|by Thomas Hobbes|
Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 06 May 2004
The "woodshed:" just saying the word is enough to conjure all manner of scenes from days long ago in the minds eye. The phrase in which the word usually appears—"taken out to the woodshed"-- has become part of the American version of the English language. It is the equivalent of the truly British phrase "six of the best." When someone in the presidents cabinet speaks out of turn and causes public relations problems the follow-up story in the newspaper will relate that the offender who spoke ill was "taken out to the woodshed by the president." The inference clearly in that phrase is that of a misbehaving schoolboy being given a whipping to teach him obedience. With the President of the United States we can assume the culprit received a good tongue-lashing.
There are variations on the theme. Some prefer "taken out behind the woodshed," and, for some, the shed need not shelter firewood. Just being "taken out to the shed" is enough to paint the picture of a young recalcitrant being dragged along to an outbuilding on a rural property to be given a good switching or strapping. In the small town America Norman Rockwell so vividly portrayed most sons rarely crossed their fathers but when they chose to stray punishment was swift, sure, and effective. This, at least, is what we are told by those still alive who misspent their youth in the first half of the twentieth century.
Such were both my grandfather and one of my uncles, at least to hear them tell it. Now, later in life, I have to wonder about the eagerness each seemed to show when regaling us with tales of his youth, particularly the trips they made to the shed. For my grandfather it was a tool shed attached to the barn on the farm. My uncle lived in town and since they depended on wood for winter cooking and heat they had a woodshed to rival any found at a farmhouse. My uncles woodshed was more a simple roof supported by thick hewn wooden uprights: it had no walls and thus, of course, no doors or windows. The idea was to protect the cut wood from the rain and snow but allow the heat and wind to dry it for use in the winter. I remember visiting my cousins as a kid and playing out behind that shed wondering if any of them got a licking out there. And I remember seeing the razor strop hanging in the bathroom of that house, too, and wondering if that was used for more than sharpening a razor as my uncle always claimed.
When I was old enough to develop my rather prurient interest in spanking I would often steer the conversation around to the "olden days" when visiting my grandfather or my uncle. By then I had passed through puberty and was enjoying my new found sense of pleasure in jacking off in the secrecy of several special places where I felt secure and alone. This was, to say the least, a strange and inexplicable phenomenon for me. Like all boys of my age and time I certainly got a good spanking now and again. And when I got a bit older, about ten or eleven if memory serves, I had "graduated" to a leather strap. But getting an erection from being punished was embarrassing. Then I discovered I would get an erection just thinking about punishment or hearing someone relate his own experiences. So I fed my grandfathers ego and often asked about his life as a boy taking any opportunity to move the tale in the direction where he might have been punished.
My grandfathers farm was a small one and not all that profitable, at least as he remembered it. They farmed mostly potatoes and grain for animal feed. His family was large, of course, and the boys started working in the fields as soon as they were thought old enough to contribute. His first job was as a rock picker. The farm enjoyed fairly good, if sandy, soil in an area that had been under the glaciers during the last ice age. Thus each year new rocks would begin to surface as the soil froze and thawed over the long winter. So even the youngest kids would go into the fields in the spring and pick up the rocks, anything from golf ball size to some as big as softball. The kids would toss the rocks onto a large flat bed wagon pulled at a crawl by the tractor. Well, kids are kids, and, having been cooped up all winter, they actually enjoyed getting out and working the fields. It was important to pick up all the rocks because they would interfere with the rather primitive potato harvesting equipment in the fall. In fact, the rocks would break down the equipment and the harvest would cease. So this was an important part of the annual rituals on the farm.
There really was not much to the annual rock picking, just two rules. Dont miss any rocks and no throwing the rocks at the wagon. It was the latter that inevitably caused at least one or two of the older boys to make a trip to the woodshed every year according to my grandfather. The older boys—then maybe ten to fourteen in age—decided to make the rock picking their version of spring training for summer baseball. So when the adult supervision was not around the rocks would sometimes really fly, both at the wagon and at each other. Soon enough someone got clipped hard and the howling would bring an adult out to the field. "He did it first!"
"NO I didnt! SHE hit me in the back with a rock!" That, grandfather, told me, was sure to earn at least one if not all the combatants what he called "a good whipping." [I never had the nerve to ask him what a bad whipping was.] My great-grandfather would single out the one deemed to be the instigator and send him (or her, on occasion) to the shed.
