---OWWWWW, PLEEEZZ, NO MOOOR. I stepped back and admired my handiwork. Satisfied that Thomas would not forget today in a hurry I told him he could stand upright and replace his pants. I returned the cane to the attic and, on returning to my office, went and sat behind my desk to speak to the child I had just beaten. He was still weeping and trembling as he stood in his t shirt and briefs. "I want that to be a lesson to you Thomas. Don't make me do it again. Now the reason you were not allowed out by your mum was because you hadn't done your homework. You will do your homework and you will bring it to me tomorrow for inspection. If it is not done properly I will cane you again. Do you understand?" Thomas nodded and sniffled through his tears and sobs that he understood. I told him to bring me his homework the next day and to remember the consequences of not doing it properly. I then told Thomas to put his shorts back on and walked him downstairs. He put his shoes on and timidly muttered a goodbye and I reminded him not to forget his appointment with me the next day, I was confident I would see a well presented piece of homework, but more of that later.

More stories by Albert Cane