They had a large, typical midwestern barn complete with a hayloft and insulated potato storage bins. At the far corner of the barn as you entered there was a door and that led to a tool shed attached as a lean to outside the wall of the barn. It was a dusty, oily place as I remember it, about twenty feet square with all manner of things hanging on hooks on the walls and from the open rafters above. My great-grandfathers workbench, filled with drawers and cubbies and shelves for an endless array of tools, ran the length of the outside wall. A well-worn leather strap hung from a nail in the frame of the only window in the shed. My grandfather always smiled, as he seemed to recall with some kind of perverse joy the details of his trips to the shed.
"Always it was with the pants down, boy," he would tell me, "and my daddy had arms like a blacksmith!" As he told the stories, my fourteen-year-old cock would begin to harden as I could see in my mind this old, white haired guy young once again. My age. His well-shaped, bared backside tipped up waiting as he bent over the edge of that bench waiting for a strapping. I could not but wonder if he was not also remembering a little more than just the ritual and the pain of being punished. Perhaps, I thought to myself, he did what I did to make myself feel better after being punished? He certainly seemed to relish telling the stories in great detail.
From intimate conversations with a couple of my friends I knew I was not alone in my arousal from spankings. My best friend David and I had snuck off more than a few times, shared war stories (half apocryphal) about our lickings and then, as teen boys love to do, explored jacking off together. Several times he even allowed me to jack him off and once he had jacked me. So all these thoughts were milling about in my head as I listened to what David and I called "Tales from Yore." Seems he, too, got similar stories from his grandparents on occasion. And, I think, he likely embellished the tales of his own thrashings, as did I when I shared mine.
Then there was my Uncle Carl and his son, my favorite cousin, Jim. Jim was just a year and a half older than me and we were really more like brothers than cousins. Uncle Carl had put in an oil furnace but they still had a large fireplace and a wood stove out on a huge back porch. For those they built a substantial woodpile out back each fall. That is the woodshed of which my uncle spoke and it was still used when I was a boy. It was really a gable roof over an open space in the far corner of the yard about ten feet deep and thirty feet wide. A dozen large poles held the trusses that then supported the roof. And the wood, cleaned and split, lay in neatly layered rows between steel stakes to a height of about four feet.
The north side of the open shed was protected from the wind and rain by a temporary wall made of hay bales. And there was what in the old days was called a "buck" and a sawhorse there to assist in the cutting of the wood. Although the rest of the family out in the yard might hear what took place out behind the woodshed the hay afforded enough privacy that no one could see. When he was going to get a whipping, my uncle said, he was required to go into the house and get the razor strop from the bathroom and take it out behind the woodshed. Once there he would pull two of the bales off and stack them for leaning over. When his father arrived he would hand him the strap, listen to the lecture, then take his pants down and lay across the bales for a strapping.
"What about in the winter?!" I asked, wanting every detail of the story. "Snow and freezing cold?" In the winter, he said, his father took him down to the basement. Not really the kind of basement we have today, of course. This one was only half the size of the house and had a dirt floor. And it also needed lighting from a kerosene lamp. But down to the basement they would go and over a crude wooden stool he would bend for a licking. His son, my cousin Jim, I soon discovered, also enjoyed the erotic side of all this talk by his father.
After one such story telling session I could see the tent in Jims jeans and as soon as we were able to break free and get off to ourselves I confronted him with that observation. Sure, he said, he got a woodie just thinking about his old man getting it good. So I told him he wasnt the only one. At that point we sat down in a copse of arbor vitae hidden from the house and he dared me to show him mine. I did. And he showed me his: hard and straight and impressively large. There we were, two perverted cousins, stroking, pumping, and quietly talking. I asked him to tell me about his own punishments and as he did we both shot loads out onto the dirt making us very, very special friends and the closest of cousins. My uncle had kept the family tradition alive, Jim swore, and he, too, had made the trip into the house to get the strap and then wait behind the woodshed till his father came.
By age fifteen I had enticed both my best buddy and my favorite cousin into separate secret alliances to feed my prurient needs. Now it was time to conjure a way to get the three of us together for some fun. We had the woodshed, the razor strop still hung on the back of the bathroom door, and soon, I hoped we would have the three of us together. Now all we needed was an opportunity. Some time when the rest of the family was gone and the three of us were there. Sometime this summer that opportunity would come. Of that I was certain.